We Were Both Young

'He was a wallflower, I could tell that much, but I had a weird desire to find out more than just his social status. He met my eyes and mouthed, "Hello,"...'

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2. Little Did I Know

A typical middle school in England. Half of the students are crippled by fear of the big kids, gazing up at them with eyes wide as saucers. The other half have adopted a 'can't be arsed' attitude in an attempt to make themselves seem tough. I'm ashamed to admit I was one of those kids, popular and flirty and snapping so many sticks of chewing gum that I was likely to loose all my teeth by the time I hit sixteen. 

Of course, we weren't all as thick as two planks. I got decent grades, I didn't crash random parties, but I had a bit of a, shall we say, bad reputation. I was, in Year 7, dating Freddy Crusher, the tallest 12 year old that Whiteshore Middle School had ever seen. He had a head of blonde hair and was fairly muscular for a pre-pubescent lad, but I was infatuated with my perfect boyfriend. We dated for two whole months, and at that time I was the envy of every girl in the year.

But then it came crashing down to a bitter break-up - turns out he had made out with Stacy Lockhart at the end of year disco. Freddy Crusher crushed my heart, and rubbed salt into the wound by asking Stacy out a few hours after we broke up. 

I remember dancing with Freddy at that disco. Well, it wasn't actually dancing, it was more like him with his arm draped around my shoulder, a sleazy, kinda-leering grin on his face as he paraded me in front of his friends and slapped my arse in a no doubt tasteful manner. But when he went to get me a cup of punch, someone across the room caught my eye. He wasn't dancing, or talking. He didn't watch the lights skimming across the wall. He didn't sway to the music. He didn't flinch when Lacey Evans strutted past wearing a skimpy 'gown' that barely covered her knickers.  He just stood, hands in pockets, watching. He was a wallflower, I could tell that much, but I had a weird desire to find out more than just his social status. He met my eyes and mouthed 'hello'. I opened my mouth to reply, but I saw his face turn to a frown as he saw Freddy stomping over to him.

"Are you looking at my girl?" he accused furiously. But the guy just shook his head, looked Freddy in the eye for a few seconds, before pushing him aside and walking away. But Freddy wasn't finished just yet.

"You're a fearless bastard, aren't ya?" he growled, causing a group of young girls to gasp at his choice of language. "If I catch you looking at her again, you won't walk again, understand?"

Maybe it was the fact that I knew Freddy was actually strong enough to break both this guy's legs that made me pull on his arm, saying "Leave him, Fred." And then he wheeled on me.

"Why don't you just go out with him then?!" By this time he was yelling, and a small array of students had gathered around us, cheering and whooping. Freddy pushed though a group of boys and stormed out of the hall. I was, of course, devastated. The guy shot me a sympathetic smile before walking out of my sight. To this day, I wish I had stopped to just ask him for his name, or thank him for being so calm. But I didn't - the next thing I was aware of was a text from my friend Shannon. I remember the message exactly, so much hurt did it cause me (and also, the cringey text-talk we had adopted was kinda unforgettable).

'OMG, Freddy and Stacey L making out by da lockers, so sorry bbz :( x x x'

I pushed through the crowds out of the hall, running towards the double doors that led outside. I stood in the car park, tears streaming down my face. The summer air felt too hot, too enveloping. I pulled Freddy's jacket from my shoulders and threw it to the ground. And kicked it. And spat on it (told you I was a badass). I felt so much rage coursing through me then that I thought I wanted to kill Freddy. But of course, I didn't.

Although someone else did.

Five years from that night, Freddy would be dead.

 

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