Simon Ezra-Jackson

School: George Watson’s College

The Boy


A crowd of buzzing, agitated schoolchildren poured into the classroom. Among them was a boy, bright-eyed and panting slightly. He delicately sat down in a red plastic chair and took out his books. The lesson was on Crime and the Justice System and during it he was one of the few that listened attentively, jotting down notes and frequently asking questions. But when yesterday’s test was handed back, his attention drifted elsewhere from the circled 100% on it.

Halfway through, a deputy head walked into the room with a sombre expression. He cleared his throat. Everyone’s heads jerked up and the teacher trailed off.

‘As you all will undoubtedly know, Raymond Greenwich was assaulted on the front pitch an hour ago. He got rushed to A&E and is in a critical condition.’ Murmurs. ‘He was – he is a bright and cherished pupil, and we urge anyone with any details about the incident to come forward.’

The boy shifted in his seat.

‘Inspectors from the Metropolitan Police will be interviewing close friends and associates later in the week, but otherwise no classes will be disrupted. This incident is horrific, but it will not diminish our values as a school and as a community. I hope you all bear that in mind over the coming days and weeks.’

The teacher looked as shaken as her pupils. She tried to continue the lecture, but stopped. ‘Um. Look. I’m sure it would be reasonable for you all to take the rest of the day off,’ she said.

The children sat silently, but after a few seconds started packing, and in groups of two or three, streamed out of the room.

The teacher said the boy’s name as he was walking out. He looked up. She sighed. ‘I know you’ll be finding it hard, with you and – and him being very close and all, and I want you to know that we’re here to help whenever you might need someone to talk to.’

The boy nodded, an unreadable expression on his face, then left the building.

It began to rain.

As he trooped home on the cracked cobbles, a small silver switchblade chafed in his pocket.

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