"And I suppose there is a reasonable explanation as to why you are here, Mr Chalk."
Kevin spun around, shocked at the familiar drawls of a teacher long gone. "Mr Budgen! What's happened to me?"
"You tell me, lad." Grantley looked upon the teenager wearing his best suit, no doubt Maggie will have talked him into it.
"Well... I was in class... I was talking to Dynasty trying to get her to listen but she wouldn't..." Kevin looked up for some assurance to carry on with his tale.
Grantley nodded for the boy to carry on.
"Then... her voice seemed so far away and then I collapsed. I could still hear her, she was panicking but I couldn't wake up or speak to comfort her. And then everything went silent and I appeared here."
"You, Mr Chalk, have had a stroke." Grantley told him once he had finished. "You've been putting too much pressure on yourself lad! You need to slow down a bit!"
"But I can't have! I'm only 17 I'm-"
"Too young to have a stroke? Don't talk nonsense, a stroke can happen at any age, at any time. One minute you're fine the next you find yourself on the operating table."
"But... why am I here? Has something gone wrong?" Kevin began to worry. What if he never makes it to uni? Or see Chalky again? Or Dynasty?
"I think you might have needed some guidance from somebody." Grantley told him. "Though quite why you thought of me I'll never know, I would have thought it would be our dearly beloved Mr Clarkson."
"I..." Kevin stopped and thought. Why WAS Budgen there? He thought back and suddenly it all clicked into place. All this time he'd been trying to do Maggie proud, in the hope it would havebin turn made Grantley proud too. "I wanted to make you and Maggie proud."
For the first time in a long while, that all too familiar frown turned into a smile. "Kevin, you already do. You should be standing there in my suit in front of a university panel, not hanging on for your life! Now get back there and stop the old hen from pecking and worrying, eh?"
"Enough about Carol and Dyn. What about Mrs B?" Kevin grinned.
"Say that at your own peril, lad." Grantley told him, smiling.
Suddenly faint conversation started to surround them.
"And that's my cue to take my leave." Grantley said just as Kevin started to physically open his eyes.