Ifs and Buts

Winner of the Feral Youth Competition. ‘Chavvy’ Chelsee Barne has hair extensions and tracksuits; ‘Chavvy’ Chelsee Barne will bite and she will steal if need be; but ‘Chavvy’ Chelsee Barne has a voice worth listening to, and a half of The Story that isn’t found printed on the pages of the Daily Mail. So maybe it’s good to give faces to the hoodies, names to the rioters, life and voices to today’s feral youth-and maybe we’ll all be better off for it… Some mild swearing and some parts won’t be politically correct, so please consider that most of these are Chelsee’s views and not necessarily my own. I’m not very happy with how it turned out as I’m not really used to writing in this style but I’m glad for the experience and will be glad of any feedback as well :-)

1. -

Misha Hoskins goes and calls me a pikey slag at break today. Liar. I ain’t even a pikey. Miss Hall just sits in that chair and nods ‘er head when I tells her, doin’ that thing she does, pretendin’ like she’s listenin’ and askin’ all them dumb therapist questions when I know and she knows that we’d both probably rather be anywhere but ‘ere. If I am a pikey slag, I sure as hell ain’t gone be a stupid one.

   “How did you feel about what she said, Chelsee?”

“Dunno. Weren’t bovvered, really. I see ‘em on the telly and all that but I can’t really understand ‘em most the time; the weddin’s are alright, but them caravans’d be a bugger to park round central London if ya think about it…”

“Not about the gypsies. About what Misha said. How did it make you feel?”

“Weren’t bovvered.”

“It says in my file here that you punched her.”

“Hand slipped, di’nt it?”

“You punched her across her cheek.”

“I was aimin’ for her nose.”

   “Chelsee,” Miss Hall says, looking at me with that ‘concerned’ look teachers do all the time, wot I suspect they practice in their mirrors ‘night before to get the right level of snottyness, “this is the third time you’ve been here this week.”

I know, Miss. I was ‘ere too, won’ I? But I guess I ‘ave been ‘ere a bit ‘past couple of days. Enough to know she don’ got a boyfriend, and enough to know she’d probably ‘ave more of a chance of gettin’ one if she wasn’t so busy dressin’ her cat up like a French maid and puttin’ the pictures on Instagram. Dunno why it’s important, I don’ even know for sure if that’s wot she does-but she got that look about ‘er, bit like Mrs Wheelan down Trinity Road. I swear, Mrs Wheelan’s terrier’s got more clothes than I do.

   “Chelsee, let’s readdress some problems we’ve had recently, shall we?”

Like I gotta choice.

“Do you remember why you were sent out of Mr Rowland’s English lesson?”

‘Course I do. He asted me explain Jane Eyre’s situation, but apparently ‘she was gagging for it’ weren’t the right answer.

“Can’t remember,” I lie.

“Hmm… And the RE lesson?”
That weren’t my fault, neither. Tyler was akin’ for it and it ain’t like the bite marks are still there or nuffin’. And ‘course black eyes fade, so I can’t really see wot all the fuss is about.

“Nope. Don’ remember that neither.”

Miss Hall’s ‘ad enough. You can see it in ‘er eyes. I swear, she ever plays poker she’d better ‘ave her purse ready. “Chelsee, what am I going to do with you?”

   Good question, Miss. What are you meant to do with me? Maybe we can waste ‘couple more hours in this room pretendin’ to talk, pretendin’ like you give a damn and pretendin’ like I mind one way or another. Then, I can go back to class and bite a couple more kids and annoy a couple more teachers ‘till it all comes back round full circle and I’m back in this damned room with you. Then, you gon’ give up after a while and talk to Mr-Pritchard-the-Head and have me kicked outta school, never to darken the door of your office again and I scrounge on the streets ‘cos that’s all I can do any more. Someone gon’ offer me a packet and I’ll take it and get hooked and become a junkie and become a prozzie and have a baby and abort the baby and be found dead round the estate in my flat if I get one and get eaten by woodlice ‘till they find my corpse ‘bout three months after. But that’s just the worst case scenario.

   And I’m sick of it. ‘Cos what am I meant to do? Yeah, I shouldn’t bite kids and make innuendo to the English teacher or chat back or fight or swear but what else am I meant to do? It’s pathetic and I’m pathetic and I gotta choice first time round, but there be a point when fings aren’t choice but habit, and habit’s hard to break as the packet. And she don’ see the middle finger the bitten kid sticks at me before, does she? There ain’t no excuse for me to bite ‘im, but if I sit and let ‘im do it ‘e won’ stop doin’ it, will ‘e? An’ if there’s a difference gotta be made, why can’t I use my molars and what not? My fists? No fighting policy in school, when them Debate people go an’ do it and they all encouraged to do it. They using words and I’m using whatever I can ‘cos whatever I ‘ave is all I got. I ‘aint no speech person, so what’ve I got? Not very much in terms of defence, ‘cos Council Slag With The Hair Extensions And Juicy Couture Tracksuit is easy pickin’ when Misha Hoskins and ‘er mandem wanna go. Come to think of it, Council Slag With The Hair Extensions And Juicy Couture Tracksuit gon’ be easy pickin’ for anybody, innit: them grannies with their bags from Waitrose and the middle class mums on the school runs with keys to their Land Rovers and sunglasses on their ‘eads and David Cameron on telly and Mr-Pritchard-the-Head. I ain’t nobody to pity, I gon’ admit that ‘fore anyone else does it for me, but the whole situation don’ really seem right. It ain’t my fault where I live, who my mum and dad are, what kind of air I breathe ‘cos they all decisions picked ‘fore I ‘ad any say in any of it. But maybe I ain’t gon’ move and maybe I don’t wanna change none of it and maybe I do. But Jane Eyre were gagging for it, Tyler did deserve it, sometimes teachers don’t know it all, and I can be the Council Slag With The Hair Extensions And Juicy Couture Tracksuit if I ain’t got no choice in the matter but that ain’t no excuse to treat me like it neither.

   So what you gon’ do with me, Miss? Just because I’m chavvy Chelsee Barne don’t mean I’m gon’ live on the streets with fifteen kids in between snorts and needles. And you might not even ‘ave been sayin’ that, but I wan’ it to be known at least. If I do end up that way it’s gon’ be my fault but at least the blame’s all mine at the end of the day. And maybe everyone else is angelic and maybe they’re not and maybe I’m just being honest about it all.

   “Chelsee!” Miss Hall says. “Are you listening to me?”

Nope. And you know what, Miss? Misha Hoskins can go shove it.

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