Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The girl with the wolf jumper

I watched a documentary featuring Wolves last night, which reminded me of a girl that I once knew.....

I passed very few G.C.S.E's. Becoming a chiropractor was my ambition for a while, I couldn't get onto the access course with my rubbish results. The guy interviewing me at college (clearly bored) suggested I took the 2 year N.N.E.B (nursery nursing) course. I said 'OK' just wanting to have something to tell my mum, who didn't want me on the dole.

They were quite a mixed bunch on the course; slightly geeky, sweet girls who 'loved kids', girls who flipped a coin (heads - hairdressing, tails - childcare) and a large number of women over 35 who wanted to get a job in a school.  The friendship groups soon formed, luckily I had a friend from childhood to latch onto, or goodness knows which group I'd have plumped for. 

The most fascinating group by far, were the nerds, who seemed to pair off into couples quickly. I shouldn't use the term 'nerds', they were possibly the most well rounded individuals, and didn't have anything to prove. One girl, I can't remember her name, let's say 'Jenny' was particularly interesting. 

Jenny loved  Wolves (the animal) and wasn't afraid to show her love for them. Wolf pencil case, pens, rucksack and best of all, a wolf jumper. The wolf jumper was navy, she wore a white roll neck underneath, her jeans fell just shy of her ankles, revealing pristine white ankle socks. On her feet, which were tiny in comparison to the rest of her, she wore sensible flat black leather lace-up boots. Jenny's packed lunch was always a cheese and cucumber sandwich, ready salted Walkers  crisps, a Blue Riband wafer and a carton of supermarket orange juice. 
All of her coursework was beautifully presented, handed in on time and her assignments always got a distinction.I got to know Jenny a little throughout the two years, not enough to 'work her out' properly though. I discovered she was an only child, and that her parents had thought they couldn't have children. Jenny's mum was 43 when she found out she was pregnant for the first time.

Lyn, a girl who was deaf, became Jenny's friend on the course. Lyn quickly became very dependant on Jenny for help with the course, and I think Jenny enjoyed this role. 
Towards the end of the first year, Lyn announced she was pregnant (along with many other pupils). Jenny became a true friend, accompanying Lyn to scans, shopping with her and almost becoming a stand-in dad. 

When the baby was born, Jenny came into college with photographs, and chatted about the baby with such pride, her devotion was touching.

At the end of the course, parents were invited to an awards ceremony, I looked forward to seeing Jenny's parents. I had an image in my mind of how they'd look, and wanted to know how accurate this was. Apparently, Jenny's mum was 'poorly' so dad came alone. The vision I'd conjured up was pretty close to perfect. Slightly overweight, bald, inane grin, Marks and Spencer's cords, v-neck sweater and shirt. 

The following weekend was to be our night out to celebrate, all the lecturers put their names down, and Lyn said she'd be there too. I noticed Jenny's name wasn't on the list. I asked her if she'd be coming, and commented it'd be nice for Lyn. Jenny replied, 'no, I won't be coming'. Sometimes the look on a face tells you not to ask why.  On the very last day, there was a lot to take home, all the toys and games we'd made, all the coursework (which was a lot, there was no exam at the end of the course, just masses of assignments). As my friend and I left the car park we saw Jenny getting into a car, her dad sat there grinning with a bloody Wolf jumper on.

The rumour (later confirmed) on the night out, was that Jenny was pregnant. 

I'd still like to be a chiropractor.


  1. Such a nice name, 'Jenny'. It reminds me of a great film from the eighties...

  2. Just read your newest post, I can't believe you FELL ON A DOG!!

    I love this story, there's such a good balance of quirkiness and melancholy in your writing.


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