Outside of the bullying I enjoyed the swimming classes and proved to be a very strong swimmer, always doing well in the school galas. Sadly no other school I went to after Norfolk had a swimming pool and I kind of just stopped doing it. When year six started (age eleven) a new boy joined the school. He was a gypsy. I had no clue what the term meant at the time, but the other kids latched onto it and he became the new target of bullying. Me and Carl hadn't really spoken in a while, outside of exchanging insults. Our teacher had regrettable sat us at the same table. I decided to ask him to back off and he laughed at me, asking why I cared and all that sort of thing. I gritted my teeth and befriended the new boy, Liam.
I found out Liam had anger issues and the bullying wasn't helping at all. I went with him to sessions with the counsellor at his request. I knew I was his only friend, but I felt awkward being so involved in his life and issues. Luckily he got how I felt about the move and this was the main foundation for our friendship. I'm pretty sure I was his childhood sweetheart, but for me he was just a close friend. I wasn't interested in 'love' at that age, thinking it was pointless. I was more interested in getting the bullies to back off.
The way I handled the bullies could've been better, because in all honesty I became one myself to make them leave me alone. I never actually hurt someone, but I would sit there quietly with the other bullies while they threw insults.
Outside of school me and Sally would go to the youth club in the barracks. And on Halloween they did a party for us. I danced with a boy from the barracks who was two years younger than me. His name was Tom and he was completely obsessed with science and doctor who. Our parents got on and that was how we'd met and become friends. He originally lived on the other side of the barracks but his family was able to move to the house next to ours when it became free. This meant we spent a lot more time together and became close friends. I think we only danced because Sally dared us too. But we were always just friends.
Whenever I was ill and couldn't go to school my mum would leave me with my Aunt Liv, she wasn't really an aunt, just a close friend of my mums. She was strict and at first we never got on. But over time we got on and I started to admire her. I asked her to tell me about her nose piercing and she said she never turned down a dare. Years ago before she was married to her husbund he had said she'd never get something pierced and dared her. She'd got a small piecing on her nose to show him. I'd never seen someone with a piercing before her and so admired it. I decided that when I was older I'd get my nose pierced as well. Which I have, but I have no intentions of getting any other piercings.
So, remember Carl's best friend? He'd been watching me and Carl for about three months before he decided to ask me quite openly if I fancied Carl. My eyes bugged out and I yelled no a little too quickly. I didn't, I mean he was the cutest boy in our class but his personality sucked. Carl didn't say anything and I was glad, not wanting to continue the conversation. The next day Carl approached me and asked me out. I had no clue what to do or say and simply said yes because I'd never had a boyfriend before. I didn't object when he asked if he could kiss me. I got home and sat on my bed, wondering what to think of it all. I didn't need to think on it much longer though. The next day he dumped me and I found out it'd been a cruel dare, his best friends idea. I punched his friend, hard.
Then moved on. Liam was happy to throw an arm over my shoulder, his crush on me so obvious. I never really reciprocated it, but when he asked me out after I said yes. I held the attitude of just doing what was expected of me. I did like Liam as a friend and didn't see why the feeling wouldn't grow over time. Then I found out I had to move. It hurt Sally the most, having already lost one close friend to moving. My last few weeks everyone was surprisingly nice to me, even Carl. I think on reflection he felt sorry for what he'd done.
I still have the white top I'd brought in for everyone to sign. There's a sketch Liam did of me, him, Carl and Jane and her friend. He called us a gang so I assume at some point Carl backed off and left Liam alone. And me and Carl must've become friends. As I said, my memory is foggy. I probably got things in the wrong order. But that's what I remember of Norfolk. After that we moved to a village outside Cambridge. I remember my teacher telling me to keep writing poems before I left. She was the first teacher to say I'd done something extremely well so I followed her advice. To this day I still feel writing is the only thing I'm really good at.