Some memories last forever, whether you want them to or not.
Such is life aye?
My fondest memories are of my old secondary school. I won’t name it; it’s just a piece of shit building now. The place is probably demolished now considering how rundown it was.
I wasn’t exactly popular there. I only ever had about three friends anyway and two of them always sided up with whoever was giving me a hard time. Although our classes were usually with different groups, there was always certain people that stood out.
Jennifer Smith. Miss attractive who developed early and had a boyfriend with a car. All the boys loved her; in other words she put out with the popular lot. It was pretty much an incestuous grouping though it wouldn’t surprise me if they were related. She was the one who coined my ‘nickname’ I had five years of hearing it. I won’t say what it was; it’s none of your fucking business.
Jennifer Smith. She was in my Science class. I remember when we had sex education. A load of the PE meatheads scrambled to sit at her table. Everyone had to place a condom on a banana... fun. Usually the whole class was noisy; you had to shout just to ask the teacher for help. Then Jennifer held up her banana to the retarded grins of the sexual perverts around her and proclaimed, in her sloppy dialect, “I’ve had bigger”. The class went silent. It was fucking unbelievable. Jennifer Smith the class whore, who was popular enough to avoid a reputation. Holding up a banana and proclaiming she’s taken bigger. Every guy in the class had some material to beat off to later. Even the teacher Mr Parker.
Not long after, he lost his job.
Jennifer left school afterwards. Turned out she was pregnant.
He ended up in jail. Probably some fat guys bitch. Hey, he probably prefers that to paying for the abortion.
Such is life aye?
I remember another guy. Sean Waldron. Big football star who gave me a hard time just to show off to the others. Every PE lesson ended the same. The times I went anyway.
Before I could change out of my PE kit and back into my school clothes, he’d grab them and throw them down the bottom of the pitch we played football on. Each time. I’d always walk back to the school and end up being late as I didn’t want to walk past them alone.
Big football star who lead the schools team to glory.
Big football star indeed.
On one of the days I skipped PE, Sean Waldron didn’t have me to rip on. Instead he pulled the same stunt on one of his friends.
Josh Taylor. Also on the schools team but too much of a meathead. Always appeared to be part Neanderthal.
He picked up Sean’s school bag and threw it in the path of the teacher. A small reddish plastic thing apparently rolled out at his feet.
It’s what my friends called a ‘weed crusher’.
No kidding. A small baggie was found in his bag as the teacher explored further.
He could have ignored it. In fact, he would have. But there were too many kids present who hated Sean.
I doubt our teacher wanted to go the same way as Mr Parker. So he reported him to the head teacher and suddenly, the big football star was expelled. All over a baggie of weed.
Months later, they found his body in St.Gabriels’ Park. Heroin is a bitch.
Such is life aye?
Those were the only people of the note really. Except one. It’s not something I remember fondly though.
A few months into year ten I began smoking. Not long after, I was stubbing cigarettes out on my arms. Soon, several angry potholes lined my arms. They’d blister and I’d stretch my skin just to watch them break and leak the silver mucous within down my arm.
One day I felt particularly stressed so it seemed perfectly natural to burn my arm. I was doing it offsite; somewhere hidden from the others. Or so I thought.
There was a girl in the year below who saw me burning myself.
Her name was Charlotte. Her skin was porcelain white and covered in crimson abrasions. Hundreds of jagged lines linked on her body.
She says her parents put her on Prozac.
She felt numb. Just how I felt.
To this day, I cannot tell you why I did it. I probably didn’t even know then.
Charlotte knew. She knew everything.
She missed most of year eight because her Dad knocked her senseless for coming home with a love-bite on her neck. She refused to leave her room because she was paranoid of what they would say at school. She didn’t care about looks; she told me she never even dressed her bruise.
Jennifer Smith wore a thick coat of make-up every day. Her claimed her Mother would buy her the best (therefore the most expensive).
Sean Waldron’s parents spent £150 on his new trainers. He got into a huge argument with most of his teachers because he wore them instead of his school shoes.
Charlotte was always full of stories. She talked a lot about self harm. A blade to the arm. Holding a boiled kettle to the inside of the leg. Keeping a razor hidden for certain situations. Charlotte didn’t approve much of stubbing cigarettes out on her arms. She hated scars as her Dad would routinely mock her for them. But she couldn’t help but cut herself and I couldn’t blame her. I met her Dad once and he ripped into me calling me her ‘boyfriend’. He suddenly turned angry saying she was not ‘mine’. She never invited me over again.
I saw her the day after. She appeared paler than usual. She didn’t speak much either whish was strange as I was usually silent.
She eventually walked away weakly before collapsing in dry sobs. She threw off her jacket, revealing her arms thatched in crimson cuts.
My strongest memory was looking into her grey eyes.
Something changed in me then. That’s when I became who I am now.
Those grey eyes betrayed more than she wanted to.
She limped away and that was the last time I saw her. Her body was found the day after in her bedroom. She hung herself. The only real friend I ever had and she couldn’t handle her life. She made my life bearable even if for a while.
The first thing her Dad did after finding her body, was go to the shop and buy a large bottle of whiskey.
Jennifer Smith’s parents bought her the latest phone for her Birthday. They then funded a huge house party.
Sean Waldron’s parents took him to the sports academy and found him a lucrative contract with one of the top football clubs youth team.
Such is life aye?
Years later that incident still bothers me. I went over to Charlottes’ Dad’s house yesterday. Apparently he was arrested for manslaughter after crashing into a young family’s car. For once, no one was hurt; I guess we needed one happy ending.
Bet that was a wonderful tea party.
I stopped stubbing cigarettes out on my arms recently. Each little scar is like a sign post from a different era in my life. Still I don’t regret a thing but nothing will be the same like it was back then.
Everyone else from my secondary school got on fine then went to college and university and whatnot.
I couldn’t hack college. After I got sick, I went into counselling and I see three patients a week. Every session I hear the same stories yet they always sound different. Every morning I awoke in purgatory and every evening I found some escape.
Jennifer Smith is currently a bar maid at some derelict pub two towns over. She’s shacked up with the owner as she has no place else to go.
School teachers around the country are using Sean Waldron as a warning story against cannabis. What a legacy for the big football star.
It’s funny how things come full circle.
I sometimes wonder how I would have ended up if things would have been different. But I doubt it. We all end up the same way in the end.
Such is Life aye?