The Boy in the Short Pants

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.

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About charliecountryboy

Carpenter and Carpentry Lecturer. Writer, 5k and 10k runner, musician. Curious about life and all those wonderful people in it.
This entry was posted in 1970'S, Blogging, Freedom, Life, Opinion, people, Relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to The Boy in the Short Pants

  1. Ralph says:

    I don’t blame you for not returning to Bradford as it has only one road, a one way street from Pakistan 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Watt says:

    People are bound to change. You’re better than you were. Age makes difference for good or for worse.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Well I was born in Bradford but left before I was old enough to throw stones… so it wasn’t me either. Some early experiences just stick with us, I wonder why?

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a coincidence, i think that particular incident stuck as it was the first time I witnessed any kind of cruelty, but after that came Drummond Road Boys School so you toughen up pretty quick 😉

      Like

  4. Ah, such a sad story. But, I can see why you moved away. I moved away from my home town at 18. I couldn’t stand the on-going drama that was always unfolding.
    Good story!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Charlie! The arc of that life story, that was great.

    How old was your dad when you were born?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. strangeset says:

    Oh such a state of encounters, bittersweet.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’d be mad in her case as well 😉😂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carolyn Page says:

    A great read, Charlie. I can relate, to a degree with this scenario. We just have to ‘be ourselves’. Our environment, and the people in it, help us to navigate to who we really are! Well done you! 🙂
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. itsmylife126 says:

    Good one. Memories…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Have you ever met that girl again, since the bus ride? She seems like a good person. Hopefully, life worked out well for her.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Invisibly Me says:

    Wow, what timing to happen upon her again 7 years later, and for her disappointment perhaps to be something that took you down yet another path. Life does work in mysterious ways..!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Twan says:

    Well, the abuse stopped and you yourself know that you actually weren’t a stone thrower, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  13. ChecheWinnie says:

    Nice, in a way each of you protected each other when in need. You don’t sound like a stone thrower, thanks to her for helping you not being one.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Just love it that you could return the favour all those years later.. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Social concepts are so formative with age, gender, institutionally, geographically and expressed unsuspectedly in our youths, even today.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hello Charlie. It was a interesting peace. Keep writing ☺

    Liked by 2 people

  17. sheqoz.com says:

    Great story, l totally relate since l was born and raised in the country. I always admired everything about kids. Couldn’t wait to mature l relocate ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  18. ilonapulianauskaite says:

    I have the same problem Charlie, but instead of girls i have guys😂😁, i use to read and to comment thousands of people, but only few hundreds got back to me😁, so whats the point of having followers who never like, never read and never leave a comment?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ilonapulianauskaite says:

    I commented from phone, so for some reasons comment went on the wrong post it was sup to be on (nasty followers)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I used to live there. I hated every second of it. Leeds will always be home. Even if I’m not there now. Ha.

    Liked by 1 person

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