“Never mind North End” by Stephen


Some say playgrounds are full of hope, pain would be closer to the truth. Daily battles of anger and hurt, Billy’s name, scratched into his desk, had no relevance here. The desk he sat at, waiting for instructions. Waiting for the whistle for half time, back to class.

Saturday was better. No cold white room, overhead light flickering then. No Mr Grundy waiting for a chance to pull out his cane, or hurl the blackboard duster. Just some girl, about Billy’s age, stood in the stands with her dad, watching Preston North End get beaten by Portsmouth.

I hadn’t thought of ginger hair as beautiful before. Usually, I took the piss out of gingers like everyone else did. Even old Grundy had a wise crack or two, at our own ginger classmates. But it was. Beautiful.

So was her face.

I sneaked a look every time I could. Never mind North End. This was a better picture. Funny really. She had been more or less stood in the same place at quite a few games. And I’d seen her, couldn’t miss her really. Ginger hair, pale skin, bright blue eyes. So full of life.

What do I do now Billy? What do I do now?

I think I might be in love.

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