25th of September 2014
Alfie Kitchens really despised PE and had done so since as far as he could remember. It was a chilly, cold September afternoon and himself and the rest of the male Year Seven students of the Abernathy Community College were freezing cold. Their kit, mainly consisting of a blue polo shirt and shorts, left them huddling together for warmth on the corner of a muddy field whilst their overly enthusiastic teacher explained the ins and outs of football.
"You'll be sorted into two different groups where you'll each play each other," she explained, cheerfully, dressed up warm in a thick coat and jogging bottoms. "The losing team will of course have the honour of clearing up all the equipment afterwards. Any questions?"
Alfie raised his hand. "Is there a chance you could put me on a decent team then?"
The teacher narrowed her eyes as a few of Alfie's friends snickered. "You'll be on whatever team I place you on Kitchens," she snapped, clearly not amused. "If you have a problem with that you can take it up with the headmaster in detention. Now get going, I want you to do a three lap warm up while I sort out the groups."
"She's such a miserable cow," Alfie grumbled to three of his friends as they reluctantly began to make their way around the outskirts of the field. The soggy mud made a disgusting squelching sound whenever their football boots hit the ground. He narrowed his eyes at the passing athletic students who raced by with ease. "You would think she would cut us some slack seeing as it's the last lesson."
Gavin Kellum, a tall and lanky built boy with short blond hair and a known target for bullies, snorted with a mixture of laughter and disbelief. "The chances of Miss Pace ever cutting us some slack are the same as us on winning that football match. It's pretty nonexistent."
"Oh come on, you don't even know what the teams are yet-"started the voice of George Upchurch, who was trailing behind the rest of them. Alfie's eyes drifted over to the distant figure of Miss Pace where she was scribbling down some names onto a clipboard. Shaking a strand of black hair from his eyes, he had a horrible feeling that the teacher was purposely going to place him with the terrible kids just so he could end up cleaning up all the cones and goal posts.
"Who are you trying to kid?" Henry Dent shook his head. "She hates kids like us. She'll place all the good kids on one team and us on the other. We'll be last to the changing rooms, that's for sure."
As always Henry was unfortunately right. As soon as they sluggishly stumbled towards where Miss Pace stood looking awfully smug, after finally finishing their last lap, she read out the names of the red team. "Gavin Kellum, Alfie Kitchens, Peter Long, Mark Neal, George Upchurch, Adam Mills, Eddie Thompson, Elliot Oakes, Hank Sage and Joe Nelson – you'll be today's red team.
"For God's sake," Alfie moaned. "We're so screwed."
Right at that moment, Alfie wanted to wipe that knowing smirk off of Miss Pace's face as the ten of them dragged themselves down to the left-hand side of the pitch.
A mud-drenched long hour and ten minutes later, the ten of them found themselves dragging the remaining sacks of sporting equipment towards the Physical Education office on the other side of the changing rooms. "Just line them up against the wall and then maybe, if you're quick enough, you can get changed before the bell goes off in two minutes," Miss Pace told them with crossed arms. "I expect that will teach you not to make smart remarks in the future Mr Kitchens, hmm?"
"Not really," he just shrugged. "It just proved my point that I really really hate PE."
Alfie welcomed the rush of warmth from the boy's changing rooms and immediately rushed over to his school bag in the corner, eager to change out of his soggy PE kit. He shoved the kit into a plastic bag before throwing on his school trousers, a shirt, tie and blazer as the bell began to screech through the main building close by. He swung his bag over his shoulder and headed over to where an anxious looking Henry Dent stood in the corner. "You got my phone now?" he asked, nervously glancing at everyone that passed.
"Yeah," Alfie replied, reaching into the pocket of his blazer and handing the phone to the boy. "It took a while to install my dad's new game as an application because the only way to access it was through a file on his computer. There's probably a few bugs on it, too. The game is in the testing stage of development but I added some extra coding to gain the coins and levels on there."
Henry's eyes sparkled as he unlocked the new iPhone and skimmed through the home page. The iPhone 6 had only just been released and already the boy had got his rich parents to buy one for him. He clicked on the newest app on the phone and smiled when the colourful home menu of the soon-to-be released KitchenGames' app loaded up onto the screen. "And it's jail-broken as well?" he asked.
"Yep," he nodded. "It was the only way I could install the app on it. Now, you said that you would hand me a tenner when I returned the phone so gimme."
The boy looked around nervously again. "I don't have it today, I used five pounds for lunch but I can give it to you tomorrow."
Alfie sighed; he had thought that this would happen. "Okay fine," he told the boy reluctantly and Henry's smile widened. "But you better, I've made such a huge risk giving this game to you, if my dad ever found out-"
Henry raised his hands in mock surrender. "Alright, I get it-"
"What are you two pricks doing?" a voice Alfie was familiar with all too well interrupted them. Alfie turned his head to see Bobby Arias and two other Year Seven boys walking over to them, looking as though they were about to stir some trouble. Bobby was smaller than Alfie height-wise, but the boy was more heavily built and could probably snap Alfie like a twig in a fight. He had a grin on his face as he continued. "Trying to snog in private?"
"I'm just showing Henry a few things on his new phone," Alfie lied, restraining himself from rolling his eyes. "That's it."
"Really?" Bobby quirked up an eyebrow, his eyes quickly zooming in on the new expensive iPhone 6 that he would probably never get his hands on until he was at least eighteen and had a job. He held out his hand to Henry. "Let's have a look then."
Henry shook his head, shoving the phone in his pocket. "I know your game Bobby," he said. "You'll take it and won't give it back."
As expected, the boy did not take this well at all. His eyes narrowed and Alfie watched nervously as Bobby clenched his fists and took a step forwards. "I just want to take a look," he said. "Don't be such a wimp and hand it over."
"He said he doesn't want to," Alfie spoke firmly. "Just leave him alone, stop causing trouble."
This returned Bobby's attention back on him, but instead of the glare Alfie was expecting, the boy just laughed instead. "Trying to defend your boyfriend are we?" he snorted and the two other Year Seven's awkwardly chuckled along as if this was the funniest thing they've heard.
"No," Alfie replied dryly. "Trying to stand up against morons like you. Don't you have anything better to do? Corner shops to steal from?"
Bobby stepped forwards and shoved him; Alfie's back hit the wall of the changing rooms but he managed to keep his face void of any emotion. "What did you say?" the boy growled. "Wanna say that again? See where it gets you? Well?"
"Just leave us alone," Henry finally said, after gaining some confidence. "Or I'll tell a teacher."
The bully seemed reluctant at first, keeping his eyes fixated on Alfie until he and his two goons shuffled off outside the changing rooms. "Pair of freaks." the boy muttered before disappearing completely.
"Are you alright?" Henry asked, a little shakily. "Thank you for helping me."
"I'm fine," Alfie smiled, patting the other boy on the back before heading for the exit himself. "And it's no problem; just make sure you give me that tenner tomorrow."