Tuesday, 16 June – Public Holiday in South Africa…
Oh my word! The policeman at the Sutton Scheme today was gorgeous! I love a hot man in uniform; yislaaik (oh my word, unbelievable) he was delicious…
Anyway, for some reason, even though the office knows I stay in North London (and the other SLO stays in South London); they sent me to South London and her to East London. It took over an hour and a half for both of us to travel this morning. It made no sense to me. My destination was based in a tennis training college, surrounded by expansive sporting fields and I battled to find the Scheme itself because all the signage was indoors. When I eventually found the building one of the fire-ladies escorted me to the Scheme’s staff room. As I walked in behind her she stepped aside to show me the room: Six men in uniform! Ah man! Heaven! They were so cute. The other Schemes had officers and emergency guys in their 40s and 50s, these guys were in their 20s and 30s: a couple of cadets doing service, an ambulance guy in training and police officers observing.
“Hi guys, Shannan’s here for the Transport Company’s display, could one of you show her around?” she addressed the guy nearest the door, the one with sparkling eyes and cutest grin ever. (I barely managed to close my mouth and stop gawking).
He stood up, as I stole a split second to absorb the moment and compose myself; “Sure.” he said courteously and gestured for me to go back out the door. He started telling me about the Sutton Scheme; admittedly I didn’t manage to listen much as I worked on focusing on the job. Then I saw the time and realised that the other SLO hadn’t arrived, and the officer said that the children would be arriving in twenty minutes! Oh dear, one me and two exhibitions! How was this going to work? Panic must have shown on my face as the officer asked if everything was ok.
“Have you seen the other transport officer? I can’t do both stands on my own.”
“No, you’re the only one who’s arrived.”
“Ok, let me phone the office and see who is supposed to be here and try and make a plan. Thanks for showing me around.”
“Sure. I’ll get the chief to come check in with you.”
“Thanks,” I said distractedly as my mind raced.
I called the office, Nina was supposed to be here and she hadn’t phoned the office to say that she was running late. Oh dear. The chief came over and I explained the situation. He said that he could get one of the cadets to help me out. Great! We rearranged the schedule so that none of the 7 groups (going around the 8 stands) would start at the tube scenario, instead the cadet would watch me do the bus with the first group, take my notes and then take the second group on the bus whilst I went back to the tube. The cadet was a little nervous, but excited to be doing something different, he had a vague idea of how the bus scenario worked as he had watched it a bit yesterday. Brilliant, and just in time for the children’s arrival too.
As timing would have it Nina arrived straight after the learners, apparently after transport trouble, so the cadet never got to take a ‘bus ride’ with the Year Sixes. He was cool about it and we had a good laugh at lunch. The gorgeous, helpful strapping young policeman was at another stand and our breaks never coincided. I was sure he was checking me out and I was certainly subtly checking him out all day! I didn’t see him at the outside tables at lunch and they ended up finishing their day earlier than we did. I was gutted, but consoled myself: maybe I would see him tomorrow. As I held that thought my phone rang; the office agreed with my complaint about my crazy hour and a half of travelling, they had now swapped me for the Leyton Scheme in the East tomorrow. I had to go into the office this afternoon to get the directions. Gutted!
Shame, the cadet asked me what was wrong and I could hardly tell him that I was keen on the officer and now I wouldn’t see him tomorrow! Instead I said, “I got lost trying to get here this morning and I’m not quite sure on my way back to the station now.”
“Oh, well I’m heading that way and I know a short cut; you can walk with me if you like?” Oh bless him; that would be perfect.
I smiled: “That would be great thanks!”
We walked and chatted and he told me about all the different types of training the cadets have to go through, and how the older guys give them a tough time. The walk went quickly and he had a great sense of humour. We got to the station and he hesitantly said: “So I’ll see you tomorrow then?’
He had reminded me: “No, the office sends us all over the place and tomorrow I’m going to be in Leyton. We never know where we are going to end up.” If I recall correctly, I think his smile dropped slightly, and he didn’t seem to know what to say, and then settled with: “Maybe I’ll see you again sometime?”
“Very possible with the way they shuffle us around,” I said, “Thanks so much for getting me to the station. All the best with your cadet stuff, it sounds like you love it, and I know you’ll make a great officer,” then there was an awkward moment: should I wave? Give him a hug? A kiss on the cheek? Just walk away? He was standing there, I was standing there. For a split second it was weird. Then I heard the train, settled on a big smile and a wave saying: “Cool, there’s my train, thanks again.” I made a quick exit. He smiled back and waved as I went.
Looking back on it now: There I was so consumed in thinking about the officer who I hadn’t even had a proper conversation with that I missed out on something that may have been right next to me. One day I’ll get it right. One day…On the other hand, if he wanted my number, I guess he would’ve asked for it.
Too strange! This evening I’m not sure if my sisters were playing tricks on me or not (they say not), but at 17h07 one of them sends me a text from Johannesburg: “Just saying hello ” and we ‘chatted’ via text for a while, then the other one sends me a text from Durban at 17h40: “Just wanted to sms a quick hi and love you lots!” Now I don’t hear from them by text that often, so it was really bizarre! The sister in Johannesburg said that the co-incidental text messages were: “Not freaky… awesome ”. I think she was right: Awesome! She reckons that I’m useless for not getting the phone number of the cute policeman today; and she’s probably right on that one too!