Joe's Story

The growing pains of a teenage boy


25. Joe sc

Chapter 25 Joe sc

   In some ways it was great to be home again. I had been a fool to have left without forward planning and by myself. 

   To my surprise Mum was just happy to have me back, it was Sam who gave me hell. She called me a few names I wouldn’t like to repeat, selfish and thoughtless were just a couple of the nicer ones. 

   Her brother Alan was not too happy with me either. Apparently all my friends had been worried about not hearing from me. When I retrieved my phone from my bedroom, the memory was full of text messages and, as for my Twitter and Face Book pages I had hundreds of people talking to each other, looking for me all over Europe.

   The funny thing, someone had even tweeted that I was seen with a one handed guy in Amsterdam. 

   The first thing I did was to copy all my friends’ phone numbers and my passwords into a black book, just in case I really did lose my phone.   

   Next I put out a message on both Face Book and Twitter that I was back.


   Mum and Dad have still not decided in which country I should attend university. so apparently nothing has changed. Now I’m back, this has made me more determined than ever to take a year off.

   I’ve talked to Sam who has arranged to go with a group of school friends to France and stay on a farm most of the summer. She’s agreed if I can get the money we could meet there and go travelling.


   Wow! Grandma’s an ace. I told her about the problems I was having with Mum and Dad choosing where I should study and my intention to go back to Europe and not worry about getting a place in university until next year. Without me actually asking, she suggested she would give me the money to go back to Europe, but this time to do it in style, using hotels only. 

   My next problem was Mum. Maybe, if I could get Rob on my side before asking her, she might agree.


   I asked Rob to come up to my room so I could speak with him privately.

   “Great photos,” he said as he came into my room. 

He was referring to the photos I had taken of Alan spray-painting the science block wall, the one Mr Stevens the head master had given over to the graffiti boys.

   “Just out of interest how on earth did you take those photos?” he asked while looking at them. 

   “I took them swinging on a rope harness,” I replied. 

   He walked over to my desk and picked up my camera, “Nice,” he said, switching it on and looking through the viewfinder. 

   “My dad bought that for my sixteenth birthday.” 

   “By the looks of the photos you’ve taken I see you’ve used it to good effect.” 

   “Yes I remember what you told me when I used one of your cameras that last time when we dressed up in those costumes.”

   “Pleased I could help you.”

   Suddenly a thought crossed my mind. Maybe I could use his interest in photography to help me get my way with Mum. 

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about,” I said. Then I explained I wanted take a year off and go back to Europe to take photos, and asked if he would help me to convince Mum.


    I had left Tom putting out his things on the market stall we shared and had joined the queue to get our breakfast, when I felt a tap on my back. Turning around, who should it be but Cathy.

   “Hello Joe, “she said, stepping in close and giving me a kiss, to which I responded with a hug, “So what happened to you! I was getting worried.”

   “Well my phone stopped working.” No way was I going to tell anyone that I had deliberately left my phone behind so my Mum couldn’t contact me.  

   “Yes I saw on twitter you sort of disappeared and everyone was looking for you.”

Before we could chat further I had reached the counter and it was my turn to order. 


   Sam has already left for the farm in France. I was unable to say when I’d be able to come over to collect her. Mum still hasn’t yet decided about my future and time is steadily moving on. Unbeknown to Mum, I had applied to LSE to study economics and political science. Thankfully, I’ve been accepted and my place had been deferred for one year. 

   While waiting for Mum to decide Rob is teaching me all about camera craft and has promised to take me on his next photo shoot which is at a film studio with big stars.


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