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Date Posted: 18:02:15 04/09/22 Sat
Subject: Part 3
In reply to:
's message, ""Dear Ronan" (Complete Story)" on 18:14:44 04/07/22 Thu
Well it’s been a few weeks since my last letter. You must be wondering what happened to me since I stopped writing. Haha - my little joke there.
Course I’ve seen you’ve an actual email address now, and a twitter account and what have you. So I guess I could actually send these messages now. But since you’re Mr Big Shot now with a record deal and all, it’d probably be some record company filing clerk reading all your mail. Not sure I want some posh bloke reading my personal business. This just between you and me, innit?
Jamie’s been giving me stick about not hanging around any more. “You too fancy us for now, Alex? Too busy having tea and cakes with the queen?”. I told him to shove off. He asked if I wanted to light up with him and his new stoner mates, but got real hostile when I turned him down.
It’s weird you know? The more I spend away from Jamie, the less I miss having him around. Makes me wonder whether we’re still mates and all. It’s starting to feel like we maybe just stayed mates because that’s what we’d always done, and we didn’t actually have that much in common.
You want to know what the big news is though? This is going to blow your mind.
I joined the school kayak club.
I bet you didn’t even know the school had a kayak club. Don’t feel bad - neither did I!
It was time to choose our sports for the term. I’d always played footy, because Jamie played footy, and that’s what we’d always done. But as I told you before, I’m right crap at it, and the thought of spending another term with the hooligans of the fourth eleven didna appeal at all.
Neither did rugby - all that mud and tackling and the stick I’d get from the footballers for selling out. So that was off the table too.
So me and George were scanning the sign-up lists, looking for a sport to sign-up for.
“So what’d you do at your fancy school in the country?” I asked. George mumbled something I couldn’t hear. “Say that again, mate”. He mumbled again, real quiet like, but I heard him this time.
“BADMINTON? You played bloody Badminton?” George was shushing me fiercely. “Aw sorry mate. A boy could get killed around here for admitting he played badminton.”
It’s real business finding the right sport. You want something just manly enough to show you’re not a queer, but odd enough that all the thugs and yobs are playing something else.
“Here, this might be a goer...” I pointed at a small sheet pinned in an unobtrusive corner of the board.
“Kayaking? Sheesh I dunno Alex...”
“Yer not ‘fraid of getting wet, are ya? Let’s see... learn to roll... flat-water races... kayak polo... white-water kayaking? Man, this sounds pretty full on!”
I felt a little surge of adrenaline as I read the sheet. It felt like all my life I’d been doing things because it was what other people wanted me to do... join the choir, play football. But this... this could be something that was all mine.
I wrote my name down right then and there.
“So whatchya gonna sign up for?” George was all jumpy like now.... He kept looking over the board, hopping from one foot to the other before finally muttering “ah, fuck it” and writing his name down below mine for the kayak club.
“Good on ya! It’s gonna be balls man!”
“Whatever. If I drown, I’m haunting you forever.”
The newest member of the Kayak club,
Today was pretty much crap from start to finish. You ever have one of those days where it just seems like you never catch a break and one thing goes wrong after another? Today was one of those days.
Now I’m tired and angry and I just want to go to sleep and wake up tomorrow with it all over. But even though I can barely see straight, I’m too wired to sleep. Is that weird or what? Feeling exhausted, but not sleepy.
My ruddy alarm broke or summat, so I woke up like an hour after I usually do. It was panic, panic, panic after that, trying to have a shower, have breakfast, get my kit together and what not. Missed the ruddy bus of course so had to run to school.
Did I mention it was raining? Of course it was raining.
And the day just got worse from there. It seemed like every class there was either a surprise test or a piece of homework I’d forgotten. Despite oversleeping I kept nodding off in class. And for some reason, Jamie just wouldn’t leave me alone.
I don’t know what had got into him. Maybe it was finding out I hadn’t joined the football team. Maybe it was the weather. But he was needling me something fierce. I’ve got a pretty long fuse, but he just kept pushing and pushing and pushing, and I just snapped. I threw myself at him screaming “Fuck off! Fuck off! Fuck off!” and thrashing like a mad man. The teacher had to peel us apart.
Explaining the black eye, split lip and detention to my parents? Yeah, that pretty much capped a miserable today.
But I’m going to let you in on a secret. Hitting Jamie? That felt good. Because I needed to lash out at something. Because everything I’ve told you so far? None of that was the worst thing that happened today.
Jamie had been at me over one thing or another so it was a relief to escape to lunch. But in the corridor I saw George, bailed up against the lockers by three of the football boys. “Sing us a song then! Show us that beautiful voice of yours.”
“Gerrof!” yelled George.
“Fucking faggot!” Before George could react, one of them had punched him in the stomach hard. George doubled over, wheezing. He looked at me. I saw the look in his eyes. He was all but screaming “Help me!” without saying a word.
The worst thing that happened today was that I did nothing. I didn’t move, I didn’t say anything, I just watched as they slammed his head against the lockers then started kicking him.
“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?” A prefect charged into the fray, and practically threw the group apart. “YOU! YOU! YOU! Senior master’s office. Now! Tell him I sent you.”
He weren’t that imposing, but the bullies slunk off like they’d got a direct order from the police. The prefect kneeled down beside George and asked “You alright mate?”
When George looked up at me then... the look on his face will haunt me for days. Tears were running down his cheeks, and there was so much pain and confusion and betrayal on his face. I couldn’t take it. I ran.
That’s why hitting Jamie felt good. Cause secretly maybe I was wishing I was hitting summat else.
Hating myself today,
The last few days haven’t been as bad as the one in my last letter, but they ain’t really been much better neither. Jamie’s been ignoring me which I’ll take at this point. The problem is that George has as well. Well maybe not ignoring me... avoiding me might be the better term. He hasn’t been in the library or any of the usual places at lunch time. We don’t share any classes. Even in choir he seems to have found a way to position himself as far away from me as possible, so I can’t talk to him or nothing.
It’s been really fucking lonely.
I hung out with Gazza and Dean a bit, but it seems like while I’ve been away the gulf between us has turned into a chasm. We all tried hard but we just kept running out of things to say to each other. In a few short weeks it seems like they’d developed a whole set of in-jokes I knew nothing about. They’d be giggling over something that happened at a party on the weekend, and I just didn’t have a clue.
All I wanted to do was tell George how soz I was, and how gutted I felt for letting him down, and he just wouldn’t give me a chance. Fair eating me up it was.
I think ended up doing more studying this week than I’ve ever done in my life. There was nowt else to do was there? In the evening, I’d just replay your Britain’s Got Talent videos over and over, but even that didn’t cheer me up so you know I was feeling dead miserable.
Fuck it, just writing this letter is making me feel bad.
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Part 4 -- Cirrus, 18:04:01 04/09/22 Sat
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