Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ashley, Joshua and David

Back in my first year of high school, there was an incident involving three boys from my class. They were Ashley, Joshua and David H. Ashley and David H (the H because there was another David, David Smith) had been my classmate since year 3. Ashley was a different kind of boy as I recalled from many years ago. He was somewhat arrogant, slightly rebellious but was very charming at the same time. He was good-natured but also had a naughty side to him. He was a troublemaker, but because of his charm, he received less severe punishments for his crimes. He had a prominent forehand, blue eyes and blonde hair that curled slightly at the end. He was also very athletic and one of the oldest boys in class, always finishing around the top 3 spots in sporting events in his age group. However, what really set Ashley apart from most boys was that he comfortably played with girls during recess and lunch, when he wasn’t playing with the boys.

David was the total opposite. David was nice and friendly, yet also shy. He had dreamy green eyes inherited from his mother, with flowing black hair. He had a gentle, soft and long face with pink cheeks. He often wore a concerned and worrying look on his face which would instantly light up with interest when he engaged with others. He was tall yet also a little chubby, but not fat. He had flat foot and was clumsier than other boys in sport. He usually hung with Ashley like a shadow. If Ashley was the main attraction, then David was the sideshow.

Joshua, better known as Josh joined my class only in year 7 so I did not really know too much about him at the time of the incident except that he was an asshole and a cheat in games. I found that out myself during the few times when I played soccer, basketball and handball with him. At a time of innocent, when most of us were still too proud and had not yet grasped the dirty tactics in games, he was already knocking us out and polluting our games with swinging elbows , false calls, cheating antics and other forms of bad sportsmanship. He was a thin, lengthy boy with blond hair and blue eyes. He did not look strong but his bones certainly caused much pain for his playmates. And he had some strong fingers for pulling shirt and pushing. I remembered that quality of his very clearly. Like Ashley, he was also one of the oldest boys in class.

It was on a Wednesday, and Wednesday meant sport in the afternoon. For the past several months we had been playing soccer on a field about a fifteen minutes walk from school. Since we were in high school, we were old enough to walk ourselves there. We would change into our PE clothes after lunch and walk in groups of 3 or more to the soccer field. We walked pass the neighborhood of quiet houses, under the railway bridge, passed the shops and news agency with the lottery poster and ball, t he bakery and the sandwich shop.

As usual, I walked with Kostas and Chris, and red, Ben. We called him Red because of his reddish orange hair.

We were about to turn from the sleepy residential street to where the shops were when we hurt a scream. It was a haunting sound.

We saw a plump lady about forty lying on the floor and David was trying to help her up. Up further on the street, was a man running with a purse. Two blonde boys in light blue uniform were running after him, and they disappeared into the corner.

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