“Call me Daniel”, I say to the person on my left, eager to settle in well in my new class. As I look around, everyone’s a little bit shifty. The rather large girl on my sight shuffles in my direction, and I try to avoid the stare from the rather old teacher at the front.
“…and this morning, I would like to welcome our newest student…”, the teacher glances in my direction, apparently willing me to say my own name, probably forgetting it from the last time I told her, only a couple of minutes ago.
“Daniel”, I say, standing up, and craning my neck, eager to impress the good-looking girl sitting at the table in front of me. Well, I say good-looking, she’s beautiful, and if she didn’t have the glum, I’ve-done-this-all-before face on, I think I might have spoken to her before now.
“I’m Daniel”, I repeat, just to make sure everyone caught it. My face blushes. I’m a shy person, and standing up repeating what I had just said makes me a little self-conscious.
I rest my head on my hand, and prepare for another morning of school.
“Well, I think it’s time to introduce ourselves. My name is Miss Ponty, and I am your form tutor”, says the teacher, seeming to confuse ‘ourselves’ with ‘myself’, as nobody else is allowed to introduce themselves before the continues.
As the bell goes, I rush out of the classroom door, making sure I am first in the line, and I wait outside the door for the beautiful girl that I saw earlier. As she leaves, I walk alongside her, matching her pace, and when she eventually notices me following her, she turns, and speaks.
“Hello”, she puts on a plastic smile, apparently not pleased with my presence, “I presume you’re the new guy. I’m Natalie. Enjoy your stay.”
Stay? She thinks I’m going to leave soon? I would retaliate against that, but she leaves.
So, she’s Natalie Portwood. Well. I now know I can count on her not to be a friend.
She walks over towards two thug-type people at the end of the corridor. ‘Pick your friends wisely’ is the message I got from my father. My mother couldn’t comment. She got herself killed. ‘It wasn’t her fault’ and ‘she was the victim’ are the two phrases used to prove her innocence. It was her fault, so listening to my father’s advice is probably as useful as being behind bars. And yes, I could tell you. That’s how I’m treated at home.
I should have gotten used to this by now, with the Purity War moving me and my Dad around the state. He’s a ‘genetically damaged’ person, so everybody hates him. I’m a GD too, just I can give myself GP (genetically pure) characteristics when I need them. I just ‘have’ them when I need them.
It’s my fourth flat this year. I’ve had four individual door keys, and I haven’t been bothered to remove any of them from my keyring. And, as I face my front door, I can’t remember which key goes into the slot.
Finally, the key goes into the slot, and as I turn it, the door opens with the breeze. I march in, and head to my room through the kitchen. I can easily tell that my Dad hasn’t left the flat today. I got up early this morning to stop him beating me, and I tidied the kitchen. Now there are beer cans scattered over the table, with one can tipped, and splatting an oil-like beer substance onto the carpet.
Well, I think, not the first stain to exist round that table. I suppose most people haven’t stained their carpets with alcohol after the first two days living in a flat.
I dump my bags down on my bed, and I hear snoring from behind my bed. I clamber clumsily over the duvet, and peer down over the side, to be greeted by my father spooled across the floor, a stain around his head, and I notice the stench of beer in my room. My room. My property. Wrecked within hours of living there.
What’s wrong with his bed?
When we moved in, he had his kindest moment yet. Giving me my own, private, alcohol-free, smoking-free room, and he’s already broken that deal.
I’ll treat him the same way.
A walk out of my room, and face the door. I pull across the steel bars that he fixed to the wall to stop me leaving my room. I screw them into the wall on the other side of the doorframe. He can’t leave now. I’ll close the door too, so he won’t notice.
It’s only then that I peer into his room. Laying across the bed is another man. One I don’t recognise. I can faintly see a red smudge on the pillow. As I walk closer, I notice even more blood over the bed, and I realise a knife stuck in the man’s throat.
My first instinct is to call the authorities. ‘It’s as easy as 111’ my teachers used to say. But then, I think twice. My Dad and I are GDs. They won’t care about us. They’ll claim the man died after my Dad stabbed him, or something like that. Instead, I wander through the kitchen again, this time heading back towards my room, just to check that my Dad hasn’t been stabbed as well.
The door opens before I’ve even approached it. My Dad launches a violent kick at the bars, and they fall off of the wall. I’ve never seen him so angry in my life.
“Wait till I get my hands on you!” He yells, and he reaches out toward me, scratching my neck, and I feel absolute agony as he grabs me round the neck, and lifts me.
“You dare to lock me in a room” He swings, whacking me in the side of the head. I thought I had agony before, but now the pain is excruciating.
I try to fight back, but he’s just too strong. As the world begins to turn white, he thumps me in the stomach, and suddenly black dots appear on the world. He punches me in the ribcage. A black patch appears around my vision, like a smart border on a piece of work. He launches a final throw. I black out.