All the packing was done before the parents arrived. Julie was just practising her ballet barefoot with Mark one last time.
“I think you might be needing these Julie dear,” chuckled a voice.
“Daddy!” she screamed stopping her practising and rushing over to him.
“Hello sweetheart,” chuckled Mr Fforbes Hamilton giving her a huge hug.
“You ready to knock their socks off?” he asked as he passed her her new shoes.
“Ginger and I are always ready,” nodded Mark.
“Well, we’d best get going then!”
Speech day was a huge success, Athene got the prize for English for the Upper Third Form, and Anthony got the prize for maths.
As Athene walked up to the stage to collect her prize, there was a loud cheering from the audience.
“That’s my Cariad!” called Major Richards, “knew you had it in you!”
Athene blushed somewhat embarrassed but waved at her grandparents as she walked past.
Nick got the Upper Fifth prize for Perseverance, because he had worked so hard for his GCE O exams, and Simon got the sports cup.
After all the prizes had been handed out then there was the Speech Day entertainment, which was as always, a great success.
Then they were all going home for the holidays.
“See you in September Athy!” said Charlie giving Athene a hug as they all said goodbye on the driveway.
“You promise you’re going to write every day?” asked Anthony with his hands-on Athene’s shoulders.
“Of course,” said Athene shaking her head.
“We’ll drop her off at yours for August,” chuckled Major Richards as he finished loading the luggage.
The Summer holidays were two months long and seeing as she had so few friends at home, the Pennington’s had offered to have Athene for the whole of August.
“Bye Mark!” said Athene a hug.
“You sure you’ve got to go back to Wales?” asked Mark not letting her out of the hug.
“Let the poor kid go Marky,” chuckled Simon, “you’ll see her next month!”
The Pennington’s waved Athene goodbye as she drove away from the drive.
They all drove back to the house and talked about their holiday plans over dinner.
“Ginger and I are going to practise every day!”
“And here I was thinking you two were already perfect!” said Simon.
“You can never practise too much,” said Mark.
“That’s perfectly fine Mark, but if you want to spend time with Athene when she comes next month, you’re going to have to get your homework done!”
“There isn’t all that much of it,” muttered Anthony, “if you get on with it will only take you a few days.”
After dinner, Mark and Anthony were starting to get their unpacking done and Simon showed up their room.
“How do I look, boys?”
Simon had oiled his hair with copious amounts of hair gel. He was wearing a pair of jeans with a white t-shirt and his leather jacket. He was clearly trying his hardest to find the polar opposite of his school uniform.
“The only thing you’re missing is some makeup,” said Mark, “maybe Julie would let you borrow some!”
“Haha very funny,” drawled Simon.
“I’ve got to go and see Cels, she’s been waiting for me to come home, I’m taking her to the flicks in Horsham.”
“Lucky you,” muttered Mark.
“Ta ta lads,” he smirked as he left, “enjoy the unpacking!”
“Swarmy twat!” shouted Mark out his bedroom door as his brother left.
“Mark Pennington get down here now!” shouted Mr Pennington from downstairs.
Mark had gone paperwhite, his voice had clearly travelled further than he thought it would.