Okay, I've never ever done a Waterloo Road Fanfiction before, so please be nice (if you do review!) and I've only ever seen three episodes (of this season) of the programme. Sorry if the characters are a bit…out of character. Hope you enjoy .
A kiss on the cheek. To teenagers, it was as worthless as a high five from an unrequited love or one of those 'dead borin' love letters from Beethoven, copied out and put in your locker. A kiss on the cheek wasn't exactly the greatest thing to happen on a date.
However, to the 'older generation', as they preferred to be called (rather than 'old timer' or being described as 'getting on a bit'), kisses on the cheek meant a lot more than it did to the youngsters. Because for someone to love you after failed marriages and endless years of heartbreak and watching everyone you love suffer as well, it had to mean something.
Or to an ignorant, unwitting fool, it didn't mean anything. It could just be a tiny, insignificant gesture that was intended just to say 'goodbye.'
Well, the point is, people interpret kisses on the cheek in different ways. But the one thing that everyone agrees on about them is this: if anyone who shouldn't see it sees it, it definitely means 'this is going to be awkward tomorrow'; especially if it turns into something else soon afterwards.
She had agreed to go to dinner. Why dinner? From a young age, she had always been trained to think and anticipate any situations that could happen when agreeing to dinner or any other given opportunity. But when he had asked, in that smooth, silky, incredibly over-confident voice, she had found herself physically and mentally unable to say no. And the way he had tried to ask her in a 'only-if-you-want-to' way, like he was scared of her refusing him, she had laughed inwardly, the sly man.
She had been convinced (mostly by herself if she was perfectly honest) to stay behind after school earlier and help him with a piece of 'homework' he had been finding himself struggling with. She had felt a pang of sorrow surge through her system for him; his revelation that he was too ashamed to tell his own son that he was doing a degree now had made her smile in comfort for him. He had asked her not to laugh – why on Earth would she? So she had sat down opposite him, making herself comfortable and brushing a stray strand of brown-blonde hair behind her ear.
He had said he hadn't had a 'girl' help him with his homework since he was a kid. It had made her feel younger somehow, like, in someone else's eyes she could be eternally youthful. Well, wasn't that what everyone wanted? To be seen as young and radiant forever?
After two hours of making literary conversation, particularly about Macbeth, Shakespeare and uses of languages (she had noticed when she spoke about the three, he did not write, he just stared at her, admiring her intelligence, quite unnervingly at times), they finally decided to make a move and go to dinner.
And then, as they left the school, locking the glass doors behind them, she realized the reason why she had so quickly decided she would go to dinner was because maybe she wanted something to happen. Come on, she thought inwardly, what harm could it possibly do?
They walked four miles, in trainers and two inch heels, down the road to the nearest restaurant. The outside was gleaming, recently painted in a reflective black tone. Hanging baskets fell comfortably from hooks on the exterior of the building. The sky was already a raging sapphire colour, with a couple of dozen stars littered across it.
She smiled at him as he stood, scanning the restaurant up and down with a churning look of inconsistency on his face. She took a few hesitant steps forward, and beckoned to him with her head, nodding it slightly, and was relieved to see that he followed.
They sat down at a small table near the bar, but far enough away not to be interrupted by drunkards and doolally fools. Chivalrously, he pulled out her chair for her before sitting down himself. There was a laced cloth spread over the table, a small candle in the middle, flickering slightly, providing the only source of light.
He ordered a bottle of red wine and she propped her head up on her hand. They chatted and gossiped and laughed until the wine arrived. She sipped plentifully, something telling her in the back of her mind that she may need to be a bit hazy on the details of the night later.
'So,' he began as he released the wine glass from his hand, setting it on the table, 'thank you for helping me with the course work.'
She smiled graciously, 'It was no trouble Rob.'
They remained in a slightly, but not terribly awkward silence until the main meal came. He noticed that throughout the whole night, she maintained her politeness and proper ness even when she ate, like she had something to prove to him. It all felt a bit put on, but he knew that that was just her character.
'So that Miss Chaudry, eh?' he proposed, intending to unravel the mystery shrouding the ravishing woman sitting opposite him, 'I don't really have any idea what she was hoping to achieve with that video project.'
'I think Eleanor was just trying to prepare the students for future encounters with the media and it was a good way of expressing themselves…in theory.' She replied thoughtfully, through a lack of compassion for the English teacher.
He chuckled, 'Well, she achieved a proposal and the revelation that someone's mother is sleeping with their stalkers father.'
'A normal day at Waterloo Road then,' Karen replied, a hint of sarcasm embedded in the truth of her words.
'I just don't know how you cope with all of these kids and their problems.'
'I don't know how you do it either. Earlier, with Kyle, I haven't been able to get one ounce of respect out of that boy since the whole incident with Ellie and the baby, but you managed to completely humble him,' Karen said, shaking her head in a certain kind of disbelief, like she doubted that it had actually happened.
Rob wiggled his eyebrows at her slightly, before replying simply, after taking a sip of wine, with, 'You just need to talk to them. Just give them a perspective of the "bigger picture" as it were and it'll soon bring them back down to Earth.'
'You've got more authority than the teachers put together Rob,' she laughed dryly. He beamed at the compliment.
'So, I'm not just the site manager then?' he enquired cheekily, and she flushed bright red in embarrassment.
'Rob, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that. I-I was just…people kept making comments,' Karen stammered in a mumbling tone. By a strange instinct, and rather out of the blue, Rob leant his hand in and took hers. She almost jumped from it, but his touch was warm and comforting and so she allowed herself to be the prey and kept her hand on the table, clutched within his.
'I know what you meant. I mean you're the headmistress and I'm the handyman. Nothing could ever work in that kind of way,' he stated clearly, not letting the sorrow in his head overtake his voice. His emotion was rippling underneath the surface and he could see a sense of anguish and torment burning in her ever-calm eyes.
Slowly, she withdrew her hand awkwardly and sniffed back a few tears that had formed in her eyes. 'Well, erm, should we be going then?' she asked, pleading slightly. He nodded his head, although he was a bit disappointed, but he paid the bill and, together, they left the restaurant.
He, being the chivalrous gentleman he was, walked her home, right to her very front door. The journey back had been undecidedly calm, and they had chatted about the general news at the moment and made slight conversation.
She delved inside her bag for the key to her front door and quickly jammed it in the lock and pressed the door open. She turned in the frame and faced him, standing there in the pitch black, his figure illuminated by a low-light street lamp.
'Thank you for the dinner Rob, I had a wonderful evening,' she said graciously.
'And so did I. Again, thanks for the help with the whole Shakespeare project; you're a very intelligent woman Karen,' he complimented, making her blush for the second time.
'You're very suave Rob,' she replied, winking slightly, her left eye only flickering slightly. He smiled, looking away slightly before stepping forward and, not after hesitating for a second, kissed her softly on the cheek.
She recoiled in shock and he looked hurt before breathing out heavily and turning away.
'Karen, you're a sensible woman; perhaps even too sensible. Let your hair down once in a while, do something crazy,' he called as he trawled down the street, his boots tapping quietly on the concrete with every passing step. Her mind went blank for a moment and she stared into space before something snapped her to her senses.
'Rob!' she called out in the dark. The retreating figure stopped and turned to face her, 'Hang on one second.' She ran from the frame of the door to him. On the way, a million thoughts raced and ran through her mind; she hadn't done this in near enough thirty years. She ran (as gracefully as possibly in two inch heels) to where he was standing bemusedly. She slowed slightly when she came within two metres of him and, without any words or warnings, Karen kissed him on the lips, her fleshy coloured lipstick smudging slightly on his mouth. He was suddenly taken aback, but gingerly began to kiss her back. She broke away after around fifteen seconds and said, 'Goodnight Robert,' before beginning the walk of shame back to her house. He pressed his fingers to his mouth in pure shock, before grinning the widest he had for many a year and beginning the eight mile walk home.
The next day…
'Miss!' someone called down the bustling corridor. Karen turned around to see Amy, the girl who hadn't responded well to the stalking the previous day, 'Hey Miss, can I ask you somethin?'
'Good morning Amy. Yes, ask away,' she said, smiling.
A large grin crackled across Amy's lips before she asked, 'Miss, did you really kiss Mister Scotcher?'
Whatever she had been expecting, she hadn't been expecting that.
Karen looked to her right and saw Rob washing off graffiti from another locker, whistling all the while. He caught her eye and winked in amusement. She looked down at the ground and smiled widely.
'Miss?' Amy asked again, resisting the temptation to click her fingers in front of the headmistresses face. The school bell rang suddenly, its shrill noise ricocheting off the walls and corridors of Waterloo Road.
'I think you should be getting to class Amy,' Karen said clearly before moving on down the corridor. Saved by the bell – she hadn't used that expression since she was a teenager. A lot of stuff had happened in the past two days that hadn't happened since she was a teen. She was quite proud of herself for that. She strolled down the corridor once more, amidst whispers of the secret love affair between the headmistress and the site manager.