The end of the tale of urban delinquency, based on the kids we see every day. Like it? Tell me. Don't like it? Tell me why.
Many stories like this one are set in a fictitious, imaginary world where the risks of AIDS, HIV, and STDs do not exist. In the real world, they do. Play safe, take care. Protect yourselves and your partners.
From chap. 17:
"Get up, Rye, you stupid cunt!" I screamed. "There's a train coming!"
"I can't!" he screamed back. "I've broken my fucking leg again, falling down here!"
"MOVE!" I screamed as loud as I could.
"NO!" he yelled back at me.
I watched the flicker grow brighter, the train coming nearer.
I looked down into the abyss below, screamed "RYE!" and jumped.
Well, ran and jumped, more like. Silly, really, when you think I was going to jump under a train -- but didn't want to get fried by the power wires on the way down!
Anyway, I ran and jumped sideways-- and landed in the overgrown embankment that Rye had stumbled down to reach the tracks. Bolts of pain shot through my body, as branches speared my leg and nettles rubbed areas where my clothes had ripped open, but I fought and pushed my way through the overgrown foliage until I fell onto the sharp pebbles the track is laid on. Ballast, I'm told it's called. I could think of stronger names.
Rye was about four feet away and I leapt at him, grabbed his coat (hang on, this is my coat, I thought as I grabbed it) and pulled him over to one side away from the track. The ground shook as the locomotive and carriages shot past a second later, the air dragging me almost away as it sucked at my shirt and tattered trouser leg, the wheels and underframe missing me by inches. Rye's eyes were wide open, watching it speed above us, waiting, no doubt, for a hanging-down bit to knock my head off.
The last carriage passed, and I shoved my hands down under Rye and grabbed him tight.
"OW!" Rye shouted in my ear. "You're fuckin' hurting me -- and my fuckin' leg's broken again!"
"Let me go!" he bellowed.
"Never." I said. "Never, never, never!"
"Why did you do that?" I said. "You were nearly cut in half by that train!"
"'Cos you'd be splattered on the front of it if I hadn't." he said, coldly. He was trembling, shaking with fright, and the only way I could think of to comfort him was to hug him tighter.
I was still holding him when Dad, the man who'd shouted at me and several others scrambled down to us.
"Get them away from the tracks!" I heard someone say, and strong arms lifted me, still grasping for Rye's coat -- my coat, not that I minded him wearing it -- and put me down on the embankment. My ear rested on a clump of nettles, and they stung. Not as much as my leg, which felt as if a lot of skin had been ripped off it when I landed on whatever it was - a tree, I think. Then, just when I'd changed my mind about wanting to be so, I was alone. They'd all gone to move Rye, and bring him to safety as well, laying him down beside me. I fumbled my hand through something sharp and more nettles till I found his hand, and gasped it tightly. He rolled his head over to me, and when I squeezed his hand even tighter, he smiled.
"You were going to jump, weren't you?" he asked.
My throat filled with a lump as I was going to say "Yes", but suddenly I saw it, the look in his eyes that filled in what I couldn't get before. A look that showed more than care, more than concern, more than worrying or being scared, a look that showed how much he needed me, if only once I could stop thinking about myself.
"What the hell do you think you were doing, Anthony?" my Dad's voice boomed out of the darkness. Several people towered over us, and other than that he was one of them, I couldn't tell where he was.
"And you as well, Ryan, why did you do something as stupid as running down to the tracks? You could easily have been killed, both of you could!" he said. He was mighty pissed off, I could tell.
"He did it because I was doing something stupid, standing on the bridge." I said. "He did it to make me see sense, not to kill myself."
"And what if he hadn't succeeded? You'd both be dead now."
The sound of a two-tone wailed into the silence my inability to answer had brought, and within seconds a couple of policemen crashed their way through the overgrown trees and bushes down to us.
"Are they injured?" one of them said.
"I think so." I heard a stranger's voice say. "This one's leg is bleeding pretty badly, and the other's leg looks broken to me."
He said something into his radio-phone, and then stooped down beside me. "What were you doing, son?" he asked.
"Being stupid." I said. "Nearly throwing everything away." holding Rye's hand still, and squeezing it as I spoke.
Another two-tone blared its way closer, and a few seconds later a paramedic appeared.
"They're alive? Thank God!" he said as he approached through the small crowd standing over us. He began strapping Rye's leg up, and he was lifted onto a stretcher and carried away by a couple of ambulance men who arrived soon after. Then it was my turn.
"How do you feel?" one asked me as soon as they returned.
"Bloody stupid." I said. "It's all my fault, I wasn't thinking straight."
"Don't worry about that now," he said, wrapping my leg in a bandage. "Let's get you fixed up and then you can deal with it."
Deal with it? Yes, I had to do that. Sort out everything in my mind, including Rye -- Rye! Where was he?
"Has my -- friend gone already?" I asked.
"No, he's up in the ambulance, the para's sorting his leg out for the trip." he said. "It'll save another ambulance."
Turning to the policeman, he asked "Was that one the lad that was run over by a wagon on the by-pass? He looks a lot like that boy did."
"Yes, it's him. That was my fault, too." I said, overhearing him, and the understanding of Rye running out to his intended death hit me as hard as that train would have done, and I lost it. Tears and screaming were all I could do, and I did plenty of them. Twice now Rye had laid out his life on my account, and I'd been so selfish to try the same stupid thing because of myself, and not once stopped to think about him, and what it would do to him.
I was still sobbing as they hauled my up to the ambulance, and when I saw Rye watch them load me in, all I could do was apologise.
"Rye, I'm so sorry -- I've been a complete cun-er-prat!" I said, changing the last word as the two ambulance guys were there. He held his arm out from the stretcher, and I took his hand.
"Yes, you have." he said, smiling at me. At least the smile said he'd forgiven me, I thought, which would save a lot more apologising. Never learn, will I? If ever I needed to apologise, it was now.
"You always will be a complete cunt, Ant." he said. "Perhaps that's why I did what I did, because I want you to stop."
"I'll try." I said before the medic took my arm and strapped it to my body in what I suppose is the stretcher version of a seat belt.
"You'd better, both of you." The medic said. "I don't like scraping kids off the front of trains, just like I don't like pulling them out from under lorries on the by-pass."
The journey to the hospital was uneventful. The arrival on the ward, however, was spectacular.
"What the devil..." the ward sister exploded as we were wheeled in.
"...off the railway bridge..." "...on the track..." I heard one of the medics explaining our stupidities to her. She looked at me and snorted. She probably wished we'd done a better job of it.
"Put him in the private room." she said, pointing at me, "and him at this end of the ward. I want them as far apart as possible."
The medics started to wheel us away.
"Hey!" I shouted. "Put us both in the private room, and we won't be any trouble." I said loudly to her. She was upside down, as I was lying on a trolley and looking up, behind me to see her. "If you separate us, we'll shout to each other all night!"
The frown on her forehead was deeper than on that 4000 year old man they found frozen on top of some mountain somewhere.
"If I hear so much as one word from either of you..." she started, but turned back into her office and slammed the door when I smiled and blew her a kiss. Not easy upside down, I can tell you! At least we got to be together, and not in the afterlife, either.
Well, together after Rye got his leg plastered up, and I had my cuts -- make that rips -- cleaned and bandaged. I think the nurse wiped them with vinegar to clean them, I just grabbed the pillow and bit it hard to stop myself screaming out. I was just drifting off to sleep a few hours later when Andy (one half of the gay male nurse couple) breezed cheerfully in to shatter any chance of rest.
"Good Morning, lovebirds!" he chirped. "I knew you couldn't keep away, it's my irresistible charm!"
If I could have reached my urine bottle, I'd have thrown it at him.
"The Doctor will be round at about ten, he'll probably say you can go home when he does." Andy said, sitting on Rye's bed and talking to us both. "But he'll want you to come back and see a psychiatrist because of what you've done, you do realise that, don't you?"
I sat up in bed, and was about to say I wouldn't come but Andy put his hand up to silence me. "Just give it a try, please. If not for yourself, then for each other."
I sat and thought that through, I could always ignore the guy I suppose.
"Remember," Andy said from the doorway, "The first sign of madness is thinking you're sane!"
He laughed and was gone.
The doctor did want us to see a shrink, before he would release me in my case. I don't think he trusted me not to do something stupid again, despite what I told him about being alright now I had Rye as a friend who would look after me. The shrink's department got me to do some tests, `what does this ink-blot look like' and `say what word comes into your head first when I say...something' sort of thing, but a lot of them. And questions? I think I'd told them my life story minute by minute by the time it was over.
When I saw the chief shrink -- sorry, psychiatrist, he said I was schizophrenic to a slight degree -- not enough to be a danger to myself (he allowed the railway bridge incident to be put down to stress at home) or the general public, but sufficient that I needed to go to a special school -- a boarding one. Rye went through the tests too, but according to what he told me they weren't interested in him -- until he started talking about his late father abusing him, and his wanting to get hurt to remember him.
"I hope they send us to the same school!" he told me afterwards when we were back in our room alone.
Well, he had his wish granted, and five weeks later we were taken off from home (we'd both come out of hospital after three days) in a social services minibus with two other lads to Birkdale special school, which Mum worried would be full of `the wrong sort' of boys for us to associate with. I was able to phone her a few days later and tell her that all the boys there were OK, just that they had some learning difficulties that required more than an ordinary classroom could offer them. I spared her the details of what went on in the room Rye and I shared (yes, just the two of us!) although I did say we were able to study far better in this environment, where our attraction to each other was accepted by staff and most pupils alike. Those who didn't like it luckily kept their words (and fists!) to themselves, and we had no trouble whatsoever.
Of the 80 or so boys there, we found eight who openly admitted to being gay, two of them had formed a relationship whilst being there and like us, shared a room to themselves. The school was set up in a big old house in its own grounds, and we grew to love every minute we were there.
Our first night was special, though. We stripped and got into our beds, wondering if anyone came round in the night to check up on us, and by midnight as we guessed they weren't going to I slipped out and over to Rye's bed. We kissed and cuddled for ages, listening intently for footsteps down the corridor until Rye whispered "I can't wait any longer, Ant, fuck me!"
Quick as a flash I was between his legs and had them up on my shoulders. My rock-hard cock was touching his ass, and just as I pushed and it slid in we heard a noise through the wall from the room next door.
Freezing silent we were able to make out a boy's voice say "Faster, Bri, faster!" and then "It's coming! It's coming! Oh my God YESSS!"
We looked at each other and got a fit of the giggles, until I started thrusting in and out of Rye's seemingly ever ready arse and the bed started to creak and groan loudly. I wasn't going to stop, and Rye wasn't going to let me, his thrusting back set the bed creaking off worse.
"Yeah, fuck me Ant! Fuck me hard!" he said, not too quietly either, and I did as he asked making the floorboards under the bed creak as well.
Just as I said (or was I shouting by then?) "I'm gonna cum! I'm cumming!" and lunged deep and hard into him, he came as well and screamed out "Oh fuck! Oh AAARGGHHHH!" as I added my "UUURRRGGHHH!" to the noise in the room.
As I relaxed my sweaty body down next to his, there came two knocks on the wall followed by the faint sound of clapping!
Suffice it to say we didn't bother to keep the noise down in future, neither did Brian and Keith next door, and from the sounds through the wall for the next few nights, I think they'd taken our lead and moved on to internal stimulations instead of their wanking exercises!
Did Birkdale do us any good? Well, here we are, five years after leaving with GCSE results we'd never dreamed of getting at our old school, in our own flat back in our hometown. Rye is in his first year as a teacher at St Peter and Paul's after four years training at college, and he's a natural. Me? I'm working at an electrical suppliers warehouse, dealing with the importing and sales of household electrical goods, washing machines, dishwashers, TVs and the like. We're both settled and happy. The old gang? Well, Dan's married with three kids, I see them about sometimes. Jay moved to London, and I heard he got a job in a nightclub there -- I dread to think what doing! Key works in a shop in town, all smart in a suit behind the counter. He's had a string of girlfriends but doesn't seem interested in settling down yet. Pie got over the drugs thing, and works at the hospital as a porter. He told me the bitchy sister has gone, and the place is OK to work at now!
So next time you see a bunch of kids hanging around on a street corner, don't just dismiss them as useless chavs, like us they'll grow up one day and become useful citizens. They'll have hardship, trouble and a bit of fun getting there, that's all!
Well, I've enjoyed telling you our story, but I've gotta go now, Rye'll be home any minute and there's something he's looking forward to when he gets here. What? Well, if I say I'm sitting on it, perhaps you can guess!