I don't have many memories of Swanton Morley, Norfolk, where we moved to from Germany. Down the street from me lived a girl names Sally, me and her quickly became best friends. She was obsessed with Harry Potter and we re-enacted a lot of scenes. Usually on the bus on the way to school. She had ADHD and is probably why I became such a hyper person myself. The school I went to was much bigger than the one in Germany. Still I found it relatively easy to hide away from people. Other than Sally and Jane who were both from the barracks, I didn't really make friends with people. Through Jane I met two other girls and one of them decided to make a point of bullying me a lot. This was something the other kids picked up and I became very anti-social. I took it silently for a long time, kicking a wall on the far side of the school to get rid of my frustration. I had a lot of hidey holes where I punched or kicked things pointlessly.
The only good thing about that school for me was my maths teacher. Not because I liked maths, but because she was also my home teacher. She played guitar and would always have us sit down and sing. It helped me to ignore how the others in class would whisper about me. On the barracks itself I got on relatively well with the others. There was one girl who bothered me from time to time but she had nothing on Jane's friend. Jane tried many times to get us to get on and never managed it. Sally's friends liked me but I felt awkward around them.
I did around most people to be honest. I had no clue how to adjust to a new home and school after Germany. When I'd moved before I'd been too young to remember. So at school I was anti-social, but at least I got good grades as a result. At the barracks I was completely different. Happy and hyper and always hanging out with Sally. We were pinned to the hip. I remember mornings of walking to the bus stop together and sitting next to each other. My first year there was bearable because she was in my class. Then the next year we got separated and I was on my own with the bullies. By this point me and Jane didn't talk much. She would still work with me and talk pleasantly to me. But it was clear she was unsure what to do between me and her friend.
One day we were playing tennis for sports and it was particularly hot. I was never good at the game anyway, but for some reason the laughs and heat were really getting to me. I turned to yell at Jane's friend but instead I fainted. I woke up in the nurses room and was told I could go outside and join the others. They'd looked at me and decided I didn't need to be sent home. So into the playground I went. Jane's friend was ready and waiting to make fun of me for fainting. She got about half-way through her speech before I punched her square in the nose. Blood spurted but I didn't regret it in the slightest. A few weeks later she approached me and we became friends.
My actions attracted the attention of one of the other bullies. He'd mostly only thrown the occasional insult. But now Carl went out of his way to goad me. I dealt with it day in and day out and we got into numerous fights. His best friend was terrible for egging us both on. Over time we matured I guess.
My family got a shelter dog the first year we lived in England, she was a mix breed of boxer and something else. Her name was Fleur and I fell in love with her instantly. I remember coming home from school everyday to her jumping up and down on me. Always knocking me to the ground with her strength and attacking my face with licks. She was put down before we moved because she had a lot of health issues. It was decided it was nicer to put her out of her misery. Dad had let me and my brother know about this in advance and then one day he met me at the bus stop and walked me home.
He told she'd been put down. He'd been crying all day. But I just blinked and nodded. I mean, what else was there to do? I knew it was going to happen. My dad got annoyed and called me heartless for not crying and sent me to my room. I struggled to understand what I'd done wrong. I felt sad not being greeted by her everyday after school. But the sadness didn't make me cry, I tried to, really I did.. I'd dabbled a little in writing poems at this point. A few days later we went on a school trip to a castle and I wrote a poem. My teacher thought it was great. I've lost it but I remember it was horribly depressing for someone my age. It was about the castle itself, but I'm pretty sure there was something about Fleur in there.