Harry hurried into school – late – he sat down in his class and settled into the lesson. At lunch he sat alone and buried his head in a book,
“Hey look, it’s Harold!” called a voice; Harry pretended to be engrossed in his book,
“Harry!” he froze and then looked up. A group of Juniors who had given him grief last semester. He stood up and put his book down,
“Yes?” he inquired,
“Oh, so he does have a voice!” the pack leader laughed and came closer to sit next to him, “where’s your group of dweeb friends?” he asked,
“They’re…” Harry paused, “There’re at chess club,” the group burst out laughing.
“Well aren’t you cool for not going?!” one exclaimed, “why didn’t you go?” he asked,
“I can’t play chess,” he admitted,
“We’ll teach you, eh?” the leader said, “Why don’t we meet you after school? By the gates.” He offered,
“No thank you, I must go home immediately,” Harry said sitting back down,
“Is that a cheese sandwich? I haven’t eating lunch, couldn’t afford it, thanks Harold, thanks a bunch,” said one of the boys, taking his sandwich and scarpering. Harry picked up his book and lunchbox, that had been all he had for lunch. He sighed and headed back to class. He was going to have to think of a way to avoid those boys after school.
Time ticked by and soon it was 3pm, Harry almost ran out of math and he smiled to himself as he saw the gate. They wouldn’t catch him now! Suddenly Bret, the leader, appeared out of nowhere,
“Had a free period,” he said to Harry, “thought I’d hang around here, for you buddy,” he said patronisingly. Harry backed away, but the whole school was flooding out the gates and he couldn’t head back into school, it was like trying to drive the wrong way down a highway. Bret took Harry’s arm and pulled him out the gates; he led Harry along the street and met up with more of his friends.
“We’re teaching the dweeb chess,” Bret said to everyone,
“What’s chess?” asked a boy who was holding a can of beer; Harry couldn’t help but smile at his idiocy. “What you smiling at?” the boy asked, coming towards Harry,
“Nothing!” Harry insisted, he began to corner him.
“Oh you better be smiling at nufing,” said the boy, he grabbed a fist of Harry’s jumper and held him up by the neck.
“Oi!” came a voice, “Oi! Yes you! Get off him!” the boy let Harry fall to the ground and he stepped back. A boy just older than Harry charged into the circle,
“What you gonna do?” asked the boy,
“What am I gonna do?” he repeated, “This!” he landed a fist in his jaw and jumped back ready to defend himself. The boy fell to the ground and rubbed his jaw, he cursed,
“Anyone else?” he challenged. No one moved, “Well get lost,” he threatened. The group headed down the street, then the boy turned on Harry,
“I’m Phillip,” he held out a hand, “please to be of assistance,” he added. Harry smiled and picked up his glasses, “Wanna come with me? We’ll take you home, me and me Dad. It’s not safe round ‘ere,” Harry – not thinking clearly after the previous situation – nodded and followed Phillip to his car. It wasn’t a car, but a van,
“Sorry, you gotta sit in the back, there’s no seatbelt back there so wouldn’t I move around too much, don’t want you hurt.” He smiled and opened the drivers door,
“Mr… I mean Dad, this is Harry. We’re taking him home.” Phillip explained, the man nodded and Phillip opened the van doors for Harry. “Where you live?”
“Spring Valley, Edna Avenue, number 203,” Harry said. Phillip nodded not seeming to have heard and closed the van door. Harry sat in the back of the empty van and waited.