1. Quietly

Josh is a very shy boy with few close friends he spends time with. Most of them have girlfriends but Josh has only liked one girl for almost a year. Her name is Amber and she is one of the popular girls who Josh and his friends like to keep a distance from mainly because they are bullies. But not Amber Josh thought, ‘she’s different from them’.

As he slowly steps of the bus his best friend Scott comes charging into him.

“Oi watch it Josh! I have soup in my bag!” Scott shouts cheerfully. Tim, Harry and Fred stumble up to them while punching each other in the arm. As they all walk up to the school Josh spots Amber talking to her friends but then walks into someone causing him to lose sight of her.

At lunch Josh sat watching Amber eating with her friends.

“I think someone’s in love!” says Tim just loud enough for a few other tables to hear.

“You should ask her out already” says Scott with his mouth full of bread.

“He won’t, he’s chicken!” says Fred throwing a crisp at Josh just hitting his nose.

“Maybe I will! Right now” Josh whispers throwing the crisp back at Fred.

“You don’t want to embarrass yourself mate” says Harry while stealing one of Fred’s raisins.

“Hey give the poor soul a chance!” says Scott while laughing and gently patting Josh’s arm.

That was it, if his friends thought he couldn’t ask her out then how was he going to find the confidence. But no they were wrong, Josh was making his way over to Amber just as his friends stopped laughing.  He wouldn’t let his friends think he was not brave enough to talk to one girl.

“Umm, hello...Amber” Josh said just loud enough for her to hear. his heart was racing so fast that he found it hard to breathe.

“Hi” she said cheerfully.

“Hi...umm I-I was wondering if you would like to go out sometime?” Josh said trying hard not to look at the floor.

“Well urgh...sure, I’m free Friday” she said.

“Great, I’ll meet you at the school gates” he said louder and brighter. now his heart was almost jumping out of his chest. He felt like anything was possible.

Just as he was making his way back, Oscar Amber’s brother shoves Josh hard almost knocking him over.

“Look where you’re going idiot” says Oscar laughing at Josh.

When Josh sits back down at his table his friends are sitting staring at him.

“So, how did it go?” says Scott while picking at a muffin.

“I bet she said no” both Harry and Fred muttered at the same time.

“Don’t make him feel worse!” said Tim slightly smiling.

“Guys she said yes” Josh said with a huge grin on his face that seemed to stay forever.

“Impossible!” says Fred pretending to have a heart attack.

“But I love you, you’re the one Josh!” says Scott while getting down on his knees trying very hard not laugh.

As the boys leave for class all Josh can think about is Amber.


On Friday Josh tries to rush through the school day and as the clock strikes 3.30 he quickly packs his things away and rushes down to the gates. He waits there almost seven minutes until Amber taps him on the back then they head into town. They sit down in a cafe and order while talking.

“Do you want to share a pizza?” says Amber while gazing down the menu.

“Oh I’m not allowed pizza, my dads say it’s too unhealthy.” Says Josh quietly.

“Dads? So you have two?” Amber says looking at Josh.

“Yeah, is that a problem?” says Josh looking worried. now he was sitting on the edge of his seat worried that she may disapprove.

“No, no I’m just surprised” says Amber smiling.

They carry on talking until Josh walks Amber home then makes his way home.

The next Monday Josh goes by his normal routine until lunch when his friends have lunch club. He walks towards his locker when Oscar comes charging at Josh and knocks him to the floor.  Josh sat up frantically trying to see what was going on still confused to why he was on the floor.

“Oh look who it is boys” says Oscar with a smile. “I was wondering, why did you ask my sister out if you’re gay?” he says now with a firm look on his face.

“I’m, I’m not gay” Josh says quietly. josh sat feeling disappointed that amber told her brother and maybe everyone else to. Why is this such a bad thing and how did josh having two dads make him gay.

“Yes you are, following in the footsteps of your daddys I guess. Honestly I can’t stand the lot of you” Oscar says while pushing Josh down again.

“Hey! Stop” says a teacher.

Oscar and his friends run away while Josh gets up still in shock of what just happened and thinking of amber. After school Josh tells his friends what happened and they threw insults about Oscar around. Josh turned around the corner while saying bye to them all and continued down the road. Just as he was on his street Oscar and three of this friends walked firmly towards Josh.

“Oi Daddys boy!” shouts Oscar while taking a baseball bat out of his coat.

Josh turned and ran as fast as he could around the back of the row of house counting the gates until he got to 14 and fumbled for his keys. Just as he opened the gate Oscar swings the bat for his head but Josh ducks in time and runs into the garden right into his dad.

Josh can’t remember much of what happened next but could remember waking up in hospital with a pounding headache. From what the nurse told him Oscar must have hit him over the head, then his dad and ran away. After the pain was too much the nurse gave him something and he fell asleep.

Amber was flipping through a book when Oscar came through the door with blood on his shirt.

“What happened!” she says rushing up to him.

“Nothing” he simply says while walking up to his room. Amber tried to follow him but he slammed the door in her face. As she sat down her phone beeped, a text from Lucy. It said that Josh and his dad were in hospital after being attacked. “Not again” Amber thought while rushing to Oscar’s room to find him curled up in a ball crying on his bed.

“Why Oscar? It doesn’t matter that you’re gay. We will all still love you.” She says sitting next to him while rubbing his back trying not to let her anger show.

“I’m so sorry” he says mouth full of tears.

“Maybe you should tell Josh and his dad that” she says softly.

“I will. I promise” he says quietly.

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