Carrie: Have you noticed anything strange about Jonny recently? When did you last see him? I went out for dinner with him and Liz last Thursday after work and he definitely wasn't his usual self. That was the second time I'd seen him recently and he seemed down in the dumps on both occasions. That's not him. There’s something the matter.
Laura: Did you say anything to him?
Carrie: No, of course not.
Laura: Have you said anything to Liz?
Carrie: No. I don't know her that well. That was only the second time I'd met her, and she seems a bit stuck-up to me. She wasn't exactly friendly towards me either time.
Laura: Now, when did I last see Jonny? It was at Christmas. He was invited to the company Christmas party. He'd only left us in October and everyone wanted to see him and see how he was getting on in his new job. And a few people commented that he wasn't his usual extrovert self. He was very subdued and quiet.
Carrie: What do you think’s wrong with him? I've known him many years and he’s almost always been full of the joys of spring. Is there something wrong between him and Liz? Or is it to do with his new job? When something's been wrong with him in the past, he's always discussed it with us. Do you remember how upset he was when his grandma died?
Laura: Well, I think I might know what part of the problem is, but I'm not sure so don't say anything to anyone.
Carrie: I won't. Go on!
Laura: Well, you know how much of a competitive streak Jonny has. And he always wants to be a winner. For the last six months he's been secretly learning how to drive, and he hasn't told us. I only know because another friend of mine, Ali, goes to the same driving school, and she recognised him as a guy I use to work with. Well, apparently, a few weeks ago, six students from the driving school, including Ali, took their driving test. They all passed - apart from Jonny. He was the only one who failed. Ali said he was devastated. He just stomped out of the driving school, almost in tears Ali said.
Carrie: Oh, I can imagine that really left him feeling down in the dumps. And no wonder he hasn't said anything to us. I passed my driving test first time and you did too.
Laura: We should think of something to cheer him up.
Carrie: He might smell a rat if we suddenly become all super-friendly. We don't see each other that often these days.
Laura: We should get the old gang together and have a special night out. Jonny loves to go bowling; maybe we could do that one night.
Carrie: I think we should just let him be, leave him alone till his mood brightens and just see how things go.
Laura: Yes, you're right. He knows we're there to support him if there is anything seriously wrong. It's Tommy's birthday next month and we’ll get together for that. If he's still low, I'll ask him directly what's wrong with him.
Carrie: Ok. Until then, I think we should just leave things as they are. He'll come round, mark my words. Our Jonny won't stay miserable for long even if you're right about the driving test thing.
Laura: But we won't mention driving when we see him. Remember we're not supposed to know about him having lessons. Mum's the word!