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IF YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE A FOOL OF SOMEBODY

The two nuns stood in the gateway to the school, the hot sun burnt through their black habits making them feel very uncomfortable. The younger of the two was talking in a very thick Irish accent. "Tell me Sister, have you not seen the new roster? Why I think it's terrible, Sister Theresa was saying to me only this mornin' .... " She looked intently at her companion who was looking across the road and did not seem to be listening to her "Sister, were you not hearing what I was saying? Sister?" she followed the others gaze.

Down the side street opposite a tall slim youth wearing sunglasses sat astride a gleaming motorcycle. Except for his helmet and scarf he was clad entirely in black leather. The few movements he made caused the sun to dance on the badges and intricate patterns of studs that covered his jacket. The gentle breeze played with the bright orange scarf that hung over his shoulder; sometimes it jumped, only to fall back into place, sometimes it flicked shyly over his arm. Light arrowed off the highly polished brightwork of the bike causing the whole image to shimmer in the hot air giving the scene an air of unreality. He watched them.

A bell trilled loudly and green uniformed girls poured out of the school buildings laughing and shouting, causing the birds to fly into the trees for refuge. One of the girls broke away from the flock, and with little regard for the traffic, ran across the road to where the youth sat. His face betrayed no emotion as she put her overflowing briefcase onto the saddle and climbed on the bike. With no visable movement on the part of the youth the bike coughed and burbled into life. He lifted his hand in mock salute to the nuns, pulled in the clutch and snicked the bike into first gear. The tacco hit the red line before he dropped the clutch and the bike screamed into the main road, the front wheel pawing the air like a frightened pony.

"It's terrible, terrible," said the Irish nun. "A nice girl of ours, going out with one of them. Did yer not see the colour of his scarf? Orange it was, orange."

Her companion watched as the bike disappeared in the traffic, the rider's scarf fluttering in the slip stream "Yes it is terrible, very terrible." But she was thinking not of the boy, or the bike, but of her own lost youth.

*

"Slow down GR, slow down" Yvonne shouted over the noise of the bike.

GR turned round to see her trying to keep her balance on the twisting bike, one hand on her Panama hat, the other trying to keep her skirt down. He smiled humorously "If I'm going to get you home, changed, back to my place, fed, and onto the speedway in time to meet the other lads, I've got to get a move on." He slowed down.

"And tuck your scarf in. It's all over my face" Yvonne yelled. He did so. "And why you bought an orange one I don't know. Why not a nice white one like the rest of the lads wear?" He turned and smiled without humour, she giggled."Never mind GR, I still luv's yer."

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