The city sun was no different to the country sun, so why was it so scary? A strange question to ask your 10 year-old self? I should have asked why the other boys were throwing stones at my legs, but I knew the answer. It was the short pants. Let me explain, we had moved from the farm to a council estate in Bradford (not the best decision my parents made) now, country boys wore short pants whereas city boys wore long pants.
As someone different I had to be
punished bullied maybe it was a form of banter ;-). I kept walking and they followed, until a girl began talking to me. She placed herself between me and them, they stopped throwing stones and dispersed. Her name was Christine Oats and we became friends. We played together that summer until one day it was over and we were sent to different schools. I saw her again once, 7 years later, I was with some ‘lads’ we were ‘lads’ on the last bus home and drunk. They were making some rude innuendos towards her and when I recognised her I went to sit with her whereupon they ceased their abuse. We talked for while, well, I slurred and she didn’t really speak much until we reached her stop and suddenly she was gone. I often wondered why she was so ‘offish.’ Then a few days ago I worked it out, she was disappointed. She saw what I had become, she thought I had become one of the stone throwers. It was shortly after that, as a 17 year-old I came to my senses and realised that ‘stone throwing wasn’t really me. I left Bradford for good. I’ve never been back.