Went to a few rubbish parties recently. This is the result. This was intended as a shorter short story than Trains and Tramps (as I wanted to enter it into the short story competition I mentioned in the Trains and Tramps summary), but I didn't have the time to finish it before the deadline. I have a feeling it's gonna be longer :D.
Drink, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll
I jerk out of my reverie.
‘What?' I whisper back.
Rolling his eyes, Nathan stares at his book as Ms O'Shea rambles on through the terms of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty. Don't be fooled though, the class is almost as silent as a library for a reason.
I catch her glancing in our direction.
Bollocks. We'll be on her radar for the rest of the class now. Damn it Nathan....
Nathan had apparently noticed her scrutiny also. Tearing off a sheet of A4 foolscap, he folds it in half and quarters it.
Ha, the bat's eyes are nothing on her hearing.
Casually sliding his pencil case in front of his copy in a classic manoeuvre that any schoolboy would recognise, Nathan slips the folded paper on to his notes copy.I focus on taking down notes to keep attention from Nathan.
You just can't teach this stuff.
After a minute or so, Nathan nudges me with his elbow. Nonchalantly knocking his paper to the floor, I follow suit, knocking my pen. Leaning in my chair to pick of my pen, I pick up the paper also, dropping it on to my copy, behind my pencil case.
‘party tomozz nite @ Noddys. might be headin out after. bring drink nd a girl if u can.'
Last time was rubbish at Smurf's. Walking home through the pissing rain at half six in the morning.....
Sighing, I take my pen and write ‘Mayb' underneath. I hate shorthand writing. Nathan complains if I don't, so I do to keep him quiet. The fact that Nathan is left-handed and that I'm right-handed makes this manoeuvre perfect.
Rolling his eyes with exasperation, Nathan picks up his pen.
‘b better dis time.'
‘how u no?'
‘so? der wer girls last time. still shit.'
'ya wel these ones are good lookin'
'nd da ones last time werent?'
‘How much u drink at Smurfs?' he scrawled.
Jagged images begin to piece together. Arriving with a six pack.... Shotgunning the first for the craic.... And the second.... And the third.... Running out of cans and drinking whatever I could find....
That explains the Miller bottle caps in my back pocket the next day. I hate Miller.
Darkened room.... Loud plastic pop music screeching from tinny speakers.... Slow dancing with.....
‘Oh no.' I moaned. ‘I didn't.'
‘Excuse me now Mr Ceannt, is there a problem?' Ms O' Shea inquired in her reedy voice.
Sliding a smile over my no doubt horror-stricken face I replied ‘No Ms, no problem.'
‘Then perhaps you could reiterate what I just said Mr Ceannt.' She said, with her evil little smile, as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.
‘I....' I fumbled.
‘Now Richard this is not the-‘
‘-standard required for higher level History.' Nathan muttered in an undertone to me.
I'd long since mastered the ability to keep a straight face while reading out loud, giving answers and generally while under the examination of a teacher, but this came damn close to breaking a few of my ribs.
‘Could you name two of the terms of the Treaty Mr Southwood?'
Rule number one in O'Shea's class: Never look satisfied with yourself unless it has been sanctioned by her ladyship. A klaxon starts blaring in her head with just a hint of a smirk.
Now I'm not gay or anything, but Nathan is pretty homophobic. So what better a way to distract him? Leaning casually away from him to the left, gazing aimlessly out the window, I leave my right hand under the table and stroke his knee.
Reaction is immediate.
Jumping violently in his seat, I quickly retract my hand, leaving him to bang his knee on the metal bar under the table top of his desk.
This knocks Nathan's bottle of water which he'd left open. Like an idiot.
The bottle didn't fall in slow motion like in a movie or something. It just tipped off the edge of the desk, spilling water towards Sarah Cunningham's bag in the row in front of us.
Which was wide open.
I was gripped by a combination of hilarity and horror as the water splashed in a graceful arc over her copies and textbooks.
'Shi-!' Nathan choked.
A wince and and an 'oooh' swept the class.
'What what-?' Sarah's irritatingly screechy voice was cut off with a shriek as she discovered the sodden contents of her bag.
'You stupid retards!' She screamed at me and Nathan. 'My bag is destroyed!'
'Hey it wasn't me! Besides, it's not like your bag is full of copies and books-'
'Shut up! Shut up!' She shrieked.
Jesus she's getting awful narky over a few wet empty copies isn't she?
I could see Nathan flaring up next to me. That's the one of the great things about Nathan. Loyal to his friends and a nightmare to his enemies.
'Listen you stupid twat-' He snarled.
'Excuse me now!' O' Shea's reedy voice cut in. 'I'll have none of that carry on in my class.'
Tottering over (as she has to be pushing seventy or so) she inspected the scene.
'What happened?' She inquired.
'This-' Sarah struggled to not swear at Nathan 'Idiot threw his bottle of water into my bag!'
'Then why is it still dripping over the edge of the table? Doesn't look like it was thrown to me. Looks like it fell.' I replied quietly.
'Then he knocked it over!' She shouted.
'No I didn't you f-'
'Enough!' Lifting her hand she pointed (well she's old so her fingers never actually separated but you get it) at the back row. There was a pause for a moment as she tried to recall the girl's name.
'Karen, did you see what happened?'
Karen the reliable goody goody (the type Nathan couldn't stand as they never spoke unless called upon in class. Life's purpose equals making teachers feel like they actually make a difference) kept her eyes downcast. She has to have the most unremarkable features I've ever seen. There wasn't one distinguishing aspect. She was five and half feet of mammal, from a boring brown ponytail, to her oversized androgynous school trousers she wore (there's a choice of skirt or trousers for girls in our school).
'Umm...Well, Nathan sorta sat up and hit the table with his knee. The table shook knocking the bottle.'
The great and horrible thing about the hierarchy in school is the 'Say notten' attitude. Only the 'rough' wankers can get away with ratting someone (usually people like Karen who are too shit scared to defend themselves) out to the teacher as it's a new level of cruelty. For people who fall in the middle (like me and Nathan who aren't arseholes, but you'd want to develop a thick skin and an odd sense of humour to hang around with) it's a case of keep the truth in your head and blow as much smoke up the teacher's arse as possible. People like Karen need to have a bellows for the amount of smoke they're blowing.
Still though, wasn't like she said a complete lie. Besides, O'Shea wouldn't believe her.
O'Shea scrutinised Karen for a moment before turning her gaze on my (hopefully) blank face, Nathan's red thunderhead and Sarah's wide eyes (not in a cute way. More like there's so much anger it's yanking her eyelids), wrinkled, inch-thick orange make-up and bared teeth.
'Right, well it seems like an accident, so I can only advise you to empty your bag Sarah and try to dry out your copies-'
'Dry them out?' she exploded. 'Everything is drenched!'
'That's quite enough now Ms Cunningham. Your conduct has been anything but exemplary today and I won't tolerate it. Down to Mr Raymond's office now. '
Sarah didn't budge, glaring at Nathan, breathing heavily.
'Now' O'Shea repeated, adding steel the word. She never shouted, Ms O'Shea, but you could always tell when she was pissed off.
Huffing and puffing, 'hmph'ing, sniffing and sighing (it's amazing how a woman can display her malcontent in so many ways in one movement) Sarah stood up knocking her chair on to Nathan's legs (irritatingly small desks for guys like me and Nathan who are past the six foot mark. The school got them second hand for this room from a primary school. These might fit eleven year-olds, but it causes a plethora of bruises on the knees of males) grabbed her bag by the strap and stalked out of the room with the bag held out away from her body, her curtain of peroxide blonde hair (sprayed to the point of having the consistency of candy floss) whipped around the door.
O'Shea turned her back to the whiteboard and began writing up the main points of the Treaty.
'Bitch' Nathan spat looking venemously after her.
'One more profanity and you'll join her Mr Southwood.' O'Shea's hearing was as good as ever.
Fuming, Nathan gave the finger to O'Shea's turned back.
Classy man Nathan is.
Turning his gaze on me his face cracked into a grin.
'imma get u for dat 1 you dick'
'ah u know it was funny'
'Besides, if u get me, there's no way I'm going out'
'ah dnt be a dick'
'Thought I already was?'
'u are. nd a bell end. nd an old man wit ur spelling and grammar. act ur age wil u? u arent 70. ur 17'
'fuk sake. writin like dis makes me nauseous.'
'man up den twat' This was followed by a dead arm.
'fag.' I scrawled with an unsteady, throbbing arm.
'u goin 2nite so?'
I sighed, leaning back in my chair stretching.
It would probably be shit. But it wasn't like I had anything better to do. A night home watching crap T.V. (only four channels, the Poverty Channels) or talking shit on Facebook.
I'd need to get drink though. I have a tenner. Get two cheap naggins and I'd be pleasantly bollocksed. Or eight cans. Or a good six pack (never going near Dutch Gold again) and a couple of packs of Bacon Fries. Choices. I could get a ten bag..... Cleaner than drink. Nah, Nathan said drink, so maybe weed isn't allowed. A surprising amount of parents know the smell. Wonder if they'll care that their house will probably smell like a brewery the next morning. Noddy's never given a shit what they thought anyway. Fools for leaving him alone in the house.
'will da girls b better dan last time?' I wrote.
'guaranteed. nd i wont let u near da nasty ones. sorry bout last time. tasha was sorta undoin my belt. hard 2 think. u woulda dun the same. we're even now.'
'ya i suppose. but fuck it, it was grace. jesus man, she's a dog. how drunk was she?'
'barely tipsy man. hahaha u got taken advantage of by a girl.' Nathan replied.
'Piss off, I'm traumatised. Need counselling now.'
'if u ACT UR AGE u'll be grand. nd maybe remember where the toilet is.'
'fuk sake. grand i'll go.' I wrote reluctantly.
'gud. i'll text u later bout it.'