by Daragh Field
`Why da fuck is it always me like? I mean, I couldn't really help it, Jesus nobody else could either, I was just the only one who got caught. Anyway, there was no shitting me way outta this one, me auld one's gonna murder me, I've already been suspended this term like....'
- Oh bollocks
said Mick, through clenched teeth whilst banging the back of his head against the corridor wall. He eyed the principal's door, waiting for the inevitable turning of the handle and the appearance of his judge, jury and executioner. The principal, Mr Kilbane, had a reputation for being tough but fair. He had been teaching for all of his adult life and was well into his fifties now. His most distinguishing feature was that he was missing his two front teeth; apparently an injury acquired during his days as an amateur boxer, or so legend had it anyway.
Legend is one thing but I saw him meself knocking a leaving certer flat on his arse after he had taken a swing at him.
Michael's thoughts were disrupted when Kilbane shouted at him. He rushed into the office as though to compensate for his inattentiveness, but not fast enough to avoid a good clip in the ear.
- Sit down there boys, now what the hell were you doing in Miss Golding's class?
- Well Sir,....
Kilbane cut him short, his tone softened.
- Michael, do you not think I have enough to do, without hearing about you, staring at Miss Golding's chest?
- I'm sorry Sir, like I didn't mean to.....
- You didn't mean to get caught ya flaming amadan, what kind of a donkey are ya? Hah, well answer me.
Michael was cowering in his chair, which felt as if it had just tripled in size along with the rest of the room.
- I'm sorry sir, I just like found meself lookin down her...
he struggled to find the word with the least connotations
- ...down her top like sir.
Kilbane looked straight at Michael, who immediately dropped his eyes from Kilbane's dagger look.
- You found yerself lookin down her top.
Kilbane fought back a smile as he thought to himself that it wouldn't be the last time he'd be caught lookin' where he shouldn't.
- Michael in 25 years of teaching gobshites like you, this has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. I almost expect this kind of activity from you. Do you never stop to think ?.
- I do sir, yes sir,
Michael seemed somewhat hurt at Kilbane's comments.
- No Michael, you don't think.
- Now I want you to go up to Miss Golding's room and apologise to her, do ya hear me boyo?
- Sir, yes Sir
a wave of dread passed through him as he pictured himself apologising to her for looking at her breasts.
- I won't be bothering your parents with news of this business.....
Oh thank fuck
- ...but you're in detention on Friday evening, and consider yerself lucky. Now get out of me sight and go up to Miss Golding's room after the break
Kilbane's voice was fair but firm.
- Look sir I really think that, that maybe...
- Shut it, now lookit, now lookit here, that shite won't wash with me, I know its not the worst thing a young fella ever did, but I have to do something, because you put me in this position, now get out of here and I don't want to hear about you again this term, da ya hear me?
his voice rising at the end of his spiel.
- Sir yes sir.
- Now get out of here and cop on to yerself.
Michael got up out of the chair and walked to the door.
- Sir, sorry sir
- It's not me you should be apologising to, now off ya go.
Michael closed the heavy door behind him, catching a glimpse of Kilbane smiling and shaking his head before the door shut. As he walked down the corridor the lunch bell went off and in a matter of seconds the halls were full of students. He was in third year now, halfway through the gauntlet of St Enda's college. He looked at the leaving cert students walking by, they looked so , an age so distant from his own.
- The leaving cert, oh Christ
he thought. Even from this distance of three years the idea of sitting the biggest exam of his life made the hairs on the back of his neck stand rigid.
Michael whispered to himself
What am I going to say to this one. Eh sorry Miss, for like lookin at your em... breasts like, its just they look so good, that cool creamy white cleavage, that I could just die in. Nope I don't think she'd like that, its the truth mind,
Michael chuckled to himself, imagining her reaction to his declaration of lust.
- Mick.....Mick you dozy fucker I'm talking to ya.
Michael's thoughts on Miss Golding, which were beginning to take a decidedly explicit turn, were disrupted by a voice calling him, a voice he instantly recognised- Logi.
-Alright, what da fuck like,
- Well, what did the grizzly old fucker say to ya?
Logi's enjoyment at his friend's situation plain and obvious.
- I got detention and I have to apologise to her.
Logi's mouth dropped, a grin stretched across his face and he broke out laughing.
- Oh you poor bastard
he managed to get out between the laughs, clutching his stomach and wiping a tear from his eye,
- how da fuck are you going to apologise for gogglin at her tits like?, only yer dumb ass would get caught man, I mean, for fuck sake, I've seen the cherries man, the nipples,
making tweaking gestures at his own chest.
- And I did most certainly, fucking not get caught.
-Yeah, yeah, fuck you, you could be at least helpful and come up with some good bullshite I can pass off on her,
-Nah, I'm going home for lunch.
- What?! You'd sell me out for dinner ya fat bastard. I have to go to her next class, you'd think you could be a little more supportive.
-Supportive like a wonderbra, whaaaaaaaaa,
- Ha ha ha, oh very funny arsehole, you'll be in some shit soon and come to me for help, and you know what I'll tell ya ..where ta go, see if yer laughin then, ya fuckin......ya fuckin..
Michaels frustration deprived him of his expressiveness and his vocabulary. Logi sensed his friend's exasperated state and decided to level with him.
- Look man to be honest with ya, there's fuck all you can say to her to get yerself outta this with a clean sheet. I reckon you should just come clean and say sorry, I mean secretly I'm sure she's flattered and all. Now to more important matters - lets go and get some chips.
The two boys walked over to the chipper across from the school where all the third and fourth years hung out. By now Michael knew that news of the day's earlier adventures would have been well circulated. They got snack boxes in the chipper and went outside to eat them.
It was Doyler, the class hard case and simpleton. He thought giving Michael the name of Micky was funny cos it sounded like a gayboy's name.
-Eh Micky, have ya got a leg or a breast of chicken in yer snack box ?, cos I heard yer fond of a breast like!! wha wha wha.
Doyler looked around to his mates for acknowledgement of his joke, which of course he got as always.
Logi rushed to his friends aid.
-My, my that's an unusually witty thing to come from you, keep that up you could pass English someday. Really, I'm genuinely surprised,
Logi gave Doyler a mock clap.
-Did you say summin Logi?
-You heard me alright,
Logi had no fear of Doyler. His own big brother was a renowned savage that would leave Doyler and about a dozen of his extended family for dead.
Mick decided to try and defuse the situation anyway.
-Boys, lets not fight over a pair of tits, sure doesn't Miss Golding have enough for all of us.
Doyler turned and looked at Mick, his face a mixture of confusion and animosity.
-What?..yer one weird little fucker Micky, ya know that, and I don't like ya,
he said prodding Michael in the chest.
- Come on, lets go,
Mick said to Logi, who was itching to let fly with the insults and was more than a little disappointed in Mick for not having words with Doyler. Mick waited till he was across the road,
- Doyler, do you still not like me?.
- No I don't now fuck off.
- Funny man, that not what yer ma said last night whaaaaa!.
Doyler made to rush across the road to them, but the traffic picked up and he had to stall. Mick and Logi flicked him off and then split back to the school, clutching their chips.
- Ah nice one man!
Logi slapped Mick on the back as the two of them gasped for air, from running and laughing.
- Oh Jesus I'm so unfit
- That's cos yer a Fat bastard
- Fuck you man, its me glands like
Logi smirked. Mick turned and looked at Logi, his expression mocking.
- Eh....Logi.....I'm pretty fucking sure, it got more to do with all the big Mac's you do be shoving down da back of yer mouth, yer da son of hunger like.
Logi looked at him, his expression serious and hurt,
- Fuck you
he started to walk away from Mick. Mick knew he had him on the ropes and kept going
- I mean, glands me bollox, sure you'd smother yer Mother and Father to get loose on Mc Donald's
Logi stopped walking raised his eyes to heaven.
- I think you should be more concerned with the issue at hand, I think you know what I'm talkin about, and there's about five minutes left of lunch.
This was typical of Logi, well able to dish out a slagging, but you hit him where it hurts and next thing you know the joke is over and it's about half an hour before he'll talk to you again. At the same time he was always there for him, and he never had to fight a battle alone when he was around. Michael always did this, he analysed things to a fault, often criticising qualities in people quite hypocritically. Anyway Logi was right, there were more important matters at hand, how was he going to waffle his way out of apologising to Miss Golding.
-Yep, I may be fat but yer fucked
-Alright, Jesus, I was only taking the piss, take it easy like
-Okay man, but you better get your ass over to Golding's class
-Alright man, I'm splitting, so I'll see ya later
Mick turned and started to walk back into the building.
Michael turned around.
- Good luck you dozy bollocks.
- Yeah, Yeah
shouted Mick, smiling. He waved and turned back around. As he walked down the school corridor he began to feel the panic rise up from his stomach. He was, as usual, oblivious to the other students rushing to their classes. He was repeating his excuses and explanations over and over to himself, searching for something that hadthe sound of conviction about it. As he passed the boys toilet he got a tremendous push in the back that sent him flying into the toilet door, through which he was subsequently dragged . It was Doyler and two of his mates.
-Not so smart now, are ya Micky?, I didn't hear what ya said about me Mam, could ya tell me again like?.
Mick tried to struggle against the two boys holding his arms, but to no avail,
- I was just saying what a truly lovely woman she is and how proud she must be of you
Doyler wasn't sure if he'd been insulted or not and so played it safe and slammed his fist into Mick's stomach, thoroughly winding him. As Mick doubled up he made a mental note to himself that sarcasm had its time and place. He strained to get some air into his lungs.
-For such a smart cunt, you don't know much do ya?
Doyler looked to his mates and laughed.
- Here hold his head up
One of his mates pulled Mick's head up by the hair and Doyler punched him flat on his nose, which erupted with blood. Then he caught him by the scruff of the neck and whispered into his ear
- If you ever fuck with me again I'll kill ya
and with that pushed him out the toilet door. Mick tried to get up from the corridor floor, still winded and bleeding.
-Michael are you alright? You were supposed to be in my class ?.
Michael looked up it was Miss Golding.
- No Miss I took a bit of a knock, erm... Miss sorry about, you know..today like.
-Oh listen, never mind, who hit you?
crouching down she took out a kleenex for his nose. At the same time Doyler stuck his stupid head out of the door and once she saw him, she knew who the culprit was.
-Keith Doyle get down to Mr Kilbane's office now, she roared. Mick put on his best doe-eyed look to seem as innocent as possible as Doyler moaned and went off to Kilbane's.
-Now Michael, you upset me earlier today, but if you promise not to do that again as I really find it offensive, okay.
-Yes Miss sorry Miss
Miss Golding got up to leave.
-Now I want you to go to the nurse and get your nose looked at, don't worry about Keith Doyle, Mr Kilbane will take care of him.
Mick started to get up and Miss Golding patted him on the cheek
- Tell your friend Logi to stop aswell.
She turned to go down to Mr Kilbane's office.
Thank Christ for that, Mick thought, feeling very releived albeit bruised. Doyler's suffering however was far from finished. He got suspended from school and when he tried to beat up on Mick again Logi's older brother caught a hold of him and beat seven shades of shite out of him.