The Parting Of The Ways

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Simon and Celia's Day Off

Anthony was helping Athene in the kitchen making pancakes. Anthony was mixing the batter, but he knew if he tried to flip a pancake, he’d get it wrong.

Nick and Isabelle were away for a month, so everyone was helping out where they could with the cooking and all mucking in. Mr Pennington and Simon’s contributions were usually bringing home fish and chips after work. Mark’s job was to keep Michael and Niki busy and entertained so they didn’t keep on getting underfoot.

“I’m glad that at least one of my sons can cook,” chuckled Mr Pennington as he tucked into his breakfast.

“Thanks, Dad,” beamed Anthony as Simon came in with Niki and Michael and he put them in their highchairs.

Simon looked exhausted, and Celia who followed afterwards with Timothy looked even more tired. Having three children under the age of three was clearly starting to take its toll on Simon and Celia physically.

Celia was half asleep in her plate of breakfast, and Simon was trying to drink a cup of coffee with one hand and feed Michael with the other.

“Niki?” asked Anthony, “would you like to go out for a treat today?”

“Yes!” beamed Niki giving him a very syrupy kiss, she always liked doing things with her Uncle Tony.

“I’ve heard they’re showing that new Disney princess film at the cinema,” continued Athene, “Sleeping Beauty, why don’t Uncle Tony and I take you and Michael to go and see it?”

“Yes yes please!” she screamed practically jumping up and down in her chair.

“And then Mummy and Daddy can have a nice day off, and Uncle Marky can look after baby Timmy.”

Mark looked at Anthony over his cup of coffee. Mark had agreed to look after no little squirts today. It was Saturday, he was expecting his new film magazine, he was going to go through it with Julie.

“Well Timmy,” said Mark, “looks like today you learn the difference between a Frank Sinatra and a Bing Crosby.”

Simon could hardly believe his ears but decided to jump at the chance before anyone changed their minds.

“Cels,” he said nudging her gently, “wake up darling.”

“Hmm?” she mumbled.

“We can go back to bed,” he told her.

“Oh,” said Celia blinking and getting up.

“Well goodnight everyone,” laughed Simon as they went back to bed.

“Bye-bye Mummy!” called Michael.

“Night night Mummy!” giggled Niki.

Not long after this, there was the sound out in the hallway.

“Post!” yelled Mark rushing into the corridor.

He came back with his Dad’s paper, a couple of bills, his film magazine and two letters.

“Here you go,” said Mark handing Athene and Anthony their letters.

Anthony opened his letter in confusion. The only person he got regular correspondence from was sitting right next to him.

A letter fell out.

“Dear Anthony,

Out of the seven male prefects in your year, the choice for Head Boy this year was not a difficult one to make.

You are always enthusiastic about your studies, and that example does rub off on the younger students, and your own classmates as well.

As Athene and you work so hard but get the results come exam time, it shows to your classmates that if they strive for it they too can achieve top marks.

You’re also very involved in the school activities, such as the orchestra and always accompanying on the piano for the school musical.

It’s not only that you’re a good role model though, but you’ve also always had a very good connection with all the students, older and younger. You are always willing to listen to their problems no matter how big or small.

When I talked to all your teachers, they said the same thing.

Congratulations, and enjoy the rest of your holidays,

P. Grainger, Headmaster

Anthony noticed that there was still a badge in the envelope.

His prefect badge had been red, but this was silver and had Head Boy engraved on it.

Anthony looked over to Athene who was holding a similar badge in her hand. Athene was the only female prefect going into the upper sixth, as they only had one per year. This meant that it wasn’t a surprise that Athene got picked to be Head Girl, but Anthony just didn’t make sense.

“What you two got there?” asked Mr Pennington as he finished sorting out the bills.

Anthony and Athene were silent, but Mark looked like all his Christmases had come at once.

“We are not worthy of your presence!” said Mark.

“Fair Lord and Lady, noble rulers overall us humble peasants at St. Christopher’s.”

Mr Pennington just looked even more confused.

“Head Girl and Boy badges,” explained Athene.

“Tony, I have never been more proud of you,” beamed Mr Pennington, “we’ve had prefects, and sports captains, but never a Head Boy.”

“Whereas I am just chopped liver,” sulked Mark.

“No, you’ve got a Hollywood film contract,” said Anthony.

“Oh yeah,” beamed Mark, “so I do.”

“Well I think this deserves some celebrating,” said Mr Pennington, “tonight, nobody is going to cook, we’re going to The Wheatsheaf for dinner!”

“We’re going to the pub?” asked Mark.

“Can I have a pint?”

Mr Pennington seemed to think for a moment.

“Well you do look eighteen,” he whispered.

“Just the one though,” he said firmly.

“You’re the best Dad!”

“Shall we go and get ready for the cinema then?” asked Athene to Niki.

“Can Alice and little Athene come?”

“Well of course they can!”

Athene helped Niki change Alice and Athene into their best party dresses. If Niki had a choice, she wouldn’t go anywhere without her two dolls.

And so, Anthony, Athene, Niki, Michael, the two dolls and Michael’s teddy bear Terry went to the cinema.

They needed three seats, one for Anthony, Michael and Michaels Teddy, one for Athene, and the last one for Niki and her two dolls who were sitting on a cushion so she could see properly.

They watched the newsreel, and the Mickey Mouse cartoon before the main feature came on. Sleeping Beauty was so good, that they watched the whole thing twice.

“Did you like the sweetheart?” asked Anthony as they headed home.

Niki didn’t answer.

“I’m sorry did you enjoy the film, Princess Aurora?”

“Yes!” beamed Niki.

“I thought you did,” muttered Anthony in the car and drove them all home.

When they got back to the house, Simon and Celia had woken up looking much better. They had gotten the sleep that they needed.

“Hello darlings,” gushed Celia picking up Michael and Niki.

“How was the cinema?” asked Simon.

“She was so pretty,” said Niki.

“Was she now?”

“Yes,” nodded Michael.

“It sounds like we’ll have to go with you sometime,” said Simon.

“But as for now,” said Celia, “we hear congratulations are in order?”

Anthony stared down at his shoes and put his hands in his pockets.

“Well done little bro,” chuckled Simon patting him on the back.

“Thanks,” muttered Anthony.

That night the whole household went to the pub down the road, even the Fforbes Hamiltons were invited.

When the drinks were brought out Mr Pennington raised his glass.

“To Anthony and Athene!”

“All hail our great rulers,” said Mark and Julie in deep solemn voices.

“Head girl and boy today, Oxford scholars tomorrow!”

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