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Growing Up Together – Entry 1

Another Brick In The Wall

Chapter 2 – Brick Wall



One day, when I was sitting in the dinner hall, with a few minutes to go before the bell, Jake, who by this point was becoming my best friend, came up to me and smiled.

You know who I just spoke to?” he said, sitting down next to me.

Who?” I answered, confusion creasing my brow.

Dylan and Lewis! They just found the best location for us to hang out before school and at lunchtimes!”

It was truly a brilliant location.

With our school being a newly-built one, in every subject corridor, they had a gloriously named “Breakout Space”, containing a few tables, chairs and, dependant on the location, floor-to-ceiling windows, that was often used by teachers during periods to eject troublesome students, and pupils and staff during breaks and lunch, to complete homework or get away from the bustle of a thousand pupils in the lunch hall.

What Dylan and Lewis had done, seemingly with the blessing of the head of Science, had commandeered the space for gathering purposes before school, since their registration class was next door to it.

The next day, we all gathered there, us band of friends, with a few new additions.

Daniel, a broad, slightly geeky-looking guy, who was incredibly intelligent and quick-witted and had already joined the science and engineering club, along with our other new addition, another Jake.

He had incredibly frizzy, curly black hair, and moved with all the grace of a sloth. It became a standing joke that Jake always had this incredible ability to fall asleep in any classroom, in any situation, in front of the hardest teachers in the school, and still get top marks in all the tests.

We thought it was perfect. And it was.

For a few weeks at least.

Somehow (don't ask me how), Liam ended up finding out about our little sanctuary.

To cap the already perfect situation off, he announced his new-found knowledge in his typical manner.

One day, we were sitting, chatting the five minutes before registration away, when a high-pitched, mosquito-like drone destroyed our good spirits.

Hey guys!”

My stomach knotted. I knew this wasn't going to end well. Then again, an idiot could see that this wouldn't end well from a mile and a half away!

I could also see that Cameron was close to getting up and clocking him in the face.

I grabbed his wrist.

Best served cold, mate.” I whispered.

He smiled, but that switched off quickly.

I was wondering where you guys had gone!” he squeaked, sitting down heavily on a chair.

Thankfully, the bell decided to go at that exact moment.

I don't think any of us had risen from our chairs any faster.

Everyone knew about Liam, and we all had our own stories to tell, and we had our own, omitted version of events.

Despite the fact that my closest friends already knew out of circumstance, I didn't think that it was anybody's business why we held a special loathing for him.

Every single day, he came to our little sanctuary.

We told him nicely, we told him harshly, we told him in the simplest way possible, using the most unambiguous four letter words possible, but it didn't work.

He went to his guidance teacher about our harsh and unambiguous words, and a game of tag started.

I went to my guidance teacher, detailed specifically what was going on, and detailed specifically why we wanted him to leave us alone, leaving out the obvious.

To be honest, I expected them to do something about it. I mean, it had been trumpeted to us from day one that if we were having problems with anything or anyone, that they would sort it out.

I can't believe how naïve we were.

For six whole months, most of our second year at high school, we went to our guidance teachers almost every other day. And every single time, we got the same response.

Leave him alone.”

At that point, we still believed that we should always respect teachers, and that they were automatically deserving of it, so we tried to listen to them.

We left him alone as much as possible. Problem was, he didn't leave us alone.

It wasn't a snap, per se, more like a slow erosion of our sanity.

Mine, particularly.

See, thanks to this incident, I realised something rather important, that would probably shape the rest of my life and get me into a few scrapes.

If a person does not treat me with respect, I will not treat them with respect back. It's a simple philosophy, but along with “Hakuna Matata” and “Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional”, it made me the person I am today.

But back to the founding of my principals.

One day, I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before, and had a pile of homework to finish fairly soon to avoid getting a string of demerits.

He appeared, right as Daniel was helping me complete a part of the science homework, and sat down right next to me, close enough that I could smell his stale breath.

Whatcha doing?” he sung, snatching my homework book out of my hands before I could react.

I tried to snatch it back from him, but he put one of his flabby arms out to my chest to block me.

I felt the heat rise in my chest, my fists clenching.


Of course, the moment that my boyfriend snapped, was the moment I had chosen to go and deliver a late piece of homework to one of my teachers.

I rounded the corner, and heard some confused shouting, accompanied by a lot of banging.

I picked up the pace, my shoes slapping hard against the lino, and was greeted by a scene of utter chaos.


I hit his arm with my fist to attempt to get him to lay off, but I guess all it did was make him mad.

His fist connected with the side of my head before I knew what happened.

Pain shot through my head, and I let out a groan, the edges of my vision blurring slightly.

You'll get it back, when I say you get it back, little faggot boy.” he hissed.

You can guess what happened next.

I grabbed his other hand, and sharply pulled his wrist back.

Let. It. Go.” I shouted.

I don't remember much about what happened next, but I got the gist of it from Daniel, who had been sitting there the whole time, terrified of getting involved.

After I had pulled his hand back, he dropped my jotter and punched me, hard, in the jaw.

I sank like a stone into my chair, and groaned out in pain.

Liam gave out a cheer.

I've wanted to punch that faggot for years!” he shouted, showing a depressingly limited vocabulary.

At that moment, Cameron appeared, saw what had happened and heard what Liam had just said, and clocked him, square in the nose.


It was the right thing to do, and I would do it a thousand times over.

Before Liam could retaliate, Mr. Nolan, a tall, imposing bouncer type appeared, got between us and stopped us.

Just what do you think you're doing?” he roared in my face.

He assaulted my boyfriend, in case you didn't notice!” I roared back.

By this point, Daniel had shocked himself out of frozen terror, and was assessing Grant.

And, on top of that, a small crowd of people had begun to gather outside the breakout space arch.

He's breathing, but I can't wake him. I think he's got a concussion.”

He stood up and looked Mr. Nolan in the eye.

He needs an ambulance, right now!”

As soon as those words left Daniels mouth, I pushed my way past Mr. Nolan and knelt by his side.

I helped Daniel slide him onto the ground, and tried to assess his injuries.

His mouth was open, and full of blood, and, while he was breathing, his eyes were shut.

My vision started to blur, and, when I swiped my eyes with the back of my hand, it was wet.

I looked up, and Mr. Nolan was still standing there, the crowd had gotten bigger, and Liam was nowhere to be seen.

Get that ambulance, and make sure that bastard doesn't get away!” I shouted.

My words spurred him into action, but not the action I was expecting.

That's not a very nice way to refer to one of your classmates!”

I looked up, and his face was completely serious.

I shook my head, stood up, and squared, toe to toe, with the six foot three bouncer, with more anger coursing through me than I ever thought possible.

I... Don't... Care,” I enunciated.

If you do not get my boyfriend the help he so obviously needs, right now, I will end you. You will never, EVER, get another job in teaching again.”

His face was a picture of shock.

Make... The phone call... Now!” I snarled.

The murmuring of the docile crowd got louder.

And you lot can fuck off too! This isn't a freak show!”

Anger vented, I knelt at my boyfriends side, grabbing his hand.

Everything's going to be fine, buddy. We're going to win this fight.”

Looking at Mr. Nolan, he still hadn't moved.

It had now been five minutes since he had gone down.

I'll do it myself then.” I mumbled, fishing out my phone and dialling on the emergency dialler without even looking down. “I'll probably do a better fucking job, anyway.”

Ambulance. Tell me exactly what's happened.” a clear, calm voice said, made slightly tinny by the phone's speakers.

My name's Cameron Black. My location is Rannack Academy. I have a 15 year old friend here with head injuries and a possible concussion from two blows sustained to the head and jaw. He is unconscious, but breathing.”

Help is being arranged as we speak, sir,” the voice replied. “Are you with the patient now?”

I replied in the affirmative.

Is the assailant still there, sir?”

Honestly, I have no idea.” I shrugged, twigging why she had asked the question, “but the police would be most welcome, I'm expecting a shitstorm.”

Of course sir. Now, what I need you to do, is lean over his mouth, and tell me every time he takes a breath, so I can assess how well he's breathing.”

I did as instructed, and thankfully, he was breathing normally.

Now, what I want you to do is put him in the recovery position, assure him helps on the way, and go and get someone to meet the ambulance. If his condition worsens in any way, call us back for further instructions!” the voice replied.

Thank you, ma'am.” I gushed, feeling incredibly calm for whatever reason.

That didn't last long though.

I turned to Daniel, who was adjusting Grant's head and checking his pulse, and told him that he needed to meet the ambulance and bring them here.

He nodded, and ran off, at which point I noticed Mr Nolan had pissed off.

Fucking typical, fucking useless teachers!” I snarled under my breath.

I was holding his hand, gently stroking his hair, murmuring out meaningless platitudes, when he gave a little moan, apparently trying to return to consciousness.

It's okay, buddy.” I called out, putting my hand on his shoulder. “You're fine, but don't try to get up.”

He gave out another incomprehensible, drunken-sounding moan, and that was it.

He made neither a moan, groan or movement as the paramedics manhandled him onto a stretcher and out the entrance.

Thanks to the modern layout of the school, there was no way to get the stretcher out of the school, without having to negotiate a hill, or a steep set of stairs.

So, like a grotesque show, we were paraded out the pupil entrance, while the population of the entire school looked on in horror at the still, bloody form of my boyfriend as he was whisked past, with me following behind, for some reason, holding both of our bags on my back.

We finally got outside, and just as I was about to get on the back of the ambulance for the ride to hospital, Mr. Green, our head-teacher, appeared behind me.

I was expecting him to get in the ambulance with us, but he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Black, you need to get back to class now.”

The confusion on my face was evident, as was my stubbornness.

I'm going to the hospital, with my friend, and that's that.”

He looked at me like I had grown another head.

Excuse me? You aren't a member of his family, therefore not allowed to travel with him to hospital.”

I shook my head, dropping our bags heavily under the seat.

I'm his boyfriend and, I am closer to him than anyone else.”

Mr. Green's eyes widened.

Therefore,” I reiterated, using his own words against him. “I am going to the hospital with him, and you are going to push bits of paper around, or actually get off your lazy backside and call his mum.”

I closed the door on his shell shocked face, and turned to the open-mouthed, slightly amused paramedic.

Are we ready to go?”


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