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,"...'


4. Stay Away


“Hurry up Dad!” I paced back and forth his office, speaking loudly into my phone.

“I’ll just be a couple of minutes – just gotta decide what to do with one last rascal!” I laughed a little at his response.

The police centre was boring, all brick walls with posters and rubbish chairs with awkward wooden backs. I generally walked from school to here to hitch a lift home with my Dad.

He strode in purposefully, gesturing to another officer.

“Will you find a cell for this young lad?”

“We’re crammed, he’ll have to share,” the officer replied, dragging the guy by the arm. He looked at the ground, but I recognised his face. I couldn’t call out to him though; I’d need to know his name for that. I watched helplessly as guitar guy was taken away. But what had he done?

“I told him to stay away from you, because he’s dangerous; I wasn’t trying to intrude on your guitar practice,” Dad said, but I only half heard. It was only this afternoon that I had sat with him, laughed with him, before my Dad appeared, telling him to leave me alone. But I’ve always been kind of rules-optional, so I said sweetly, “Do you mind if I just nip to the loo?” before dashing away from Dad down the corridor I had seen him go. I walked carefully, and could just about hear the echo of an officer’s voice. “Stick him in with that Crusher lad.”


Freddy Crusher?!

I heard their footsteps fading.

I crept round the corner, and heard a booming voice I knew. I pressed my ear up to the door.

“So... who the hell are you?” Freddy’s thunderous voice asked.

“Sam...,” guitar guy tailed off, not bothering with his last name. “You?”



“So what are you in for?” Freddy filled the silence.

“Assault,” Sam muttered. Freddy let out a low whistle.

“Nice!” he congratulated. “I’m only in for nicking a few cans o’ beer.”

 But I had already turned away from their conversation.

Sam was in a prison cell, for assault? 

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