Chapter OneMature

I dunno really

If there was one thing I could not stand for, it was bullying.

Day in day out I witnessed the same thing: Lacy and her pretentious idiotic friends mercilessly preying on those weaker than them. They had a favourite: the small skinny kid from the year below. I never knew what her name was, but I began to recognize her face around school. Particularly if she showed up with fresh bruises. I think she tried covering them up because you could see the white powder of her foundation that hadn’t been rubbed in quite so well lining the bruise, which of course only made it more prominent.

At first, I turned a bit of a blind eye to it because I didn’t know the kid and it was none of my business. I was late out of English though one day and saw her in the corridor, looking around nervously like a small frail mouse. There were no other students around; it was break time so all the teachers were in the staff room and everyone else was outside.

Our eyes met for the briefest moment and I thought nothing of it, already beginning to walk away.

Laughter drifted up the corridors and I recognized it immediately as Lacy’s. I could have continued walking, but something stopped me in my tracks. I turned round and saw the kid tense up, absolutely petrified. I’ve never seen anyone so scared in all my life. I felt pity for her.

Lacy came into view with Jas and Olivia, her cronies.

Before the kid could get away, Lacy grabbed her by the collar of her shirt and slammed her into the lockers with enough force to send her books flying to the floor. I stood, gripping the banister tightly, torn between wanting to leave them to it and wanting to help. Lacy and I had never exchanged more than a handful words with one another and that was when she had insulted my clothes and I had mouthed a swearword at her behind her back. I knew what she was like though. She was your stereotypical bully: feared and admired by the rest of the school but painfully insecure deep within.

 ‘Vermin aren’t allowed in the school,’ Lacy hissed close in the kid’s face.

Olivia grabbed the kid by one arm and Jas by the other as Lacy let go. I already knew what was coming and my mouth tried to form the words that would distract them, but I was too late. Lacy clenched her hand into a fist and slammed it into the kid’s stomach. She doubled over, completely winded. Lacy wasn’t done though. She got another three or four punches in before something interrupted her.

That something was me.

My feet were carrying me over towards them but my mind was screaming at me to turn round. I shut it up, not wanting to witness this violence, particularly with someone as small as this girl was.

‘Hey!’ I shouted. ‘Stop it.’

Lacy turned round; seeming a little surprised that someone had stood up to her.

The surprise didn't last long though.

‘Mind your own business bitch.’

I bristled at her words. I had always stood up for myself, it helped growing up with three older brothers, but there was something about Lacy that had me doubting myself.

The kid was in tears though and that was what spurred me on.

‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’ I took another step towards her. Olivia’s eyes flickered between me and Lacy, unsure. I noticed her grip on the kid loosening ever so slightly. Jas didn’t look much better, but Lacy was fuming. She let go of the girl completely and spun round to face me.

‘Who the fuck are you?’ She got real close to me then, trying to look intimidating I think.

‘Poppie Goldstone, and you are?’

I knew full well who she was, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say. Lacy didn’t reply, instead she slapped me hard. My cheek flared with pain, like it was on fire and for a moment I was disorientated, trying to process what had actually happened.

‘Mind your fucking business,’ she repeated, through gritted teeth. She turned round again, maybe to deal with the child but I grabbed her by the back of her hair and pulled her backwards, sharply. She cried out in surprise as I threw her to the floor. Trying to remember everything about fighting from what my brothers had showed me, I began showering her with punches to the face and kicks to the ribs. Adrenaline rushed through my veins and I let the vengeance take over.

I don’t know how long I was there, but next thing I know I’m standing in a corridor with Mr Williams holding me back, a handful of shocked students staring at me and a semi-conscious Lacy lying on the floor.

They called the ambulance, but not the police. Maybe they knew what Lacy was like?  

Lacy’s parents were called in, as were mine. A mutual agreement was made that the police wouldn’t be called if proper action was taken.

By proper action they meant my being expelled, of course.

The End

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