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The Island Of Serenity
This was the first of the major changes that was to punctuate my growing up; the second was leaving the kindergarten, junior school building, to start senior school elsewhere in town. I had never had to learn to, ‘look after myself’, all the kids that I mixed with, I’d known since I was little more than a baby. In the new school there were big kids that I didn’t know, boys from quite rough backgrounds, who didn’t think twice about stopping a smallish, shy dark haired boy with an unusual beakish nose and deep-set brown eyes. ‘Do you ‘ave any sweets or pocket money?’ ‘Why do you want to know?’ ‘Because I’m going to look after you, and I want to be paid for it.’ ‘What happens if I don’t want to be looked after by you?’ ‘This..,’ and he roughly pushed me over. I was not at all expecting that and fell down quite heavily, I hurt my hand and ripped a bit the elbow of my new jacket. I gave the boy all that I had on me. ‘Every Monday, or else’. I ran into my new school, my very first day, only just succeeding not to cry. ‘Qu’est ce que vous avez faite?’ Maman screamed at me as I came home on seeing the state of the new jacket. She didn’t stop complaining about how bad I was; to me, to Jay and finally to J.J. when he returned home. ‘Come here son, tell me what happened.’ I wasn’t sure how much to tell him, you see, I didn’t know him that well. Maman, her reactions were easy to predict, but my father, I didn’t know. As usual, he had already starting drinking before arriving home, I looked closely at him, trying to judge what was best to say. ‘Looks like you fell over.’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Somebody help you?’ ‘Pardon?’ ‘Somebody help you to fall over?’ ‘Yes’, I mumbled. ‘Y’are quite small and weak, not much good in a tumble, but y’are my son, which means that you’re smart. Listen, everyone’s got a weakness and everyone’s got strengths. You need to find out what are your strengths and what are his weakness’, then go in strong, you don’t always get a second chance. Now get yee to bed.’ I was both relieved and disappointed; relieved that I wasn’t further rebuked, but disappointed that knowing that I was being bullied, he didn’t think to do more to help me. I tossed and turned in my bed, ‘it was alright for him, he was never in a position where people didn’t do what he wanted, he never had to fight, or had he? I started to think about some of the stories that I had heard over the dinner table, J.J. was a bit like briar rabbit, he always found a way to twist himself out of anything. I could also be tricky, someone once said that you could move the earth of you found a lever big enough, so what lever would I need to control my new found adversary? Monday morning came and he was waiting for me at the school gate. ‘What do have for me?’ ‘Your name’s Brian Waterfield.’ ‘What of it?’ ‘My name’s Pierre-Alain Ferguson.’ ‘So?’