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My Date With Gavin Winterbottom
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My Date With Gavin Winterbottom
There's many a slip...
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The Wishfish (Short Stories) Doris stared down at the kipper. The kipper stared back. "Don't eat me," it said. [1,861 words] [Fantasy]
My Date With Gavin Winterbottom
MY DATE WITH GAVIN WINTERBOTTOM
So there I was, standing at the bus stop, all
dressed up to meet Gavin Winterbottom. I could
feel little shivers going through me at the
thought, and I was sweating, even though I'd put
on loads of anti-perspirant. Mind you, it was a
warm evening. I'd fancied him ever since third
year, but he never looked at me, too taken up with
He's tall and thin, moody-looking, with long black
hair, and he's got dozens of rings in his ears,
and two in his eyebrows, and a stud in his nose
and one in his lip. I wish I could have one. My
friend Hayley's had her navel pierced. She said it
hurt like hell when they did it. My mum won't
even let me have a stud in my nose.
The bus was a long time coming. Like I said, he
never looked at me, only lunchtime I happened to
be by the school gate and I heard him and Jodie
having an almighty row just round the corner. As
far as I could make out, he wanted to see her and
she wanted to stay in and finish some project
(she's top set, Jodie). Anyway, he came charging
round the corner in a temper and nearly fell over
me. I was afraid he'd think I was ear-wigging,
but he just looked me over, like he'd never seen
"You doing anything tonight?" he said.
"No!" I gasped.
"See you in the Frog then. Eight o'clock."
The Winking Frog's a pub in town, everyone goes
there. I don't know what I did the rest of the
afternoon, I was practically in a coma. I'm not
allowed to go out in the week, so when I got home
I told Mum I'd do my homework at Hayley's and stay
over. I often do that, 'cos Hayley's Mum works
nights and she doesn't like being on her own. I
smuggled my clothes out and dressed there. I'd got
my new mini and my long boots, and Hayley lent me
her Lurex top, the one that's really low at the
front. When I'd put all my make-up on she said I
looked at least eighteen.
Where on earth was that bus? It should have come
ten minutes ago. I couldn't have missed it, I was
there ages before it was due. Of all the nights
to pick to be late! I had to be on time, Gavin
wasn't the sort to wait around for anyone. I
peered down the road, frantically searching for a
flash of red in the distance. Nothing.
The really annoying thing was that I'd been so
early I could have walked into town, but it was
too late now. I wanted to cry, 'cept it would
have ruined my make-up. My one chance, and I'd
messed it up. He'd never speak to me again. He'd
think I'd stood him up, and nobody stands up Gavin
Quarter to. Even if the bus came now I'd still be
too late. I turned away from the stop, and started
to walk along the road. I was so miserable I never
even noticed a car draw up, and when a voice said
"Wanna lift?" I nearly jumped out of my skin.
OK, I know I shouldn't have, but I was desperate
by then. Anyway I did know him, sort of. I'd seen
him around at school, not that he was around much.
Jezza, they called him.
"Could you take me into town?"
So I got in. It was a nice car, ever so smooth,
not an old rattle-trap like ours. I sat quiet for
a minute or two, then I started to get worried.
"This i'n't the way to town!"
"So? It's a nice night. Enjoy the ride."
"But I'm meeting someone!"
"Tough. You're with me now."
He was driving very fast, and there was a sort of
fixed look in his eyes, as if he wasn't really
seeing what he was looking at. I remembered
hearing someone at school saying he was a right
"I want to get out!" I cried.
He just laughed, and drove even faster.
Then it happened. I heard the syren in the
distance, and saw the blue light flashing. I was
petrified. He'd pinched the car of course. I
should have known, I mean, where'd he get a BMW?
We'd be caught, they'd never believe he'd just
given me a lift, my dad would kill me. He jumped
some lights and drove round a corner, tyres
I panicked and started pulling at his arm,
shouting "Let me out! Let me out!" The car
"Oh, for Crissake!"
He slowed for a moment and leaned over to wrench
open the passenger door. Next thing I was bouncing
along the pavement.
"Hey! Are you all right?"
There was a boy looking down at me. I'd skinned
my knee and ruined my tights, and the heel had
come off one of my boots. I hurt all over, but
there didn't seem to be any bones broken. He
helped me up and I hobbled to a seat in a bus
shelter just down the road. He'd a can of coke in
his pocket and he shared it with me. I was a bit
shaken up, I can tell you.
We sat and talked for ages. He's not from our
school, he goes to Summerfields, that's the one
all the snobs try to get their kids into, but he's
very nice. Not good-looking, though. He's got
ginger hair and freckles. I never could stand red
We stayed there till I felt better, then he walked
back with me all the way to Hayley's. I had to
hang on to him. I could hardly walk with my heel
gone. I took my boots off in the end.
And do you know, I found out next day that that
Gavin Winterbottom made it up with Jodie after
school, and never went near the Frog that night!
It made me really mad, to think of what I went
Still, I'm seeing Ben - that's his name - on
Saturday. He said I could come round his and have
a go on his computer. I never get a look-in with
ours, my brother hogs it all the time. Ben's got
some brilliant games.
Actually, he's not that bad looking. Shame about
Maybe I could persuade him to dye it.
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