Claire picked up the invite for the school reunion. That’s when she would do it, they met at school, and it was fitting that they would part at the school reunion. She had been happy, once. She remembered school; she was popular, especially with the boys and people used to take an interest in what she said. Now she just seems to be ignored both at home and when she’s out.
She half expected it from Kev, he always was an ignorant bastard but it was the way she was ignored by everyone else that really hurt. Yes, everybody would say hello; they would then always make their excuses and carry on with their lives. She knew why, it was Kev. She was guilty by association.
She wasn’t stupid. She knew what type of business he was in and she also knew that he was always going to attract enemies. It was the people from school who ignored her that hurt the most. They knew the real Claire. Why wouldn’t they accept her?
There’s always Gilbert I suppose, she thought. He never treated her any differently. This also upset her.
She knew that Gilbert had suffered more than most at the hands of Kev, both physically and mentally. She always used Gilbert as a sounding block for her moans and groans. He knew some of her deepest feelings but he never divulged them to anyone as far as she knew and she would love to repay him for his loyalty. Maybe at the reunion she would be able to put things right. By leaving Kev she might be able to gain back the trust of the people she really cared about.
“Bless you my child.”
“Fuck off you freak.”
David Brodie didn’t bat an eyelid and continued on his path. Followed by half a dozen would be disciples he approached his next convert.
“Arise my son. You can now walk.”
He removed his hands from the head of the teenager who had been sat on the step outside the school.
“I could already walk you bloody Pillock.”
The Messiah was only one of the many guises that David had used. Until very recently he had been Elvis Presley and before that a very convincing Bruce Forsyth. A brief stint as Van Gogh came to an abrupt end when an over enthusiastic Kevin Davison took it all too literally and tried to remove his ear with a pair of safety scissors. A career on the stage surely beckoned, either that or a spell in a mental institution. The disciples each carried a bible and took turns reading from it. I can’t quite remember whether they used to sing a few lines from their favourite Elvis number during Brodie’s previous incarnation but they seemed happy.
The teachers must have taken a joint decision to ignore Brodie’s antics. Being the second coming of the Lord in a Catholic school should have been worthy of some response however Jesus Christ the second only appeared at lunch time and the teachers were all too busy drinking coffee and smoking tabs. Strangely enough the disciples only discipled during their lunch break as well. Bible recitals were all well and good whilst following the good lord but try getting them to read in class and it was a totally different story.
Claire looked at Pete’s phone number. It was his return more than anything else that made her realise that she had to leave Kev. Pete coming home had reminded her of how she used to be.
She had missed him and wished that he had never left. If he had stayed fifteen years ago, maybe things would have been different. Claire knew that he had always wanted to be part of her life. Maybe if she had given him the chance, he wouldn’t have gone away.
Now wasn’t the time for reminiscing about chances missed. Now was a time to get organised. She was about to make the biggest step of her life and she had some planning to do. She swept her hair into a ponytail and put on some sunglasses to hide her black eye. It was time to go to work. She started, albeit briefly, to feel good about herself again.
The rain had started lashing against the windows. Why was it always grey in Sunderland? The storm did bring some relief from the normal misty dampness that seemed to hang over the school. They talk about the smog in L.A. and London but it was nothing compared to Sunderland’s. Pollutants from car exhausts or chimneys didn’t cause it, merely shite weather. The rain was welcome break and at least it kept the shagging dogs off the school field.
‘RUSHELO’. The graffiti on the desk had bothered Kev for a while. Who was ‘Rushelo’ and why hadn’t Kev heard of him? If he was going to learn one thing whilst he was at school it was the identity of ‘Rushelo’. Kev pondered this during his Religious Studies lesson. He sat at the same desk each week and each week he wondered who this mystery person was. Perhaps it was an anagram. He started writing down the names of people in his class and working out what anagrams he could make out of their names.
He was quite pleased that his own name could be rearranged to spell ‘vikin inavadors’. Peter Wood was ‘weerd poo’ whilst Billy Lockswood was amusingly ‘old willy bolocks’. He looked forward to sharing this with his mates but it still bothered him that he didn’t know who ‘Rushelo’ was.
It barely kept him awake and he started nodding off. I was also drifting into a daydream. Religious Studies was a joke. Try and be like a good catholic boy, try and be nice to people, and don’t forget to fill the collection box on the way out. That’s the only religious education I’ve ever had. Somebody told me that the Catholic Church is the richest organisation in the world. It doesn’t surprise me. If you think about it, if the first person in church puts a pound in the collection tray then everybody else has to try and beat it, get well in with the priest. They all think that the more money they put in, the further up the queue they’ll go for getting into heaven. It’s the oldest con trick in the book and it’s not as if you can ask for your money back once you’re dead! I think I’ll try it one day, make myself a few bob.
“Davison, are you awake?”
Mr Burn’s shout brought me out of my slumber. What? Shit, I forgot Religious studies. Reading out of the Bible, Jesus Christ can you think of anything more boring? Kev was nearly fast asleep at his desk.
“Well are you going to read for us then Kevin? Today if possible.”
Sarcastic twat, I thought
“Yes Sir,” Kev mumbled.
Another installment to follow same time next week.
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