How It Happened

It happened ages ago. I can’t remember how many years. I was in year three, I think. There was this boy at school, Joel. He was the older brother of a boy in my class. He played handball with us. He was in the group who played handball at little lunch and big lunch. The younger one, I mean. His name was Scott. Scott wasn’t really my friend. I knew him a bit. We sat next to each other for a while but I really wanted to sit next to Damian again. The teacher moved Scott away. The teacher moved him a lot. He sat on his own, up the front, next to the teacher for a while at the end of the year. She said it was the best way to keep an eye on him. She said he had been given enough chances. He used to get tired and put his head on the desk and the teacher would run her fingers through his hair sometimes. It was weird. Like she actually liked him after all or something. I don’t’ know. It was just weird.

But his brother, Joel, the older boy. They had a game on the grass. They played football, the older boys. The same boys always played in the game. You couldn’t play there if you were younger. It was their field. We knew we had to wait until they left and went away to other schools, at the end of the year. The next year the field would be ours and we could play football and keep the younger kids off it. That’s the way it was. And one day someone kicked the ball from their game and it went really high, and bounced across the netball court, and came towards our handball game. I stopped it with my chest and kicked it back where it came from. It was a good kick. I got it right in the sweet spot, just like the time when I got in trouble for kicking a basketball onto the road, it just flew off my foot. The ball landed back where the older boys were. But this boy, Joel. He was running towards me, running after the ball. I didn’t see him. And I kicked the ball away from him before he could get to it. It all happened really fast. He was about to kick the ball against a wall and when I kicked it away he kicked me instead. Really hard. Right in the leg. You know, the front of the leg. Under the knee. Where you get kicked when you play football. But he kicked me harder than I’ve been kicked before. And it really hurt. When his mates laughed, the boy, Joel, hit me in the head with his elbow. That really hurt too. I could hear a sound and it was burning and it just hurt so much. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t.

As he ran away Joel said, “I know who you are. Your name’s Tim, isn’t it? You’re dead.”

I was scared. Joel hurt me and I didn’t want him to hurt me again. The boys in my year used to have play fights. When we didn’t play handball we would fight or play running races. But when we had play fights you didn’t get hurt. Not really. Not like this. He was bigger than us, this boy Joel. He was trying to hurt me. I didn’t know what he would do and I was scared.

His brother, Scott spoke to me after lunch. He said Joel wanted to see me behind the art room after school. No-one goes behind the art room. The teachers don’t even know there’s a place to go there. Older boys go there to fight sometimes. I think they do. I went there once but the older boys told me to go away or else they would punch me. That’s what they said. The only ones who go there are the older boys.

I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I should tell anybody or if I should go. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was going to blow up. Like I was all kind of nervous inside. Like I was sick, kind of, sort of sick and sort of worried. I couldn’t think and just didn’t know what was going to happen and didn’t want to go behind the art room. My uncle taught me how to fight last time I saw him. He said I should know what to do if there was a bully or something. I think my uncle used to fight when he was at school. I think he did but I don’t know. He’s very strong. There was lots of fighting when he was at school. He always tells me about it. I wished he was there with me. But he would probably hurt Joel and that would be even worse. Joel’s friends would probably bash me then. Bash me later, after my uncle had gone. All of them. They like to fight, the older boys. They always talk about it.

The bell rang and I went to the art room. I walked around the outside of the art room and I could hear the teacher in there. She was talking to somebody, I don’t know who it was. Joel was around the back. He was on his own. He said, “You’re lucky. I’m not going to punch you while she’s in there” and he pointed at the art room. He told me to climb up an old pipe and said he wouldn’t bash me if I got to the top. He pipe was one of those water pipes. Where the water runs down from the roof at the top. It goes down into a drain. It’s an old pipe. It’s green. Some of it is green. It’s not all green.

So I put down my bag and started climbing. The pipe is attached to the wall with these pieces of metal. They sort of go around the pipe and there are screws which join to the wall. I grabbed one of them and pulled myself up and I put the toes of my sneakers into the parts where the bricks join to each other. I thought I was going to fall, but I was holding on. Joel was shouting at me. He called me a girl. He said I was going to fall and he was going to bash me. He said he was waiting. He opened up my school bag and grabbed my tennis ball. It’s the ball we use to play handball. He threw it at me and it hit me on the back. But I didn’t fall.

Then he said, “Hey Tim! Watch this” and I turned and looked down and he threw my bag over the fence and onto the road. I lost my balance and fell. I was up near the roof. Where the tiles are. And I fell down and landed on my head I think. And Joel ran away.

And that’s how it happened.

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Published in: on June 6, 2013 at 7:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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