Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Sam Part 3/3

My parents grounded me for a month. I wasn’t allowed out with friends, no football training and definitely no Playstation 3. Sam, on the other hand, would attempt to visit me everyday and everyday I would tell him the same thing, “go AWAY!”

If Sam wanted to ask for forgiveness, he could forget it. Didn’t he realise that he violated the one code that we all live by: trust. When I returned from school I made an active decision to stay away from him. I knew this would hurt Sam and I wanted him to feel pain. I wanted him to know what betrayal meant, I wanted him to know how his selfish act of being pious affected me.

Luckily for me, the only time Sam would have to see me was during form time. We were in completely different sets for all subjects and for the first time, I saw the benefit in streaming students. I started to spend time with Toby Saddler, the son of the local Vicar. Despite Toby’s background, he was anything but angelic and understood the code. I pretended to invite Toby into secret discussions and we would laugh and share stories about our achievements on the Playstation. I relegated Sam to the companionship of the smart, geeky girls in our form.

The months passed like the swift turning of a page. I grew to hate my time with Toby, his stupid stories about getting drunk and desecrating the graves of the dead on his father’s church bored me to death. The same “hey, guess what I did this weekend…”

And Sam, I hated how he just moved on with his life. How he was able to adjust so well to the change.

How could he betray me like that? Why was he so stubborn? I wanted him to crawl back to me, to say “I know what trust means, I know what comradeship means, I know what being your friend means.” Instead, he continued to spite me with his “new friends”. He needed to learn a lesson on what true friendship really was.

Toby and I found Sam in the corridor with a group of his “friends”.

“Sam, you’re going to have to stop hanging out with these girls.”

“What are you on about?”

“What are YOU on about Sam? Only batty-boys have so many female friends.”

“Go away – you have no idea what you’re talking about. Go find some other goon to harass.”

“I’m not talking shit. I’m talking sense. You’re the one that’s confused.”

Sam moved away from his crowd of friends and tried to avoid the inevitable confrontation.

“Go AWAY!”

I hounded Sam as he walked down the corridor. Toby was by my side like a hyena waiting for the scraps.

“What! You telling me what to do?”

By this stage, a crowd had gathered. I don’t know how much they heard or what they thought. All I knew was that Sam needed to learn what friendship meant. I struck Sam in the face. The crowd roared with excitement.

“Fight! Fight! Fight!”

The frenzy of chants that surrounded me took over my body. I hit him across the face continuously. This is what being a friend is all about. Don’t you understand Sam, I’m teaching you what friendship means.

I saw his eyes roll back, the muscles of his face spasm with every punch. Then I entered into a space where time and sound did not exist. What I struck no longer resembled a face let alone another being. It was bloodied, it held no shape and felt limp and worthless. It was like punching a sponge ball.

Silence awoke me. I stood up and looked at Sam. His body continued convulsing from the impact of my fury. The crowd no longer smiled or jeered me on. They no longer roared with support. Only the scene of a bloody mess stared back at me.

The police, my parents and Sam’s parents were all called in. I sat silently outside the Headteacher’s office as the adults discussed the matter. I still remember the look in the eyes of Sam’s mother as she walked past me - I saw no malice or hatred in her eyes, only confusion.

Why? Why did you do it?

After my fight with Sam, I wanted to ask Sam for his forgiveness. Sam never returned to school after that day and I have never found the courage to go to his home to ask. His family later moved out of our neighbourhood.

I tried to go back to my old life. I returned to train with the school football team but the coach felt it was best that I played elsewhere. He stated concerns about tension rising in the team if I returned. He said my prank broke the code of trust within the team.

Toby found a new set of friends to spend time with. But none of this mattered.


“Friendship” means nothing without “You” or “I”.