We were in 5th class. I walked in and he immediately saluted me with his middle finger. I made a gun out of my right hand and shot him dead in the eye. It was Monday, “nature day”. On a banjaxed table in the corner, each kid had presented a sample of garden nature. I quickly unloaded my contribution, a broken Pez dispenser. Dress for the nature you want, not the nature you have, you know? In anyway, I didn’t have a garden; so shut up school.
He was only 10 but he wore a sovereign on his pinky and a St Christopher’s medal around his neck. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the power of a cubic zirconia eagle, but a St Christopher’s medal? The patron saint of travellers? He’d never left Kilbarrack. He was like a filthy pensioner trapped inside a junior Ellesse tracksuit. He was quick-witted and streetwise, but he was fucking brutal at the Líon Na Bearnaí. He annoyed me so much. No, it was worse than that, I wanted him dead. I thought about him a lot, even when I didn’t want to, that’s how much I hated him.
He started a rumour that I was never late for school, because I slept under all the lost property in the PE cupboard. So of course, I had to punch the head off him in the big yard at little break. The SNA said he was only aggravating me because he fancied me. Ha. Fat chance love, faaaat chance. “Fatter than your stupid, fat head” I said. She put me on a time-out in the cosy corner then, where I had to think about my actions.
“Yeah, I’ll think alright” says I.
“I’ll think about the solid gold nugget of proletariat comedy I just furnished you with, Judy”.
Stupid Judy’s stupid theory percolated through the smoke rings of my mind.
Did he fancy me?
Could boys even see me?
Was it time to throw on a lip?
My heart expanded; it was a new feeling. I needed answers. And a lip gloss.