Chapter One –
Phil and Dominic
It was just a normal day, the sky was covered with dull clouds, and the sky you could actually see was a depressing grey. It wasn't a very nice day, as it was chilly with a cold breeze, but what weather would you expect from Horwich?
It had been raining the day before, puddles had gathered on the pathway. Even now rain was falling, and the puddles surely weren't getting any smaller. Greg Morgan, a 15 year old schoolboy, was taking his normal route to school in the same old weather, just like most days. Water now and then splashed up at him as cars drove past. As he was walking, he stepped through puddles, making his shoes become wetter with every step. One of the puddles, he misjudged, and it was deeper than it looked. His right foot plunged into the puddle, which went up to his ankle. His mouth turned upside down as he stared down at his dripping foot. He really wasn't bothered about this, just at the fact every time he placed his right foot down; a horrible squelching sound was created.
After a few more minutes and many squelches, he arrived at school. As he entered school, a voice shouted 'Greg!' from behind him. To determine who it was, he turned round to see his best friend, Tim, stood there. Greg thought that he looked a mess himself, but as his eyes met Tim's appearance, his thoughts changed dramatically. Tim was stood there looking at Greg, his hair stood up, and dripping wet with rain, his uniform was soaked too, and his little freckled face stared at Greg.
"Alright?" Greg asked him. Tim began trying to fix his hair right, then he stopped when it seemed OK, to him.
"I'm fine I guess, my hair is really annoying me though, it won't go right!" Tim told him, his face angry, but somehow, there was a glimmer of happiness, somewhere. Greg looked at his hair and smirked, Tim looked back at him, his face said 'what you laughing at?' But his look soon changed to a smirk.
"Look" Tim said "I'm going to go to form, so I'll see you later, unless you're coming too?" He began to walk off, and Greg seemed not to follow, so he took his answer as a no and disappeared round the corner. Greg turned around and began to walk off to the loo.
Greg stared into the mirror which hung on the boy's toilets cracked walls. He ruffled his hair, rainwater sprayed off, and droplets flew onto the mirror. The boy's toilets had blue walls, and a bad smell lingered in the air. There were 5 urinals on one of the walls, 4 cubicles on another wall, and the floor was full of chewing gum that had been there for years. Still looking in the mirror, he could see the reflection of the door, and he saw it open. In walked Dominic Barren, and Phil Smith.
Dominic Barren, and Phil Smith, weren't the nicest people you could know. In fact, they were the two people you wouldn't want to run into. Dominic was tall and skinny with a short, blonde, basin cut. Phil on the other hand was rather plump; his cheeks were like hamsters', stashed away with goodies.
Dominic walked up behind Greg, and put his hand on his shoulder. Greg's heart began to beat fast, his eyes filled with fear, and he almost began to shake. He turned around to try and get away, but Phil was blocking the door with his big foot, to prevent any way of escaping.
You see, Phil and Dominic bullied Greg whenever they got the opportunity. They would tease him, call him, spread rumours about him, steal his money, hide his belongings, or even threaten him, although they never did any physical damage.
"Where do you think you're going, Morgan?" Demanded Phil, still blocking the door with his large, boulder sized body. Greg's heart began to beat faster. He was scared to show any of his emotions, as they would tease him about that too.
"Well, Morgan?" Insisted Dominic angrily, "Don't leave yet!" His grip on Greg's shoulder grew tighter, and it started to hurt him. Greg's heart began to beat even faster, as he heard someone at the door, trying to get in. Dominic let go of the grip on Greg's shoulder, and pushed him aside. Greg went stumbling into a cubical, Phil moved from the door as fast as he could make himself move, and the door opened. In walked Daniel Wilkinson, he was in the same year as Greg, Tim, Phil and Dominic, year 10. He had really dark brown hair, he was medium height, he too had freckles like Tim, and he was rather muscular. He walked up to the sink, washed his hands and splashed his face with water. Wiping his wet face in his sleeve, he saw Greg stumble out the cubicle. Phil scratched his forehead and looked away as he saw Daniel look from Greg, to Phil, to Dominic, then back to Greg again.
"What's going on?" asked Daniel, his face looked strong.
Daniel, or Danny as most people called him, was a bit of a loner, but he liked it that way, but he was the only guy that no bully would mess with. He rarely talked much as he liked to be quiet most of the time, and bullies didn't really pick on him because they didn't know what exactly he would do back. He came from a rough area, nobody knew exactly where he was from or who he lived with, he was the sort of shady character.
"Nothing's going on" Dominic told him, "Isn't that right, Gregory lad?" Greg looked up; hardly anyone called him by his full name, Gregory. He saw Dominic's face saying 'agree with me now or you'll regret it later!' Greg looked at Daniel, then back at Dominic's threatening face, and opened his mouth.
"No, everything's fine" Greg said, biting his lip afterwards. Daniel didn't seem very convinced, but nodded to agree with them.
"We were just going anyway, come on Phil my old pal" Said Dominic, and they both exited. As Phil walked out, he took a back ward glance, and then walked off slamming the door.
Daniel knew that something was wrong, as he knew Greg seemed to be the one who always got bullied. It was very tense for the two of them left there as they stood in silence, looking in opposite directions.
"What was really going on?" Asked Daniel, very demanding. Greg was surprised at the fact Daniel was talking to him for the first time in the four years he had known him. He turned to face Daniel, who was looking at him, then Greg looked at the chewing gum covered floor.
"It doesn't matter" Greg told him, as he looked back at Daniel then let his eyes stray again.
"Look..." Before Daniel could finish his sentence, the door burst open, and in popped little freckled faced, Tim. Daniel flinched as the door opened, and saw Tim stood there.
"Hey..." Tim said, but he cut off his sentence when he saw shady looking Daniel stood there a few feet away from Greg.
"Sorry" he apologized, "I'm not interrupting anything am I?" Daniel walked over to the door, pushed passed Tim and walked out, without a backward glance or bye.
"What's his problem?" Asked Tim.
"I don't know" replied Greg, "No one knows his problem."
"Ha" he laughed, I guess so. He opened the door wider and held it there, "so, you coming to form then? The bell is about to go" Before Greg could answer, the bell rang and together they made their way to form.
At dinner that day, Tim and Greg sat together just like every other day at school. They didn't really have any other friends, they preferred to have each other for company and support.
"So what exactly happened in the toilets?" Asked Tim curiously. Greg took a bite of his ham sandwich, chewed, and then swallowed it. He looked up at Tim who seemed to be still waiting for an answer. Greg sighed, as he had already told Tim a thousand times.
"I told you before Tim, nothing happened!" Tim didn't seem to believe him, no matter how many times Greg told him, he still thought something had happened, because nobody spoke to Daniel Wilkinson.
"Well, what did he say to you then?" Greg looked back at Tim who was still staring at him. Greg sighed again.
"Look, he just walked in when I was in, and then you walked in, we didn't speak at all" Tim pushed himself back on his chair, stood up, and looked down at Greg.
"I thought we were friends, but obviously not if you can't tell me anything!" After he said that, he left the dinner hall, leaving Greg sat at the table, all alone.
Tim knew that something had gone on. He had heard voices before he opened the door, and there were just two of them in the toilets. But what also bothered him was even if they weren't talking, Greg made out that Daniel had just entered the toilets just before him, so why didn't he see Daniel enter the toilets if Daniel was supposedly before him. What bothered him the most, was Tim couldn't stand liars, especially when it was his best friend.
Greg sat at the table, eating his sandwich. He heard the chair beside him move. He looked up, hoping it was Tim who had come back, but instead, he found himself gazing up at Phil. Then he heard the chair at the other side of him move, he turned to look, and saw Dominic taking a seat.
"Oii! Morgan! I need a word with you" Dominic said, his voice was angry, and the only thing that Greg thought of doing was trying to get away, so he stood up. Phil grabbed his arm, and held him tight.
"Where do you think you're going! Sit!" Phil demanded. Greg hesitated for a few seconds, then thought it was the best choice to sit down.
"Now listen, Morgan! What did you say to that Daniel?" Dominic snapped, "He came up to us, and told us a how we should act towards people! Now really Morgan, I don't need lectures from no one!" Greg began to tremble, and his voice began to shake.
"I... I... I said nothing." Phil and Dominic found that hard to believe, and both chuckled.
"Really Morgan, no one tells us what to do! Not you, not that Daniel, not no one!" The both of them stood up and began to walk away slowly. Greg began to stop himself from trembling, and he had lost his appetite now.
He stood up, carried the food he had left, walked over to the bin and deposited it. He turned around, and saw Phil and Dominic sat with their crowd of bullies, and some year 9 girls which every lad seemed fond of. On another table he saw Daniel sat there, nothing in front of him to be eaten, not a drink, but he was staring towards Phil and Dominic. Greg caught his eyes. He turned his head towards Greg, his arms were folded, and it was kind of spooky how it was just his head that seemed to move. Greg looked away when his eyes met with his. He saw Daniel rise from his seat, Phil looked towards Daniel, and then his eyes met with Greg's. Greg blinked and began to hurry off out the hall. Greg was always the one to lose it first, he couldn't stand difficult times, and he was always the first to break.
That day, at the end of school, as the final bell rang, Greg and Tim still hadn't spoken a word to each other. It was a rather stupid thing that had happened, and Greg wanted to forget. He walked out of the school gates, and saw Phil and Dominic waiting to be picked up by their family members. There was suddenly a loud screech, and a stunning black Ferrari sped round the corner and parked on double yellow lines, right beside the school gates. Everyone round at the time stared and studied the well kept car. Out of the vehicle stepped a medium sized guy with short dark hair. The man looked in his mid twenties, and was wearing sunglasses, which was really odd, seeing as it was rather dull. Everyone still stared as they watched him enter the school. On the opposite side of the road to Greg stood Tim, looking lost and alone.
"Tim!" Greg shouted. He ran across the road to Tim without looking, then stood by him, "Who do you think that is?"
Tim looked at him, smiled and spoke, "I have no idea, but I mean look at his car! I'd kill to have a car like that, and have all that attention!" The both of them smiled, said their goodbyes, and went their separate ways home.
Two – Who was he? His dad?
The next day, Greg walked to school, but today, the weather was actually decent. He arrived at school earlier than yesterday, and stood at the gates, hoping Tim would come soon. Many people passed as he waited, and Phil being one of them, walked past but stopped a few yards away from Greg. A few minutes passed, and Dominic arrived, and Tim just behind him. Phil and Dominic were on their way to walk up to Greg and Tim, but then that sound was heard again. The black Ferrari screeched round the corner and sped up to the school. The four of them and others, tried to see into the car and determine who it was. The car stopped with a sudden, and the passenger seat car door opened. A foot stepped out onto the pavement, then the other foot. Everyone stared in absolute amazement as they saw, Daniel Wilkinson get up and out from the car. He saw everyone looking in his direction, then he turned back to look into the car. He flung his bag over his shoulder then leaned over in the car, and seemed to be talking to the driver. He slammed the door shut, the car then reversed into the school entrance, and everyone who was stood there leapt to the side as the car roared with life and sped off. Daniel was walking off, into the school, ignoring the collection of staring eyes. Phil and Dominic walked into the school and close behind, Tim and Greg followed.
Tim was desperate to know who the guy was. Everyone said Daniel lived in a shack with his mum and step-dad, with no money and no food. And the rumour said that they also once had to eat their pet cat. But to start with, he surely wasn't that poor, as he gets a lift to school by some guy in his snazzy Ferrari, and everyone knew Ferrari's were expensive.
"Greg, go ask him!" Tim begged. Greg looked at Tim.
"No," he said, "It's none of our business who that guy was. Anyway, go ask yourself." The two of them looked back into his direction, but he had gone.
it's a good idea, right?" Dominic checked. Phil looked blankly at
him, as though he has zoned out. "Phil!" He flinched and
suddenly came back to life.
"So it's a good idea?" Dominic checked again. Phil had no idea what he was talking about; he wasn't paying attention to any of what Dominic had just said.
"Sorry, what idea?" Phil grumbled. Dominic frowned, "You need to listen you!" He snapped, "It doesn't matter for now, I'll tell you later" Dominic said as he watched some year 9 girls walk by, followed Daniel behind them. Dominic smirked and turned to Phil, "Come on!"
and Greg wandered down the crowded hallway, people pushed and shoved
as they made their way to their next lesson.
"Oii! Watch where you're going Morgan!" A voice groaned at Greg, as he stumbled into a large year 11. Tim, being very small, got lost in the crowd and pushed back, so Greg continued to his next lesson solo. Suddenly, Greg was pushed so hard, he slammed into a door, the door opened and he tumbled into the room. He found himself in the grotty, boy's toilets.
"Nice of you to drop in, Morgan." A voice said evilly. It was just like a film when it was said. Greg recognized the voice, he knew he heard it on a regular basis, it was, Dominic. Greg faced him, then turned around to get out. He found himself looking at chubby faced Phil, who was blocking the door, once again.
"Now then, Morgan, I'm sure we can come to some agreement." Dominic smiled.
was carried through the crowds, to his next lesson, and fell into his
classroom. The whole class was seated and silent.
"Sorry I'm late" he apologized, and took his seat next to Greg. Their teacher, Ms Lewis, frowned hard at Tim. He wasn't usually late to class, which puzzled her a bit. She then turned round to the board and babbled on about volcanoes.
"Where've you been?" Asked Greg. Tim shook his head.
"I got took away with the crowds, but that doesn't matter, guess who I've just seen" Tim questioned him. He could have seen anyone, and Greg didn't feel like guessing.
"Who?" Greg asked. Ms Lewis turned around, and looked at the two chatting boys, "would you two like a detention together, and talk about what you want then?" She asked angrily. The two of them shook their heads, and she continued her lesson.
"Who, Tim?" Whispered Greg with a hiss. Tim looked to see if miss was looking, and she wasn't, so he turned to Greg.
"You know that guy? Yesterday? The one with the sunglasses?" Greg looked to see if miss was looking at them.
"Where was he?" Greg snapped. Tim didn't reply, as miss was turning to the class. "Forget it" Greg whispered. He then raised his hand in the air. Ms Lewis tried to ignore him, but he was starting to bug her.
"What is it, Greg?" He could tell she was irritated, but he didn't really care.
"Can I go to the toilet, Miss?" She nodded. He stood up noisily and exited the room.
"Greg! Where you going?" Tim hissed after him.
Greg walked down the corridor, passed the toilets, looking out for the guy. Everyone who had seen the guy wanted to know who he was, and if Greg was the first to know, he would surely get attention, he thought. Everyone else didn't like to talk to Daniel, and even if they did, he only spoke to people he wanted to speak to. Greg looked round the corners; he had to be on the 1st floor. He walked further on, and then looked in the direction of the office, and there he was, talking to the school headmaster. Daniel wasn't in sight with him, he was probably in class though. The guy seemed bored to tears, then his eyes caught with Greg's staring eyes. His look seemed to be saying; 'what you looking at?' Then he turned back to look at the headmaster. Greg wasn't going to see who the guy was by doing this, so he scuttled off, back to class.
At dinner Phil and Dom were with Greg.
"Go on, there he is! Go ask him!" Phil snapped. Dominic pushed him and Greg went stumbling. Tim, turned the corner, and saw Greg with the two of them. Many things went through his mind, and he turned around, bumped into a year 7, then walked off down the corridor.
"Go on Morgan! Go ask him" Dominic yelled at him. Greg slowly walked up to Daniel who was sat alone, again, with nothing, in the dinner hall. Greg pulled up a chair beside him. Daniel tilted his head to the side, not fully looking at him though.
"Can I help you?" He asked in his deep voice, which wasn't heard very often. Greg took a seat next to Daniel. He looked back and saw Phil and Dominic waiting. He turned back to look at Daniel, who's head was still tilted.
"Can I ask you something?" Daniel turned his head to Greg. He looked behind him, and saw the two bullies stood there.
"Go ahead." Greg tried to speak, but the words didn't come out. Daniel looked at him, still waiting for the question.
"You know... The Guy... The one with the Ferrari..." He asked, "Who is he?"
Daniel looked at him with a cold and cruel mean stare. Greg could tell he didn't seem happy about the question.
"It's just, err..." Greg stuttered, "Well I mean, not trying to err, sound rude or anything, but err." Daniel looked at Greg's blubbering face, and carelessly listened to his spluttering words. "Well, all the err, rumours people err, say about you, err..." Greg stopped, "I'm sorry... It's just..." He stopped again. Daniel seemed to be still waiting for him to finish his words.
"Just?" Daniel asked. Greg began to shake, he turned round to look at Phil and Dominic who were still waiting. He turned back to Daniel, who was also waiting.
"The thing is..." Greg began , but then Daniel began to speak over him.
"You want to know who the guy with the Ferrari is." He clarified. Greg sighed and nodded.
"Well," he started, "you can tell those two they can mind their own business, and ask their own questions." After that, he stood up and walked out the hall. On his way out, he looked at Phil and Dominic. Greg didn't know what his face looked like when he looked at them, as he wasn't in the right position.
Greg was joined by the two of them, very curious of what he had said.
"So?" Phil asked impatiently, "who was the dude?" Greg looked at them both and sighed, he was scared of what their reaction was going to be.
"He didn't tell me..." There was a sudden pause. Phil banged on the table with his coconut sized fist.
"What did he say, exactly?" Asked Dominic. Greg wondered whether he should say what he said, or should he make something up. Then he thought of Tim, and thought about how much he hates liars.
"Truthfully," he said, "He told me... To tell you... That you should mind your own business, and ask your own questions..." Greg stood up, and he too, left the hall. The two of them were left sat there, feeling rather stupid.
was in form, sat alone, at his desk. The other people in form were
all sat in a circle, talking, laughing; something Tim had never
experienced much, laughter.
He lived in Bolton with his mum, his dad, and 4 other siblings, so life in his house was rather complicated. He was the oldest of them all. He had a brother in year 7 called Christopher, who, had just opened his form room door. Everyone went quiet as they turned to see who it was. Tim, however was facing the wall, and didn't realize his little brother at the door.
"Heyy!" A voice said to Tim from the crowd of people in the room, "Heyy, Tim, your little brother Chris is at the door." Tim stopped his gaze at the wall and sees his little brother peeking in through the door. He stood up and walked to the door slowly.
"What you want, Chris?" He asked his little brother. As he asked that, he saw Greg appear up the stairs and was on his way to form.
"Well" Chris said, "I need money for my dinner." Tim reached in his pocket, money jingled about, and he pulled out a five pound note, "Here Chris, but you owe me." Chris snatched the money and disappeared down the stairs. Greg was now with Tim. He tried to forget what he saw, he thought, Greg had found some new friends and wouldn't need him anymore. He just has to ask.
"So where are your new best friends?" He asked him, looking away and trying not to make eye contact. Greg seemed shocked to what he said, and gave him a weird look which said, 'What?'
"Who?" Greg asked, the look still stuck on his face.
"Don't deny it, I saw you..." Greg stopped him.
"With who? Daniel? No, that was just something those two freaks asked me to do." Tim sighed and itched his head.
"I'm sorry, I just jump to conclusions, anyway, did you find out who that guy was then?"
Greg shook his head, "Nope." Tim sniffed up into his nose and coughed lightly. "Come on." Tim said, running down the stairs, but Greg didn't follow, and Tim ran away far too quick before he could answer. Greg couldn't be bothered going after him, so he carelessly wandered into his form room.
along the corridor feeling alone like before. The corridor seemed
rather empty; it was like everyone had disappeared. Normally, the
whole school was flooded with people. Then, two girls giggling and
laughing walked along the corridor, and one walked up to Tim.
"Heyy, Timothy, I got news for ya!" She said giggling. It was Jade Brooks in year 9, and the other girl was her twin sister, Sophie. All this happened too quickly for Tim, and he stood there blankly. Sophie leaned over and whispered something in his ear.
"Spread the word." Jade said, "It's true!" And the two of them linked arms and walked away. Tim suddenly came back to life and ran up the stairs back to form, to go find Greg.
3 – Rumours... Again?
Greg sat in form, just like Tim had done before, staring at the wall. He looked on the patterns on the wall, making them into different things in his mind. He was just in the middle of making out a flower when Tim burst in through the door. Everyone else who was left in the room jumped and looked in his direction. He had always wanted attention, but not this way. He walked over to Greg and took a seat next to him.
"Have you heard?" Tim asked him. Greg looked away from the wall and looked at Tim.
"Heard what?" He asked puzzled. Tim wiped his sweaty hand in his pants.
"Well," he started, "You know Daniel? Well obviously... But, have you heard what everyone one is saying?" He asked.
"Obviously not if I just told you I don't know" Greg said in a way that made Tim feel stupid, "So do you plan on telling me, or you keeping this suspension going?"
Tim sighed, "Cut a story short, I know who the guy is!" After he said that, Greg actually seemed interested, and began to listen properly.
"Oh really. Who?" Greg asked interestedly. Tim again, wiped his sweaty hand on his pants."It's his dad..."
Greg raised an eyebrow, "Really?" He asked. Tim nodded.
"I don't even know why people wanted to know who he was anyway... If that was me, people wouldn't care about who he was..." Tim nodded again and agreed the same would happen to him in the same situation.
"In fact" Greg said, "I am going to find out what is so important about knowing!" He hopped to his feet, squeezed past Tim and exited the room. The door began to shut slowly and Tim said after him, "Where you..." The door closed, "...Going."
Greg went to
the boy's toilets, because that's where Phil and Dominic normally
were. He entered, and there they were. Dominic was sat on the sinks,
and Phil was about to light up a cigarette.
"Close the door Morgan!" He groaned. Greg pushed the door closed.
"You look like you want something, lad? What is it?" Dominic asked, swinging his legs under the sinks, and every time his legs swung his legs back, they hit the back of the sink.
"Well, there is one thing." Greg said timidly. He normally felt scared when he spoke to the two of them, but this time he felt fine, almost. "You know how you wanted to know who that guy with Daniel was." He asked, "Why were you so keen to know?" Dominic jumped off the sink and walked upto Greg.
"Well, you see." He began to explain, "