A story about a thirteen year old boy who just wants his life to make sense and break free the bonds of his Christian town and strict mother.
Couldn’t Do It Alone…
Chapter 1: Uncle Rich’s Funeral.
Today was my birthday. It was also the day of my Uncle Rich’s funeral. I hardly knew him. My birthday did not really matter. Despite turning thirteen only happened once and having the pleasure of not wearing a tacky and itchy new suit. My Aunt Gladys had picked it. The moment she saw me within the suit she had tears in her eyes and said I was the splitting image of Uncle Rich. Apparently, it was the same kind of orange plaited suit Uncle Rich used to wear. The moment my Aunt had said that I resembled Uncle Rich in the suit, I had an image of Uncle Rich wearing the same kind of suit in his coffin. I shuddered at the thought, not wanting to resemble a dead person, relative or not.
My mum practically had to drag me on the way to the car to attend the funeral at the town church. I put up a great struggle but eventually gave up. On the way, I kept fiddling with my orange bow tie. The high collar kept on threatening to strangle me and I kept on scratching, which only made the itchiness worse.
“Don’t fiddle with it, Henry,” stated my mother in a disapproving manner as she kept on driving.
Huffing slightly, I crossed my arms in a disgruntled manner and glanced out the window.
Luckily the small community of this town meant fast fire service and it was only a few minutes before the firemen arrived and with two short bursts of a fire extinguisher had gotten the situation under control.
I barely listened as the fireman in charge had merely taken it all in good humour and gave my mum a slight talking to about how the damage was very little, in fact only the wastepaper basket and it’s contents were the only things damaged and overall that “boys will be boys”, as if I was a little kid. It did not help the fact he ruffled my hair and gave me a precautionary warning. What was this guy, a moron?
After the fire service left my mother scolded me as we made our way back inside the house.
She practically thrust me inside and slammed the front door behind her.
“Henry! What has gotten into you?” my mother snapped at me.
I did not answer straight away because I was not sure myself. I knew it was a drastic and stupid thing to do but I had still done it.
My mother did not seem to wait for an answer, as if she really expected me to answer back, and suddenly wandered past me to the Kitchen.
“I’m going for a drink. Do not expect you are off the hook, Henry!” my mother shouted as she opened the door to the Kitchen and slammed it shut behind her.
Despite my mum’s words, she was fortunately not one to enforce them. I counted myself as lucky in that my mother drowns her problems in booze and is too lazy to do anything of a parenting nature. But it was also really fortunate my Dad had not heard about it. But as I slowly opened my eyes at the morning Haze that was to await me I almost had wished my parents were more attentive of me.
My school uniform was almost as bad as my now non-existent itchy orange suit. I did not like the low-cut grey shorts that rose above my knees. Every time I moved in them they seemed to feel constricting of my thigh muscles that wanted to stretch out in a normal walking manner. The grey blazer was just as worse, having constricting sleeves that made my arms feel slightly numb whenever I tried to crinkle it. The glaring emblem on the blazer is of a cross, of course, with the name of the Dunsville Christian School with the D.C.S initials stamped upon the crest in green behind the silver/grey cross in the middle of the crest. I fiddled with the iron-pressed light green striped white shirt that I wore under my blazer. With a heavy heart I buttoned up the white and green speckled buttons upon the shirt, idly stuffing the front and back of it down my shorts as best I could against the restricting grey shorts.
Completing my outfit was black shoes that were polished and pull-up socks that reached a quarter ways between my ankles and my knees. I observed myself in the bathroom mirror, having had a shower and brushed my teeth beforehand after I had gotten up. I was just finishing combing my hair. I looked like a pansy but Dunsville Christian School had a strict dress code policy for kids in my grade and before my grade. The older kids were given more leniencies to school clothing, as long as they wore the blazer at all times.
Sighing at my reflection in the mirror I felt miserable. But knew I could do nothing about it.
‘Henry Dawson, you look like a right git,’ I thought to myself.
But this self-loathing seemed to ease my pain of how I looked. I knew nobody else dared to make fun of my outfit because most other boys my age and younger wore the same thing.
My mum called from the car, the faint sound of our car horn blaring.
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