I leaned against the wall with a cigarette dangling from my lips. The probation worker continued to run his mouth, rattling off instructions as we remained still and unnerved by his tough act. That was until one of my fellow delinquents decided to open his mouth. This only stirred up chaos among the group, involving a couple of the other kids via low insults. I rolled my eyes as they continued to take a drag from my cancer stick. I watched as two of the boys went at it, one having to be held back by the probation worker. The rest of them continued to view the spectacle with smug looks on their faces, however I turned to face the river, quite uninterested in all that was going on.
After things had calmed down, he directed us over to a pyramid of paint cans accompanied by a few brushes.
"Alright, you lot. There are benches that need to be painted." He spoke, and turned to the rest of us, waiting for someone to move. "Well, what are you waiting for? Move along."
I sighed and moved forward, stepping up to take a can by the handle and grab a brush for myself. The curly haired boy continued to mutter profane things under his breath as he did the same, and the rest weren't much better.
He led us over to the lot of benches in which we were meant to be painting, gave us general instructions, told us that messing about wouldn't be tolerated, and went back toward the community center.
"What a fucking twat." The same loud mouth spoke again, as we all began to open our individual cans.
I rolled my eyes and went off further down, away from the rest of them to work on my own bench, hoping that no one would attempt to follow. Unfortunately, the quiet boy squatted down on the other side of the bench, silently taking up his brush and getting to work.
At least it's not that curly haired wanker. I thought to myself as I did the same.
"Man, there's paint on my cap! This is bullshit!" The skinny boy from earlier spoke, throwing a fit. He kicked a paint can into the river, and then stormed off, taking his anger out on a lone shopping cart as he went.
I shrugged off his little outburst and attempted to go back to my work. This was going to get very old very fast.
"I'm guessing you shoplifted? No?"
"Don' ak lie yeh know meh, cos yeh don'." The blatantly rude chav girl retorted, attempting to go back to her work.
"I'm just making conversation." The brunette attempted to defend, in the least defensive way imaginable. "This is a chance to network with other young offenders. We should be swapping tips. Brainstorming! Come on, what'd you do?"
"Eh gurl called meh a slag, I got into a figh." She stated nonchalantly.
They continued to speak back and forth, him throwing stupid comments in whenever he got the chance. I attempted to block them out once more. As I turned to go back to splashing paint, the boy across from me made eye contact and gave me what seemed to be a small smile. I returned it with a sad chuckle and swiped the brush along the splintering wood.
"What about you, weird kid?" He addressed the boy before me, making it now impossible to block out his mindless banter. "Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but you look like a panty sniffer." He followed this accusation with a lovely charade as well.
"I'm not a panty sniffer." He defended, looking nearly helpless as he croutched down with a paintbrush in his hand. "I'm not a pervert."
The boy continued to act out his accusation by pretending to have a wank with his paintbrush, obnoxious noises included. As this continued, and no one seemed to be doing anything, I spoke up.
"Leave it, you twat."
He only continued, as the chav girl laughed off my failed attempt to defend the quiet kid.
"I tried to burn someone's house down!" He spoke up finally and everyone went silent.
Well...certainly didn't expect that one.
He didn't strike me as the type to be a little too friendly with the lighter. But I guess none of us really were what we seemed.
"What did you do?" The chav asked, which caught my attention immediately.
Now this, I had to hear.
"Me?" She nodded. "I was done for eh...eating some Pick N Mix."
Thunder boomed from above us, and he took the liberty to aknowledge it and ignore her comment.
"How'd that happen?" The voice of the probation worker sounded as he approached us, pointing out the lone can in the river. "I mean, you've been here five minutes. It's painting benches. How'd you screw that up? You tell me because I've got no idea."
Just as another smart ass comment was about to pass his lips, what seemed like a boulder fell from the sky, landing on the car parked in the street behind us. A scream was heard, we all took cover and the car alarm sounded.
"That's my car!" He exclaimed.
And soon, another fell into the water behind us, causing us all to cover our heads in fear.
We all turned toward the sky, where a large black cloud seemed to have made its way right above us. Soon, there were several more immense bits of hail falling from the sky. The worker took off, ordering us to follow. That was one order we had no problem following. Everyone took off in the direction of the community center, dodging the masses that were falling all around us. Glass and pavement broke all around as we desperately tried to get to safety. Screams and shouts rung out from all of us.
Finally, was we made it there, it was brought to our attention that the doors were locked. Everyone continued to shout at the worker as he fumbled with the keys. Everything seemed to be crashing around us as they screamed at him to get a move on so we could get to safety.
Then suddenly, a loud crash of thunder sounded and we were all thrown back. I felt a white hot pain shoot through me and my entire body went rigid. It was as if everything was moving in slow motion as we came crashing down to the pavement a few feet back. Bits of hail continued to fall as we all attempted to get to our feet.
"I feel really weird."
"That would be the lighting."
"We should be dead." The boy spoke from next to me.
The loud one finally spoke up. "A little reassurance would be nice, you know." He said, directing his comment to the worker. "You're fine! Looking good!"
"Wanker." He spoke.
"Did he just call me a wanker?"
I touched my head, which suddenly began to throb and winced.
"Jesus Christ." I muttered, rubbing my temples, everyone's voices drowned out by the thundering in my head.
"Are you allright?" The softspoken boy said from beside me.
"Yeah. Just a massive headache." I said, pressing my palm to my forehead.
"I think we should call it a day." The worker spoke, and everyone seemed to easily get to their feet.
I did so as well a moment later with a bit of help from the blue eyed boy.
"I'm Simon, by the way."
He smiled softly and took my arm, making sure I was stable before I took my first step.
"I'm fine, really..."I assured him.
He let go without another word, but didn't break the stare that seemed to go right through me. With a slight shiver, I turned back toward the community center. The worker opened the doors, letting us all in to change. I hurried in so that I could keep the bullshit to a minimum. I just wanted to get in, get out and be over with. Like a Friday night fuck after a late night at the club.