I’m 14. I’m in love. I’m in love with the baddest boy in school. He sits in front of me in French. He seems so much older than the other boys. He’s foreign. Ok – Irish- but he seems foreign to me. He talks with that lilting Irish accent that sounds intoxicating to my immature ears. He’s different. This is a definite part of his charm.
He wears different clothes to the other boys, despite the uniform. Black trousers and white shirt, but with a worn denim jacket with patches; his tie is roguishly angled. Wears a ring. No other boys in my stuffy English school wear rings. He has one ear pierced. His hair in a cut that is long at the back and short on top – it shouts Rebel. It says Don’t mess with me. He walks with an arrogant step down the corridor, carrying a folded exercise book under his arm and a pen in his top pocket.
He sits arrogantly at an angle, arm draped across the back of his neighbour’s chair. He doesn’t pay attention to the teachers, but when they pick on him to answer, he knows all the answers. He’s already done this before. He’s way ahead of us.
This really pisses the teacher’s off. He doesn’t study – just gets straight A’s. This also pisses some of the kids off, who try to make fun of his hair, his body odour. He cuts them dead with a smart remark they can’t come back from.
He has a band of followers, boys who hope his coolness will rub off on them. One buys a denim jacket and grows his hair – it looks ridiculous.
He does boxing after school – not football or rugby, like the other boys. He comes to school with a black eye. He tells some people it’s from boxing; others that his dad gave it to him for his cheek.
He’s had a string of girlfriends with exotic sounding names, back in Ireland, he says. He counts them off on his fingers. I smile at him, trying to push out my flat chest. I offer to share my Monster Munch, hoping he’ll choose me next.
I’m in love with the baddest boy in school. The baddest and the cleverest. He wears Brut. Some whisper he wears it to cover his B.O.
I don’t care.
Kate Jones is a writer based in the UK where she lives with her husband, two daughters and spoilt cat called George. She writes mainly flash and short fiction, though has also published non-fiction, poetry and reviews, and is a regular features contributor to Skirt Collective. She has been published in, amongst other places, SickLit, Gold Dust, Café Aphra, Spelk and The Real Story, and has recently placed first in Flash500’s quarterly competition
*Featured photo courtesy of Brian Michael Barbeito*