Chapter 6 – Sally
It took a little while for everyone to get settled with a drink or coffee in the lounge. When they all seemed to have what they wanted, Simon stood up again.
“I hope this is the last time I have to stand up, like the chairman, and address you all! I don’t want this weekend to run like a meeting!”
“That’s a relief. We were beginning to think you imagined yourself as head boy!” Mike said.
People laughed at the flashback to their school days.
“That’s enough cheek from you, young man!” Simon joined in the general laughter.
“Friends, it seems the only person who is not aware of the reason for this weekend is Mr Reynolds. Oh, he has asked us to call him Dean, by the way.” He turned and smiled at Dean.
“Dean, I told you earlier how the classes you taught us twenty five years ago changed our lives. I know everyone will agree with me they have had an amazing influence on the men and women we have become.
“The plan for this weekend is to share our stories, to show you how much you inspired us and to say thank you. Not everyone is going to talk, but we hope you have the chance to meet each one of us during the course of the weekend. There will also be times when we can enjoy the hotel facilities. We hope you’ll be comfortable with this – and we look forward to hearing a little bit about your own story if you’re happy to tell it to us.”
Dean’s heart sank. What could he possibly say to these enthusiastic, bright young people? He just nodded, longing for a chance to go to his room – or, better still, to find a place where he could have a smoke.
“Sally, you’re first. Are you ready to tell us your story?” Simon smiled at the attractive brunette sitting across the room from him.
“Yes,” Sally said, “I’d love to.” She turned to Dean.
“Mr Rey … Dean … I was Sally Davis when you knew me. I’m Sally Chambers now. You probably don’t remember me, but I was a rebel in school. The whole school scene was just a waste of time in my book. I couldn’t wait to leave. I dreamt of being a model and spent hours in front of the mirror. Of course, I’m too small to be a model but I refused to let that little matter stop me.”
Everyone chuckled. Sally could not have been more than 160cms tall. She smiled and continued.
“I only attended your Old Testament class because my parents insisted I do some extra mural subject or other. Of course, they were hoping I’d choose a sport, but I hated rushing around and getting hot and sweaty. I looked for another option, and I found your class. As both my parents were church-goers, I knew they would find it hard to resist if I offered to study the Bible. I could see the look of hope in their eyes and the struggle going on inside them as to whether to insist on a sport or let me study the Old Testament. As far as I was concerned, I could attend the class for an hour once a week and be done with it!
“I thought I was being so clever by going along for that first lesson, prepared to be bored. But the novelty of a teacher sharing a dream with us caught my imagination. I was intrigued by the story and the wonder of creation.”
Sally looked around the room.
“This was the first story Mr Rey … Dean … told us. It shook my world. I couldn’t get it out of my mind.”
She smiled as others nodded. Then, taking a deep breath, she began her story.