Subject: Health and Sexuality, 10th Grade
Essay Topic: First Times: Describe a first time for you (a first look, a first love, a first kiss, a first touch) and discuss the feelings and emotions this provoked in you. How did this first time affect your opinions about sex and sexuality?
Assessment: This essay will contribute 20% of your grade in this subject. It is a requirement to submit this essay to gain a pass in this subject.
Confidentiality: Due to the personal nature of the topic, your essay will be treated with complete confidentiality and will only be seen by your teacher and yourself.
Due Date: Submit on or before 12th March
My first high school was a small one, a typical country high school with about 200 students from the 7th grade to the 12th grade all in the one little cluster of buildings. It was a pretty safe place, you know? Quiet. You read in the papers or see in the news how some of those big city schools are dangerous places to be, with drugs and bashings and stuff but that always seemed like a different country, a different world even. Those dangerous places were a million miles away from us in our little country haven.
The only hassle in our place was Ben Stubbings and his three offsiders, all of whom were gigantic guys with little heads and big muscles and no brains and who, somehow, managed to get their hands on a constant supply of booze or some drug or other. They always hung out in the trees on the far side of the football field so we just all stayed away from there and there were mostly no problems. Well, not until that day in February — February 17th to be exact.
It was lunchtime and really cold outside. Really, really cold with a vicious wind that drove cruel, icy spikes through every piece of clothing anyone wore. It never really snowed around there, we were too far south for that, but that just meant the school wasn't built to protect us from weather like that, and no-one had the sort of clothes that people have in places where it snows, so we just had to wrap our arms around ourselves and dart frantically from one piece of shelter to the next.
Because hardly anyone could be outside in weather like that, the cafeteria was packed. The place was actually hot with so many in there and the cookers and so on. Coats and jumpers were quickly shed and draped over chairs. The one teacher on duty, Mrs Hicks, was pretty frazzled trying to deal with a couple of hundred teenagers crowded into a canteen designed for half that number. The rest of the teachers were probably crowded around the heaters in the faculty lounge in the next building. Apparently Mrs Hicks caught some 8th grader stealing (or trying to steal) some soda cans from the vending machine so she marched him out and over to see the principal. That meant there was no teacher in the room when Ben Stubbings and his goons finally gave in to the inevitable and joined the rest of us in the canteen.
They didn't just join us, they made an entrance. The doors slammed open and they stormed in. A group of 10th graders standing together just inside the door got shoved out of the way, one of them went head first into the wall and bounced off it looking stunned, blood starting to pour out of a split eyebrow. Most everyone else tried to get out of their way, scattering like a bomb had gone off or cowering at their tables. I never found out what drugs Ben and his goons were on, but they sure were on something. I don't think it was dope... dope's supposed to make you mellow, isn't it??... those guys were the exact opposite of mellow.
Ben picked a table he wanted and led the charge towards it. Most of the occupants of the table figured out the score and cleared off in a hurry. I say most because two people at the table didn't get clued in fast enough. Stephen Jenkins and May Stennforth, two 9th graders, didn't notice what was going on. Partly because they had their backs to the door and partly because they were so wrapped up in each other they were oblivious to the rest of the world. Yup, they were an item. They hadn't got much past hugging and kissing and gazing into each others eyes but they did that every chance they got, specially at lunchtime in the cafeteria.
Ben didn't take kindly to being ignored, so he loomed up behind the pair of them, grabbed each of them one handed by their collars and dumped them backwards onto the floor at the same time growling something like "get offa ma table ya pair a fags".
Personally I've got no problem with gay people but calling a boy and girl who were just kissing each other a pair of fags is just too stupid for words. Strangely no-one at the time tried to point that out to Ben. Maybe nobody noticed at the time, I really only thought of it now when I'm writing this. But anyway...
May gave a squeal of surprise as she suddenly found herself flying backwards onto the ground. There was also a tearing sound as the back of her top failed to cope with the rough treatment. Stephen flung his arms out trying to catch his balance or catch May or grab onto the table or something as he also found himself flying backwards. Unfortunately, one of his flung out arms connected with Ben's face with a loud smack.
The blow can't have hurt Ben that much, there wasn't much force behind it, but Ben took it as an attempt to fight back and completely lost it. Stephen by this time was on the ground and Ben and his buddies started laying in to him. Kicks were thudding into him so loud they seemed to echo around the room. Stephen struggled at first then lay there, his body jerking in time with the kicks. I don't know for sure, but I think he went unconscious. May screamed and jumped onto Ben's back clawing at him, trying to get him to stop. Most other people in the room were sitting or standing, watching in total shock. A few tried to move forward to intervene but suddenly the goons were holding knives and they backed off in a hurry.
Ben shrugged May off his back and grabbed her by the front of her top, forcing her back into a nearby table packed with 7th grade students all frozen in terror or shock or both. May's top, already torn, completely gave up and came away in Ben's hands leaving May in a long skirt and bra. May screamed and tried to cover herself. This distracted the goons who left off kicking Stephen and leered at May.