[Ted and Elsie’s story begins with a scarf and a question]
It was this scarf that started it all. If truth be told, I didn’t like Ted one little bit when I first saw him, standing in the centre of that group of lads outside the coffee bar. With his scruffy duffle coat and long hair — well it seemed long to me then, although it was probably only down to his collar — he didn’t look at all the sort of boy I wanted to get to know. And this was just as well, really, since he didn’t even notice me. He seemed to be telling jokes; at least all his mates were falling about laughing over something. They were taking up so much room, I had to step off the pavement to get past.
After that first evening, I saw him all over the place: in the newsagents when I picked up Gran’s mints on the way home; outside the Youth Club where we all played table tennis once a week; coming out of the chippie when Mum and I went to fetch supper on Friday nights. We never spoke; although he would sometimes give me a stiff nod if he caught my eye in passing.
As the weather improved, his duffle coat disappeared, replaced by a leather jacket or a light raincoat. But he always wore his scarf. It was royal blue and maroon stripes, made of heavy cotton material. Some people might think it had military connections, others that it belonged to a university graduate; although neither image fitted this young man. But I knew better. I had its pair sitting in my drawer at home. And I really wanted to know why he always wore a scarf from St Teresa’s Grammar School for Girls. [To be continued]
Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.
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