tagRomanceIn Love with a Superstar Ch. 01

In Love with a Superstar Ch. 01


"Eee made their glowin' colours, Eee made their tiny wings...
Aww fings bright and beaut-ee-fuw - aw creech-aahs grate ain' smaw..."

The school choir really wasn't on form today Sarah thought. For months she had been trying to make them say the words correctly let alone get them in tune or, god forbid, use a harmony. Anita Murphy, the tubby year nine girl in the front row centre was singing as flat as a pancake again, and louder than the rest. But she was such a nice girl Sarah just didn't have the heart to tell her or throw her out of the choir.

With a final "Lawd Gawd may 'dem all", sang with all the gusto the twelve to sixteen year olds could manage, Sarah Wells closed the lid of the piano and pushed her shoulder length chestnut hair away from her face and breathed a slow sigh of relief.

The Head teacher stood and smiled at the Choir and raised a sympathetic eyebrow to Sarah.

This he figured was probably going to be a one off; he'd been a teacher for twenty two years, a head teacher for five and he didn't know anyone that had ever had to give a message out quite like this one.

He'd had a letter from the County Education Service on Tuesday, a confirming phone call the next morning, then a visit from not only the Head of the Education Department but also the accompanying politician and some poor just-graduated kid from the Public Relations Department that was the only person around that late on a Thursday afternoon. This was going to be good and one not only for his retirement speech but also his memoires.

"Thank you very much Choir!" he said in his ebullient way. He raised his hands in applause and the assembly joined in without enthusiasm, there was no need to rush this. "Now boys and girls, I have a surprise for you on this bright if unpromising Friday morning." He lifted some notes from the desk, with an accompanying press cutting from the local newspaper, "Unless you have spent the last few weeks on the moon, you will know about the Hollywood Actor Bruce Young and his case at the Magistrates Court. Mr Young has been ordered to undertake community service." He waited for the rumble from the children to quieten, "Well," he looked down at his notes and read '200 hours' underlined twice in black pen then once more in red, "He'll be coming here to teach for a while..."

For a split second his audience sat stunned, then the clamour of more than seven hundred excited voices rose. "That'll do, settle down now!" he shouted. The head teacher never shouted, not ever.

The voices quietened sufficiently for him to carry on speaking. "Mr Young will be starting in school on Monday morning," the clamour rose again and several of the fringe male teachers stood threateningly, but doing no more than stare and point at individuals. "This will obviously create serious interest from the press and media," The head teacher hammered on the dais, "This will not effect the running of this school!" He shouted in a voice that few had ever heard from him. "Their will be no speaking with reporters or horsing around in front of the inevitable television cameras, I do not wish to see St Johns made to look like a bunch of idiots by that sort of thing. Hopefully we can get through this period with as little disturbance as possible. Dismiss from the back please Mr Taylor!" The babble rose again, "Quietly thank you!"

Sarah moved to the three columns that contained her class when the head called her name in his referee voice, "Miss Wells?!"

Oh no, what now. He couldn't be going to pick her up on the performance of the choir surely. She told the lead person to wait for her and nervously walked up onto the stage where the head was waiting. At twenty-six Sarah had only been teaching full time for two terms, having started the previous September from a variety of supply jobs. She was finding her feet without making too many mistakes but was still in awe of the head, relatively harmless as he was. It wasn't the best school on the planet but she had worked hard and was proud of what she had achieved since leaving University.

"Ah Sarah," he said when she reached him, "It's about when Mr Young joins us."


"Well, bearing in mind his present employment it seems only natural that he joins your happy ranks in the music and drama department."

"What!" That was all she needed. She'd be babysitting some Prima Donna with an attitude, as well as looking after the class. The classes - she wouldn't get a stroke of work out of them all the time Bruce Young was there! Damn!

"Don't look so upset Sarah, I'm told he's quite personable once you get to know him."

"But Frank, how am I... What will he do?" she sighed exasperatedly.

"He will perform as directed, I've had very strict instructions. He will do exactly what you tell him to do, or its back to the Magistrates with him and porridge, slopping out and mailbags for a month. Look, don't worry about the superstar; I'm sure it'll all work out just fine. He has 200 hours to do at 25 hours a week it'll be done before you know it." He smiled and left her on the stage feeling mightily unsure of the next week's work. She took her class back to her workroom and the business of the day began.

Sarah's classroom was bright, airy and spacious as befitted a performing arts studio. The massed teenagers could talk of little else but the impending arrival of Bruce Young the next week.

"OK listen, Bruce Young is not the topic of conversation today; if you remember we were discussing Shakespeare - get your books out!" The usual Friday morning groans of 'oh Miss' and 'that's boring' were becoming like water of a ducks back to her now and she smiled indulgently at the class.

The group she had this morning was in fact her own class, and she had rather a soft spot for them. They were not high flyers by any means, some were quite wilful and disruptive, but they generally responded to her gentle kindness and knew exactly how far they could go. In fact her encouragement and simple faith had got several of them onto GCSE exam courses that they would not have taken ordinarily.

This particular morning the class would not settle into the usual routine and Sarah was forced to raise her voice a few times, which she always hated to do. She was pleased when lunchtime came and she could escape the school and its worries and spend a pleasant hour in her small flat drinking tea and playing with the cat.

Thanks to social media and the resulting press release, word of the newcomer had spread already and by the time she returned the school gates were blocked by men and women with cameras, microphones, notebooks and all the other instruments of torture used by the British Press.

She left it until the last minute to indicate her patronage of the school before she plunged into the ranks of people, head down mumbling 'excuse me-excuse me'

"Do you work here miss? - What do you think about 'the Brute' coming to your school? - Will you be working with him? - Do you think he can be trusted around all these children?"

She ignored all the questions and pushed through the throng. She had to fight the mass for control of her large shoulder bag with its books and papers. Eventually with a yank she managed to free it from whoever was holding it. The zip was a quarter open but nothing was missing

Bloody Bruce Young! Why did she have to put up with all this aggravation because of him?

He was the 'wild child' of the English stage - nicknamed 'Brute' Young because of his widely reported episodes of temper off screen. His last 'incident had made the headlines because his management had been unable to buy off the owner of the hotel room he had wrecked and he had ended up in court looking very cross. Wanting to make an example the town magistrates gave him community service, as much as they were able, and a smart probation officer suggested that seeing as he had no record of 'physical violence' and he was very well qualified he could go to Sarah's school, the nearest and largest state comprehensive.

The Coffee shop copy of The Times on Saturday morning had a small by-line that mentioned Bruce Young's misdemeanour and his punishment. As she flashed through the side article skimming over some mention of him teaching before, she went straight to the mid-section that stated that on his average fee for appearing in movies and on TV, the school should be paying him almost £3.3 million for his 200 hours.

Over three million pounds for 2 months work! She barely made £5,000 for that amount of time and she just knew that he'd be watching the clock the whole time and his chauffeur would be waiting in the staff car park for him once he'd whined and bitched his way through his few hours of what he would laughingly call 'work'.

At her parents' house for Sunday lunch she scanned through one of the tabloids that Mum read just for the gossip and it calculated that he was losing over a million and half for his little 'mistake' in the hotel. Dad's vast Observer which was much more her particular taste featured an 'unofficial' interview with his friend and confidant the crime writer Russell Andrew and the paper's Celebrity reporter, where he insisted that the superstar didn't damage hotel rooms and it was some kind of strange plot against him. The editorial suggested, slightly tongue in cheek, that this was really strange that such a conspiracy should follow him across the globe, ending with the advice that if he reduced his vast consumption of alcohol he might be able to get the bottom of it.

Handing around the coffee, her mother asked why she looked so annoyed.

"This man," she almost spat out, "I'm stuck with this bloody man for eight bloody weeks. I'm going to get nothing done with him around, and I'll get the blame for the kids not learning anything."

"Oh Bruce Young!" said Mum looking at his pictures in the colour supplement, "He's one of my favourites," she looked at a second picture of the dark hunk - a still picture from one of his recent movies showing him bare-chested and on horseback, "He's very attractive isn't he."

"Oh God no," said Sarah, "He doesn't do that much for me I'm afraid."

"This report he says he didn't do it," said her father stirring sugar into his coffee.

"And you believe him?" said Sarah.

"Stranger things have happened Darling," he sipped his coffee and sighed with pleasure, "Give the bloke a chance before you hang him from the school gates ah?"

The following Monday the crush of pressmen at the school gates was twice as bad as the previous Friday. Again Sarah forced her way through the crowd with only a loss of dignity. They had done their homework on the school website and she was pointed out as the drama teacher,

"Miss Wells?" a number of voices called out and cameras flashed near her face. It continued,

"Miss Wells, will the Brute be working with you?"

"How are you going to control his temper Miss Wells?"

"How do you feel about someone with his temper being around young children? Children in your care Miss Wells?"

Fortunately the Police were on hand and maintained a clear path.

As she walked into the staff room, she mumbled about the bloody nuisance that this hooligan was causing to the school. She heard a loud cough,

"Sarah," said the head, "Come and meet Bruce Young." She approached, "Bruce this is Sarah Wells, She'll be looking after you for the next few months."

"Lucky old me!" he said in a long low voice and still smiling, looked down at her. At Six foot four he towered over her average five nine. The stark green eyes that had made him a Star stared down into her own.

Sarah steeled herself. She had almost known that this man would try to work his way into her affections. His publicity said that he was a lady-killer, but not this one she said to herself and shook his hand coldly.

"Mr Young." her own theatrical training allowed her to hide her feelings from him.

The icy atmosphere was dispelled by the intervention of the Headmaster again.

"So how did you get in past the journalists this morning Bruce? Over the fence?"

"Easier than that," he said, "I rode the council dust cart in, when I got off of the bus there it was. So I gave the driver a fiver and here I am."

No chauffeur obviously then.

"Came in with the Rubbish did you?" A voice enquired, "very fitting I must say." It was Tom Campion, the Deputy Head of School. "Morning Sarah," he pecked her on the cheek, obviously for the benefit of the newcomer.

"Morning Tom," said the Head, "This is..."

"I know full well who he is," said the newcomer.

He glared at Bruce Young with an undisguised contempt. "We are old friends aren't we."

"Lovely to see you again Tom, really it is," Young said with a wry smile.

Sarah, who'd had a relatively low-key 'off and on' romance with Tom, took more of a dislike to the newcomer. Tom realised this.

"How are you, Darling," he said with a quite unnecessary emphasis and a warm hand on her shoulder.

"I'm fine Tom, thank..." he cut in again.

"I'll speak to you later about some plans I have for the weekend," he tapped his nose and winked. Sarah blushed brightly. OK, they had been out a few times but it was hardly that deep a relationship.

Actually he had hardly spoken to her in the last month and rumour had it he had been seen out with the Head of Art from the Local Sixth Form College. It had to be for Bruce Young's benefit; and, Sarah surmised, if it kept the superstar off of her case for the time he was hear then all the better.

"Come with me and meet the rest of the staff..." The Head dragged Young away and introduced him to the twenty or so others in the room. Most were able to force a smile to the convicted criminal at least, some gushed and one, the Upper school girls' gym teacher, looked like she was all over him. But that was just Colleen; she was a fierce Irish redhead and fired with an inner enthusiasm and verve that gave her the ability to teach PE all day and half into the night, coach and play various sports at county level, and at the weekends dance Friday and Saturday night away.

"Five minutes too, ladies and gentlemen!" called the head and there was a rattle as assorted mugs and cups were placed onto tables, the drainer and saucers.

"Right," said Bruce Young, "Seems I'm in your hands!"

"Step this way," said Sarah.

As they made their way to the drama studio her mind contemplated the coming mornings work. The next class year elevens and contained some of the more precocious children in the school. She smiled quietly to herself; Thought he could teach did he? They would make mincemeat of him. The class was waiting with an affected disinterest outside of the room, and a few sniggers greeted the approach of the adults.

At the head of the queue was one Jonathan Turner; someone Sarah often had trouble with. He had a juvenile self-confidence born of money and easy living and the fact that his father was on the Board of School Governors. He spoke in his overloud voice,

"Careful everyone - we have a criminal in our midst." He smiled and bathed in the adoration of his companions, and waited for a response.

"Yes, and a comedian." Young came back instantly. The laughing stopped and was followed by a snigger. Not to be put out the boy tried again.

"Oh listen friends, it can talk - and not a script writer in sight."

"Look class," Young replied, "This can talk - and not a brain cell in sight."

Jonathan was out of the queue and fronting up the actor.

"I don't know who you think you are, but my Father is a governor of this school!"

"Excellent Draco, why don't you pop to Slytherin Common Room at lunchtime and send him an owl, perhaps he can cast a spell on me from a distance?"

The whole class laughed at the Harry Potter references, and Jonathan pushed to the front of the queue and into the classroom.

Sarah smiled, then realised that the actor had seen it and tried a scowl.

"Come on fellas," he said picking up on it, "inside before the Boss gets cross." The children trooped in still sniggering.

"Would you like me to start?" he said.

"Why?" The indignation in her voice was loud enough for the whole class to hear.

"Thought seeing as I was the new boy..." he stopped talking, "But you obviously have something else planned, I can see."

"I'll be the teacher, you assist as necessary."

"Fair enough." The tone in his voice meant he recognised the one in hers.

"Ooooh!" said the class as one, picking up on the edge in their voices.

At morning break she still hadn't managed to warm to him as the Headmaster had said. She had purposely made him do silly jobs like handing around books, and operating lights and stuff. He'd sat at the back of the room like a spare part, and the kids knew it too. At one point she saw that he was making notes in a small pocket book, not even concentrating on the class - THAT was going to be reported!

The bell rang and the class all stood and headed out for the canteen and playground.

"MISTER Young!" she said once the children were clear of the room, "When you're in MY class PLEASE have the decency to concentrate on what is going on in the room?"

"I'm sorry?" he said.

"If you're writing letters to fans, or shopping lists for your next celebrity party, please do it on your time, not mine!"

"What?!" he snapped, "I mean... WHAT!?"

"I saw you writing in your note book!"

"Yes!" he said, pulling out the offending tome, tearing out the offending pages and handing them to her. "Notes!"

"Notes?!" she snapped back, "I don't need 'notes', not from an actor!"

"You were doing 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Miss, weren't you?"

"Yes..." she stuttered.

"I finished doing that at the RSC just after Christmas, people tell me that my 'Bottom' was sublime!" he added with a hopeful giggle. She didn't respond, "I was just putting down some thoughts for the next lesson, what with all of this fantastic..." he made to wave around the room and the space and odds and sods of scenery around them.

"Yeah?" she snapped back at him, "Suddenly you're a teacher?"

His smile left his face for the first time, "Not suddenly Miss Wells," he said, "definitely not 'suddenly'..." He dropped his notes into the bin by her desk and left the room tucking his notebook into the back pocket of his jeans.

She picked up the notes from the bin. Far from the critique she was expecting, they were mini lesson plans, each briefly but brilliantly detailed including the learning outcomes and referring to parts of the story even highlighting subtext that she had never even considered.


She stuffed the notes into her drawer and figured she'd keep them until after he'd finished his punishment stint, no way could she give him the satisfaction of letting him see her use them.

He sat at a table on his own in the staff room, sipping coffee. Almost no one spoke to him. Perhaps it was his public persona, perhaps it was the fact that he was such a star that no one had the nerve to speak to him. He drank his coffee, washed up his cup and dried it.

Colleen bounced into the room like a ginger tornado.

"Good mornin' again Mr Young," she beamed, "How was yer first mornin'?"

He looked across at Sarah, sipping her tea and talking to the Technical Studies master about the forthcoming school concert.

"Oh," he said, "a laugh a minute, honestly."

"Well, don't you mind Sarah there, she's a pussycat once you get past that tough exterior she puts on." Colleen poured herself a coffee from the percolator, "Would you like one o' these?"

"No thanks," he said "just put one out thank you."

"Well, help yourself, they'll catch up with you for money at some stage anyway, even if you don't drink any."

Sarah looked across the room at him,

"Only if he lasts that long," she said to herself.

He came across and smiled "Hi," he said, "What time do we go back,"

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byAndrogynousother© 7 comments/ 12159 views/ 40 favorites

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