For young people.
When I woke up on Thursday, I didn’t expect it to be different from any other school day. I dressed in my uniform and chomped at my breakfast. I like making noise when I eat cereal, I can see my brother twisting in annoyance as I shovel each mouthful in. I ran for the bus and jumped into my usual seat before daydreaming all the way to school.
Mrs McMeaney stood like a vulture in front of the class. She towered over us, scowling at any noise. She wore thick glasses with sharp edges that magnified her eyes and made her look more like a beetle than a teacher. She made us read boring books for English, and do difficult sums for maths. Thank goodness I’d be rid of her at the end of the year.
We ran outside for recess I jammed some cake into my mouth and started a game of handball with Jimmy. He’s my best friend. He’s cool, he always gets to buy stuff at the canteen and we both like playing sports.
At lunch, Jimmy and I decided to throw a ball around the grassy area. The ball goes back and forth for a while, until other kids come to join in. We almost had the whole class out there. I liked diving for the ball. It makes it more fun and if I can grab it in the air, everyone would cheer. I made a spectacular dive and somehow managed to clasp the leather in my fingertips. I threw the ball up high in the air and Jimmy ran forward to catch it. He only just made it in time. It looked like fun so after the ball had passed through a few more hands, I asked Jimmy to kick the ball up high for me.
The ball flew through the air, I was blinded for a moment as the sun caught my eyes, then I saw the arch of the ball. I ran. I was almost there. My arms started to stretch out in front of me. I had to run so fast and keep my eyes on the ball that I didn’t notice anything else happening.
All at once, the class started to laugh. The ball was almost in my hands so I couldn’t look away. They would miss my catch but I was missing something good too. They were getting into hysterics. I caught the ball in a dive through the air and struggled to land properly. My legs no longer worked. After a few failed attempts to move my left, then right leg forward, I tumbled. That’s when I realised that my pants fell when I jumped in the air.
When I stood up, no one noticed the ball in my hands. They were all looking at my undies.
This piece was Commended in the 2014 Nairda Lyne Award.