“Hey, Gerard, over here!”
“Where are we going?” I ask my new friends excitedly. Ray was propelling me forward, Bob strolling casually behind us, a wide, lazy grin in place on his lips.
“It`s a surprise, Frank!” Ray giggles and Bob does too, albeit he is rolling his eyes at the same time, but I could tell was happy that I was with them just like Ray was, and just like I was.
“I`m not really all that good with surprises,” I tell them honestly, chewing nervously on my bottom lip, something I often did whenever I felt anxious, out of place or confused. “I don’t really like them; good surprises never seem to happen to me,” I add in, not sure why I was opening up to this two boys who were little more than strangers, but I already felt I could trust them.
“Trust me Frank, this is a good surprise, you`ll like it,” Bob assures me and glances over his shoulder behind him; I presumed he was checking that there were no teachers or any other students behind us to rat us out.
I`m led down the empty, silent, bar from our quiet footsteps, hallway and through a large, slightly creaky oak door that opened out into the yard outside of the school. Tall, black iron gates surrounded the building, the spiked topped bars did a good job of stopping us from escaping, and reminded me very much of prison gates, and I could see how this school could resemble a prison.
“Stay as close to the wall as possible, and don`t speak until we say so, alright?”Ray asks, and Bob rolls his eyes again (something I could already tell was a bad habit of his, like my lip biting or nail chewing)
“We`re only trying to get across to the other side of this building,” He points across the yard to a part of the school that was almost directly in front of us, “It isn’t mission impossible, Ray.” He sighs but smiles at his friend.
We make it past the building and we head around the part of the school that Ray told me was where the toilets were (the only ones that were usable anyway) and then they direct my attention to the right, where a small patch of grass and trees were and we run over to it, the toilet block completely blocking us from view of the main part of the school where the lessons were currently taking place.
“You see that part of the gates there?” Bob raises his hand and I follow it to where he was pointing at the iron fence and I turn back to face him, sitting down on the spiky grass, under the shade of one of the trees that must have been planted long ago, possibly even before the school was built.
“If you climb up over it there, you are right on the main road into town,”
We all turn and listen, our ears picking up on the rather loud sound of the passing traffic heading into town, probably people going shopping or to work, boring, mundane stuff like that.
“Do you guys ever go to class?” I ask, breaking the silence that had fell between us, but wasn’t uncomfortable like most silences were though. I had never had lots of friends, I felt uncomfortable in large groups of people, and because of this I rarely knew what to say to people, but with Bob and Ray, I felt as though whatever I said they wouldn’t take the piss out of me, I trusted them, yet I barely knew them.
“Course we do, we ain`t against education or nothing, we only skip the classes we really, really hate, like maths and P.E.” Bob explains to me, leaning against the tree that I was sat under, the grass starting to prickle at my skin, but I don`t really mind, being with people I got on with, people who liked me was worth the slight discomfort and annoyance.
“Or the ones we can`t fucking stand,” Bob adds is, “Oh, and Gerard always ditches Science, and I can`t say that I blame him.” Seeing my questioning glance he adds in, “Mr. Mason is a total dickhead.” Ray grimaces, but stays silent, probably not wanting to frighten me or put me off the school anymore than I already had been.
“So let me get this straight, Coach Grey is a sadistic bastard and Mr. Mason is a total dickhead?”
They both nod, Ray`s hair bouncing slightly as he moves his head, much to his annoyance.
“That`s about right.”
“Are there any decent teachers here that don`t hate us?” I ask, hoping there was, but doubting it.
“Well, Miss. Williams is pretty cool, she teaches music.” Ray smiles, oblivious to Bob who was now sat on the ground behind him, and plucking strands of grass and flicking bits into his wild hair, unnoticed.
“And there`s Miss. McKenzie, she teaches art, we are both shit at it, but Gerard, the friend we were telling about is fucking brilliant.” Gerard…I knew that name from somewhere, didn’t i? It sounded familiar, vaguely, distantly familiar.
“She lets is listen to our IPods and sit wherever you want and talk and stuff.” Bob grins, full of praise or the art teachers skills (or lack of them) when it came to conducting her classes.
“Gerard, who is he?” I ask, dying to know who the familiar name belonged to, a weird, fluttering sensation in my gut making me feel a little lightheaded.
“Oh, he is our other best friend; we have pretty much every class together.”Ray explains, running a hand thorough his hair, dislodging the strands of greenery from it that Bob had so cunningly flicked in it.
“Apart from P.E and Science, but we always have math when he has that so we all skip together.” Bob speaks, trying to distract Ray from his hair, before throwing a fee more blades of grass at him.
“Anyways, speaking of class, what do you have next, the bells due to go soon?”
Once again I smooth out my heavily crumpled timetable and read out my lessons for the day-P.E, which I had skipped and was nearly over, World History, Science, Technology and Art.
They both make a face at Science, and History, but they tell me that my other lessons weren’t too bad, and that we all had the same classes so that I could sit with them.
“What do you wanna do now, skip history or go?”
Bob shrugs, “Well I think that Gerard said something about skipping, but he might not because-“
“Hey guys, talk of the devil!” Ray jumps to his feet and runs over to meet the approaching person who was just walking by the toilet block.
“Hey, Gerard, over here!”
I gulp, recognising the approaching person, Gerard, as the boy who had pushed past me earlier. I briefly raise my head and look at him again, wondering if it could possibly be someone else. It was a large school after all. Nope. No such luck.
“Hey, Bob, Ray!” The bright red haired boy greats those, taking out his earphones and tucking them away inside his jacket pocket, grinning happily. Until his gaze fell on me of course…