This one was for a competition called Wicked Young Writers. It’s based on a true story. Well, something that was almost true. It means a lot. There were 2000 words, I think. We just had to write whatever we wanted. And this was my entry:
On Friday, the last day of school, someone is going to die. It could be anyone. It might be Nobody, also known as me. We don’t know who it will be but it’s definitely going to be someone and I am genuinely scared for my life. I shouldn’t be involved, but I honestly don’t regret that I am. And it’s all for a stupid boy.
I’ve never been in love before so I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about it. I’m going to sound like a weird, hormone filled kid, just like every other teenager in the entire world, I know, but he doesn’t even notice me. Nobody ever notices me. I’m not going to go on about my undying love for him too much because it’s tacky and boring and that’s not what this is about. His name is Fidelio and he doesn’t even know I exist.
He is the reason why I might die Friday afternoon.
The important thing is, stuff’s been going on. Bad stuff. It’s supposed to be a secret but, naturally, everyone knows. The U-time crew, a gang of boys and men who used to be boys from the surrounding areas, is in trouble. For more than twenty years the U-time crew and the Nightingale hood, probably the most deadly gang in the entire area, have been engaged in the present tense form of mortal combat. I’m not going to lie and say I know anything about the Nightingale hood. I know absolutely nothing, but I know they’re dangerous.
Everybody knows that now.
Two weeks ago, Oliver Smithin and his small time U-time spin off gang jumped a small time Nightingale gang. Ever since then, Oliver Smithin’s small time gang have been ‘disappearing’, ‘reappearing’ in the hospital. And on Friday, with the last day of school a half day, something’s bound to kick off. Which would be fine with me. Except Oliver’s best friend is non gang member Fidelio. And Fidelio’s the one who’s going to get hurt. I know he is. That’s why I’m not fine with it.
I’ve never seen a fight in real life before. I’ve read books with fight scenes, I’ve seen the films. I’ve made notes on enough literate fight scenes to write a paper on it, but it’s not the same in real life as in books. It’s really, really not the same. In books, you cannot feel the pulse of the person next to you, thundering along at a thousand beats a second. In real life you can. In books, you cannot feel the surge of the crowd at your back trying to push past you. In the books, no matter how much you feel for the characters, they are not real people. Fidelio was a real person.
I was a real person. Oliver was. The boy pointing a gun at his chest was. In the split second of reality we were all real and nothing else mattered.
But split seconds end, and so did this one.
I wasn’t even supposed to be here. I’d told my mum I wouldn’t be. But I couldn’t stop myself. Fidelio…
“Fidelio,” I whispered, my voice inaudible.
I grabbed Fidelio’s hand. He squeezed tight, but never took his eyes off his best friend. No body else did either.
“Let’s sort this out, Harry,” Oliver said, surprising me with his responsibility in the conversation. “Me and you. No one else.”
Harry sneered, turning the gun in his hand, the single, deathly finger still pointing at Oliver threateningly. He smiled.
“Ok then,” he said “Send your lot to the back,”
Oliver nodded and I could feel at least half of the people behind me reluctantly shuffle to the back, but Fidelio didn’t move. On the other side of the crowd, like a wave moving through the student spectator sea, the other gang moving away. Harry’s eyes fell onto Fidelio.
“He’s not U-time,” Oliver said “He’s allowed to stay.”
Harry nodded slowly. With his free hand, he pointed to me.
“You girl,” he spat “Other side.”
My heart was thumping inside my throat. I couldn’t speak with it stuck there.
“What?” I chocked.
“Stand on his other side,” Harry snapped “His right side.”
I slid quickly onto Fidelio’s right side. He wrapped his arm around me. In the single moment, I felt happy. Then I realised why I was needed. Unfortunately for Harry, Fidelio was left handed.