Living with the devil

Caged in his flat Lewis is trapped with his loving sister and violent father. The truth of his mothers death hidden from him Lewis struggles through waves of emotions as his fathers daily beating takes its toll.

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3. A name from a play

I had finally retreated to the back corner hoping I'd become invisible.

It didn't work. Miss saw me enter the classroom and walked over to talk to me.

"Are you ok Lewis?" She said it in a sickening sweet voice. Miss is great. She's not the prettiest woman but she's the kindest I know.

"I'm fine." The way I said it made it so obvious I was hiding something.

"Your eye looks swollen. May I have a look?" I didn't move. "Was it Robert? Did he punch you?"

"No." It was a simple answer but she wouldn't have it. "Luke. What happened?" There was no escaping her without an answer so I did the most straight forward thing.

"I fell over" It wasn't my best lie but it was enough.

"Luke... You can tell me anything. You know that don't you?" Classic.

"Yes miss." I walked past her and my black eye illuminated. She looked at me sympathetically.

The bell rang and I sat in my seat. The rest of the class entered and sat down. Miss told us about this assessment we had to write on Shakespeare and his work. She handed out paper and we began to write.

'Shakespeare lived i' A paper ball hit me on the head. I glanced up but Rob was facing the other way. He happened sit in front of me. He didn't at the beginning of the year.

'in Eliza' Yet again I was hit on the head. Slowly I looked up. Rob was grinning at me. He threw another ball. It hit me square in the forehead. I flinched. I tried to continue writing but instead got a storm of paper.

"Robert Wilcox! If you like to throw paper so badly perhaps I could keep you in at lunch, for the whole of lunch and throw paper at you in a constant rhythm. Would you like that?"

"No miss" Score!

"well then. Get on with your assessment. Shakespeare is waiting."

"Yes miss" I looked up at miss grinning. We locked eyes and she flashed me a quick smile back before turning away.

I wrote until the bell went. handing in pages of Shakespeare to miss. I was the only one in the class who had written so much... except for this girl. A new girl. A smart one at that.

"Oh look the new girl... and the lame boy. The geeks of the universe" Robert sneered at us as if we were these adults pulling a lame joke.

"Oh yeah. And how much you write? Half a page? I bet you don't know squat about Shakespeare" Rob looked startled but recovered quickly.

And what do you know that I don't?" One of his worst.

"I'll tell you what I know." She took a deep breath and began cursing and insulting in Shakespearian. She spoke so fast you couldn't tell a word from a word. When she stopped Rob just gaped at her. She smiled and walked away.

"You coming?" She was asking me! I hurried after her and once clear of the classroom we burst out laughing as we walked down the corridor.

"How did you do that?!" I exclaimed between hysterical bursts.

"Magic!" She said mysteriously and we began laughing all over again.

Finally it stopped. We sighed.

"You a fan of Shakespeare too?" How did she know?

"Yeah," I frowned at her curiously.

"You were the only other person who wrote more than a page." I considered this.

"Which play is your favourite?"

"Hamlet" I replied simply.

"Really? I'm afraid you'll have to prove it."

"What?"

"Well I know a lot of people who would lie to sound clever." It made sense.

"Um, OK."  I took a breath and recited Hamlet's big speech. We went through the door to the playground.

"That was beautiful"

"What?!" was she trying to impress me?

You spoke that beautifully. The emotion was there and there wasn't one single fault in pronunciation." She seemed to be speaking the truth.

"Oh, thanks" There was a pause as we sat on a bench.

"What's your name?"

"Lewis"

"Juliet"

"Oh!" I grinned. "So, let me guess. Your favourite play is-"

"Not Romeo and Juliet!" She interrupted hastily, grinning herself. "It's Twelfth Night."

Really?"

"Yeah." We sat in silence. Thinking.

"What happened to your eye?" I had completely forgotten until now.

"Fell"

"OK" What? She believed me? Asked no more questions? I frowned at her curiously. (Twice today. This has to change)

She frowned sadly back.

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