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(A suburb to London)
4 young adult, whose lives have hardly begun playing out, have all been sentenced to community service. They are almost each others exact opposites, but somehow a bond is formed between them, read how that happens!


There is Artie, the nerd, he's hardly got any social skills, but lots of computer skills.
Then there is BJ, a young zazzy gay man with a dark past.
And Carol, the only girl in the bunch, seemingly happy, but she doesn't know how to control her emotions so shse shut them down.
And last there is Daniel, your stereotypical chav (wanna be gangster?) he's rude, he's homophobic, he's flirtatious and he's in your face. -A real dickhead.

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1. chapter 1

 

A tall young man in a red shiny trench coat, no older than 23, was walking through the grey concrete jungle, down the street on his way towards the community center. Meanwhile, by the entrance of the center, a probation officer, Thompson, was unlocking the doors for the 3 young offenders by his side.

Carol, the only girl in the crowd, not to mention the only one of the young ones smiling, was the first one to walk in after Thompson.

“Excuse me sir, I don’t see the women’s changing rooms?” she said after looking around.

“It’s shared.” Thompson said, and pointed at the door, the first of the two boys had just entered. “Your uniform is in there.” Her smile faded away, but she walked into the locker room with no complains.

The young man with the red trench coat stepped in to the community center just as the doors to the changing area closed after Carol. “’Scuse me,” He said when he saw Thompson. “You the Probation worker?”

“Yea, you’ the one that’s late?”

“That’ be me.” He answered with a cocky smile, as if preparing himself to get yelled at.

“Locker room.” Thompson pointed at the door Carol had just exited through, and turned around.

He walked through the doors to the locker room, and saw two boys that hardly counted as men, and one girl, all changing into the traditional orange jumpsuits.

“Hi.” He said and walked over to the only locker left with a jumpsuit hanging off, while taking of his red coat.

Carol turned around, her jumpsuit half on, “Hey, I’m Carol.” She said with a smile and pulled the suit up on her shoulders so she could zip it. She reached out a hand for the young man to shake, which he took reluctantly.

“BJ.” He said. And heard one of the other boys choke back a laughter. “What?” He snapped at the two.

“Nah, it’s just funny that someone like you is actually named Blow Job.” The bigger one of the two boys replied.

BJ knew exactly what he was referring to when he said someone like you. “Yeah, I’m sure you’d find blow jobs from my kind quite entertaining.” He replied within a second, with a hand on his hip, making him appear more feminine than usual.

“Hey watch it, you queer!”

BJ swiped his half green half black curly hair back, in a diva manner in response, he’d been dealing with those sorts of comments for a long time, and he’d honestly stopped caring what people thought of him a long time ago. Unless of course; he was talking to the coppers.

“Boys, please.” Carol interrupted. The two young men sent each other some dirty looks, but went on changing.

“I’m Artie.” The last one of them said, when the awkward silence became too much.

“Hello Artie, nice to meet you here.” Carol replied and they shook hands. The tension lightened slightly.

Before they all walked out the locker room, Carol and BJ just checked their make up while the other 2 boys waited for them.

They met up with their probation worker, who told them to follow him, which they of course did. Right outside on the building there were lots of graffiti and he told them to clean it off. He told them where the buckets and water was, and then left.

“This’ll be boring as fuck.” Daniel said as he started scrubbing the wall. Daniel was the aggressive, lightly homophobic one.

After about 20 minutes he didn’t bother any longer and sat at the benches outside the center.

“What a lazy bastard.” BJ commented loud enough for both Artie and Carol to hear, as he scrubbed the wall a bit harder in annoyance.

“I’ll go talk to him.” Carol offered. “Nah, don waste you’ time.” BJ said, but she didn’t listen.

Daniel looked up from the screen of his phone, when Carol came up to him. “Hey you.” Her smile tensed up when she heard his flirtatious tone. “Take a seat.” He smiled.

“Why don’t you join me instead, we could get this over with a lot faster with your help, you know.”

“Yea, but that shitty work? That’s not for me.”

“Well, I don’t like it either, but you should just suck it up, get it over with, take it like a man, and all that.” Daniel was just about to project again when she added; “If BJ and I can both do this with no complains, then you ought to do it as well and do it well.” That changed Daniels approached completely.

“Ha! Well, I can do it better and faster than he’ll ever be able to.” He gestured to BJ.

“Then prove it.” Carol said.

She feared she might have accidently played the two out against each other, but she could always deal with that later.

About 3 hours later, BJ was done with his side of the wall, and was helping Artie finish up his; he couldn’t reach the top of the wall. Daniel was still going at it with his own part of the wall; he was becoming increasingly annoyed with BJ and the other ones, because they did better, or just as well as him.

 

When they’d finished washing and scrubbing the grey concrete clean of all colour they went back inside, Thompson was nowhere in sight, so they just wondered off. There was a ping pong table in the huge common room which amused Daniel and Carol for a while.

Artie, who didn’t look sporty enough to play ping pong, sat in one of the big, worn out couches, opposite the one BJ was sitting in.

“So,” Artie started. “What’s your offence?”

“Long story.” BJ replied dismissively. A heavy silence soon surrounded the two boys, only the Ping Pong and occasional laugh from Carol interfered with it.

“I was done for Hacking my schools computer system.” Artie said out of nowhere.

“Really?” BJ asked not sounding  very surprised. “Uh-hm.”

“You still go to school?” He continued, catching Artie off guard.

“Um, yea, Upper secondary, my last year.”

“Hmm, you’ quite young then.”

“18”

“Why’d you hack you’ school, din’ get the right mark?”

“My grades are fine.” Artie looked a bit offended. “I was going to change somebody else’s marks.”

“Uh, so bullies, huh?”

“Something like that.”

Thompson had unnoticed entered the room. “So you finished with the graffiti?”

“Yeah, long time ago.” Daniel replied.

“Hmm, then you can…” He looked around. “Wash the floors in here. And then you’re off for today.” He said. “Get the buckets.”

BJ and Daniel groaned, but Artie and Carol just accepted their part of the workload.

 

Daniel turned on the radio while they went on with their mind numbing work, Waka Flocka was on.

“Shouldn’t we listen to something less aggressive perhaps?”

“No way, this man knows his shit.” Daniel answered.

“I’m with Carol, I’ve got enough of that from my spare time.” BJ interjected.

“Now what’s your problem with Waka Flocka?” Daniel asked, annoyed with BJ again.

“I’ve got no problem with him, it’s the beat that annoys me.”

Before their argument could develop any further, Artie changed the station. Daniel gave him a murderous look, but didn’t comment.

“So boys,” Carol asked after a few minutes. “What’d you get done for?”

“Hacking.” Artie replied right away.

“Huh, should ha’ seen that one comin’.” Daniel mumbled, probably referring to Artie’s ‘Nerdy’ look; glasses and neat clothes.

“What about you?” Carol asked him.

“Assault, what else?”

“Really? Me too.” She smiled. “Who’d you attack?”

All eyes snapped to the 1,65 meter tall, frail looking girl, who was definitely no older than 20.

“Forget that, who’d you assault?” BJ demanded.

“My boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend I assume, ‘haven’t really seen him since.”

“What’d he do?” BJ asked, just as Daniel asked; “What did you do?”

Carol was becoming a bit uncomfortable, but she guessed it was on her, that they’d gone down this path, since she’d been the one who said she assaulted her ex.

“He was being a douche, so I stabbed him with my fork… twice.” Everyone became silent for a moment.

“Wow, remind me to never piss you off.” BJ said with a witty smile to lighten the mood. Carol giggled once. “Yeah, you better all remember that.” She teased. “But what about you? What’d you get done for?” BJ stiffened a bit.

“Stolen car.” He replied, but everyone could hear how untrue that was, or at least that it wasn’t the whole truth.

“Stolen car?” Daniel asked. “You sure, you know how to rob a car?”

“It wasn’t me who stole it.” He replied brusquely.

“So somebody else steals a car and you get done for it? That makes lots of sense mate.” Daniel said, emotionally pocking to BJ.

“I don’t wanna talk about it, and what about you? Who’d you assault?”

“Ha!” Daniel said. “Some little twat with a big mouth, he went around town blabbering about how he’d done me best mates sister, who’s only 15, so we shut him up, and I got caught.”

“How noble.” BJ commented sarcastically.

“Well, except the part where you beat someone up, I think it was quite gallant of you to stand up for her.” Carol interjected, trying to make peace.

“Damn right it was!”

 

They finished up the floors quickly while chatting a bit back and forth, and then went back to the locker room to get dressed.

 

Artie walked to the bus stop and got on the first bus home to the little red brick house he lived in with his parents. He went straight up to his room after giving his little sister a kiss on the cheek and answering his mother’s questions about his first day at community service; ‘Who were the others?’ ‘What’d they do?’ ‘How was the probation worker?’ ‘What did he make you do?’ ‘How was it like?’ And so on.

He sat at his expensive little laptop, clicked in on his own website, and called up someone on skype.

“Hey mate, sorry I’m late, so what ya wanna know?” He asked into his headset.

An adult male’s voice replied. “How do you hack a private cooperation?”

“Depending on their security, it’s usually a piece of cake. So listen up…”

 

Carol walked the short distance home to her apartment in one of the tall grey concrete buildings. She unlocked her front door and placed her handbag on the little table meant for bags, and hung her coat on a specific peg, and she took of her shoes and placed them neatly on the mat for those shoes on the floor.

She sighed. She walked past her combined kitchen/dinning/living room, past the wooden table with the blood stains and the fork, still pointing straight up in the air from the surface of the table, and continued into her small bathroom to take a hot shower.

She had meant to buy some disinfectant to clean it up, but after some days had passed she just stopped looking at the table with the fork.

 

Daniel was picked up by some mates outside the community center. Eric, his best mate, and Vance and Barry.

“Oy, Danny-boy!” Eric called. “We’ve been waitin’!” Danny half ran to the yellow sports car his friends was waiting in. “Sweet car! Where’d you get it from?” He asked Vance who was sitting by the wheel.

“Where’d you think, ya twat? I’ve got a job that pays, unlike that one ‘ill ever get.” He said randomly gesturing to BJ’s slender, tall figure moving slowly away from them. The others looked over at BJ, as Daniel got in the car.

“Ha! They’ve got you working side by side to a gay?” Eric asked.

“Yep, and he’s a real lady one.” Daniel added with slight disgust in his voice.

“Well then you better go drink his ugly face out of you memories!” Barry said as Vance started the car. And they drove off to London to get pissed and do their jobs.

“The gear is in the bag.” Vance said looking at the road moving away under the fast car, and Eric picked up at white and golden sports bag, opened it and Daniel looked to see all the little bags of pills inside, he smiled to himself. One day he might get a car like Vance’s.

 

BJ walked out of the community center, he looked up at the sky. Dark grey, almost matching the buildings. He heard someone yelling for Daniel and instinctly decided to go the opposite way of where the voice came from.

He had a good 15-16 miles home, so he better start walking. He considered taking the bus some of the way, but decided against it. He could use the exercise, he thought. He closed his coat, stuck his hands in his pockets and tried to forget the early October cold.

When he reached his flat he was dead tired from the cold and the long walk, but only allowed himself to relax while he was eating a noodle cup in front of his rented heater.

He changed from his pink shirt, blue jeans and dirty white/blue kicks to a string vest and skin tight white jeans. He stood before the only mirror he’d got for a few minutes, refreshing his makeup; the mascara, green eye shadow and particularly the eyeliner, then grabbed his lip-gloss and put on his yellow cowboy boots.

On the way out he grabbed the red coat, and then went to work some blocks away on the cold street corner under the dim lights from old street lamps.

 

 

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