Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Sam Part 2/3

Leading up to the December mock exams, I caught a virus and took several weeks off school. My throat was swollen and my breathing severely impaired. I still remember the atmosphere in my room. The smell of “illness” still lingers like a shroud when I conjure up those memories. My curtains would always be half drawn to allow just enough light in to irritate you. My mum would creep into my room every day to deliver her chicken soup remedies before leaving for work. During those ten days, I believed I was dying not from the illness but from isolation.

With my long absence from school, I was concerned about the exam. I wasn’t the brightest student. Where Sam lacked physical prowess, I lacked academic prowess.

As we walked home from my first day back to school, It didn’t take long for Sam to notice my anxiety.

“What’s up?”

“Nothin’…you know, Christmas is round the corner and I don’t know what to get for my mum.” I looked at the ground, my hand tucked into my pocket. I really didn’t feel comfortable letting Sam know about my concerns. In fact, I wasn’t keen on letting anyone know.

“Do you seriously think I’m going to sit here and accept that lie – c’mon. You’re speaking to Sam. Look, you helped me get into the team. I’m going to get you through these exams.”

I looked at him trying to disguise my enthusiasm with a false puzzled look and shook my head. Sam put his arm around me and motioned me home. We walked back to his house and I continued with my defiant stance against his idea. That evening Sam and I drew up a two week study program.

Despite my lack of confidence in both my own ability and in Sam’s persisitance, the mock exam wasn’t as difficult as I had anticipated. That Christmas, I was rewarded by my proud parents with a Playstation 3 for achieving grades above the targets set by my teachers. My Christmas holiday was filled with laughter and blessed with Sam’s easy company. The Playstation 3 meant that Sam and I spent a lot of time with each other vying for top position in the latest Fifa game.

Despite my success in class, my football was ailing. I was spending more time playing virtual football as opposed to training for the real thing. The captain of the football team suggested to the coach that I would benefit from playing in the B team until my confidence returned. I was fuming with anger and later that week I concocted a plan to have him struck from the football team.

“Go on Sam, just put it in his bag. Nobody will suspect it’s you. You’re picture perfect choir boy. It’ll be a laugh and Damien needs to be brought down a level or two. They won’t suspect it’s me because I’ll be playing on the second pitch.”

“I don’t know. It’s just not right. I mean c’mon, you’ll pick up your form again sometime soon.”

“Just a game? What’s wrong with you Sam, all I have is football. You, you have the magazine, the school band. Christ I even got you in this team and this is how you repay me?”

“All right, slow down…look I’ll do it. But after this, no more.”

“Thanks Sam, you know this means a lot to me. ‘You’…‘I’…friends for life mate!”

After the match, the teams returned to the sports gym to shower and leave for home. Damien on the other hand, was caught with pornographic material that fell out of his sports bag when he unravelled his towel. The team laughed, the coach expelled Damien as captain and banned him for four matches.

Sam never felt easy with the prank but I told him to forget about it.

“Today’s news would be forgotten by tomorrow and Damien will forget the whole incident. It’s just a prank.”

Unfortunately, Sam’s guilt drove him to confess later that week. I was excluded for two days from school for my deceitful act.

It is true. Children can be cruel and when they become teenagers; their loss of innocence reveals a much darker nature.