Rachel Rockett

It was a wet and windy, cold November morning, as we pulled up outside of Chippenham railway station. The crisp clear air outside, awoke me sharply, after the contrasting, steamed up stuffy interior of the 92 service bus.

Other passengers were now hastily making their way to the train station just a few yards away, whilst I put my head down, turned into the wind, and aimed myself towards the college.

It was only a three minute walk, but buses in these parts are not that convenient, so I had to arrived an hour and three quarters early, otherwise the next bus would have got me there half an hour late.

Standing outside the locked doors of the college, I put my mind in a state of coma and hoped I would survive the wait, whilst leant against a low concrete wall to save my legs from collapse.

What seemed like a life time passed, when suddenly there came the sound of a key in the door, I looked up and saw the receptionist, I gestured if it was okay to come in from the rain. She informed me there was a back way in I could have used, for those people who had to arrive early.

The receptionist said you’ll be on the customer service course then. I asked how she knew and she explained it was half term, and we were the only people there this week, and would I like to take a seat and wait for all the others to arrive.

I looked around, there were some very low arm chairs, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get up again if I sat right down there, so I took a chair next to the tables. Its back fixed at such and angle, that sitting up straight was impossible.

Other unfortunate looking characters started to arrive in dribs and drabs at random intervals, each casting unsure eyes at the other strangers, as if to enquire am I in the right place. Several of the less shy introduced themselves to each-other, to break the ice.

By now I was sliding nearer and nearer to the floor, in the chair requiring you to lay back at an angle of forty five degrees, so I leant forward and stopped my decline, by propping myself against the table only to discover the top wasn’t attached.

At that moment, a face I recognised came through the door. I didn’t know the person to speak to, but knew who she was. Panic of embarrassment ran through my head, and I wished to continue my slide right off the edge of the chair, and on under the table out of sight.

Too late, I was spotted – as a face also recognised, as being from the same town. The girl came in my direction and to my great surprise, with a great big smile, said hello, as if she had known me all her life. In these first few seconds my mind was busy making judgements, based purely on guesswork.

This was probably the best, yet worst case of judging a book by its cover, ever by me. This was a book I didn’t even know the title of. It looked very well bound, yet I thought probably far to technical for me, and way over my head.

Oh how wrong could I have been, I know I make a lot of mistakes in my life, but this one was going to be a real eye opener. The first few milli seconds of my brain’s struggle to departmentalise this vision, almost knocked me off my feet, had I not already been falling out of this awful chair.

I don’t think I’ve ever had an assumed idea, of someone so instantly changed. I was in shock but I quickly recovered. It wasn’t to last though, for after our first ever exchange of words, there came many more shocks throughout the course over the next two weeks.

Every time this delightful person spoke, she would shock me with what she had to say. I still hadn’t learnt my lesson of not judging people on looks alone. I was certainly always right on my sub conscious male instincts, and certainly hadn’t failed in that respect.

Now all I could do for the next two weeks, was regret, that I had been born 20 years too soon. Luckily I was soon informed she was already married, and that saved me from making a complete fool of myself. I did say complete, as I never fail to be a fool, at some point in every day.

There are three things about this girl I shall never forget, the first being her stunning smile, not just her mouth but her eyes too, the second being how incredibly likeable she is, and the third being the sound of her voice when answering an injustice with the phrase, “That’s Bang Out Of Order“.


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