The Life I Left Behind

The kid sitting two seats away from me had just shanked his second kid this month. The teachers hadn’t found out about it yet, but everyone in year 7 (6th grade) knew about it already. Bradley was a large, round kid comparable to pudding, but he had anger issues and a tendency to hurt others or at least bully them into getting what he wanted. He was a short kid with a short attention span, but he had an even shorter temper.

 Bradley started a lot of fights, he lacked the speed and strength to win most of those fights and would ultimately end up tackling his opponent to the ground and wrestle them not unlike a sumo wrestler. But he still lost the majority of the fights he started, so he began carrying around a pair of scissors, and not the safety kind either. The first time he shanked someone he just lost his temper and stabbed the kid without warning, the teachers confiscated his scissors not long after and he wasn’t allowed to come to school for a week. 

The second time was right before school started. This time Bradley had a compass (a drawing utensil used to draw circles, with a sharp point) with a particular sharp end, the kid started bleeding. But he was fine in the end. Bradly and I weren’t friends and I personally didn’t like him very much, but he never shanked me. We had homeroom together, but that was about it. Bradley struggled and was in lower sets while I had an easier time and spent most of my time in higher sets (there were five sets, each with their own difficulty level, you were placed in the set that best fit you).

There was one time during lunch when me and Bradley got into a fight. It wasn’t much but this took place maybe a month before he started shanking kids. I was playing football (soccer) with a few friends. We were just kicking the football at the wall while a goaley tried to stop us, when Bradley rounds the corner looking for a fight.

“Oi, why you playing football against a wall, not good enough to play a real game.” Bradley said

“Shut up Bradley, it’s not like you could manage to even hit the wall with the ball.” I said

“What you say to me!” He replied instantly approaching me

“You heard me or are you deaf.” I reply

He continues approaching me trying to make himself look larger and tougher than he is.

“Say that again I dare you” Bradley says, his face growing red

“Shut up and go away, we don’t want you here.” I reply

“Yeah, go annoy someone else.” A few of my friend say

“I will when he apologises!” Bradley spits, pointing at me

At this point Bradley is in my face and I can smell his breath.

“Go away, and brush your teeth while you’re at it.” I say, too prideful to say sorry.

At this Bradley is so mad you can almost see the steam coming from his ears, but Bradley backs off as there are five of us and only one of him, though I bet Bradley couldn’t have taken on the weakest of us

This all took place while I lived in London for a year, I didn’t mind living there, but there were ups and downs and I missed the US. In English school we also had to wear a uniform including black pants, a white button down shirt, black blazer and tie, and we had to wear the uniform at all times even in the scorching hot summer. It was a real pain and no one liked the uniform, but we still had to wear them because that’s what kids 200 years ago did. In the school I went to, Rutlish, we had 5 sets for each subject due to the large amount of kids in each year. 

In total our school had 1500 kids, 250 per year and it was an all boys school. There were lots of fights and the whole school was fenced in by a 10 foot wall and 15 foot metal gates on all the entrances. It was basically a prison yard. We had 6 subjects each day, each one hour long and we followed a two week schedule, we always carried our schedule on us or we would forget our next subject in a heartbeat. There were a few instances when year twelves scaled the fence and escaped from school to avoid their end of year exams, once a group of year twelves even pulled the fire alarm multiple times to postpone their exams.

But in the end I enjoyed my time in London. And I also use some skills I learned in London everyday. I still prefer the US over London but it was a nice change of scenery.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *