It was a nothing day, and a P.E class was drawing to a close. Our teacher had drop kicked a rugby ball on the school field, then declared that whoever got to the ball first would win a prize. Eager to win I, along with my classmates, sprinted in the direction of the ball. We didn't know what the prize would be and we didn't care. At that age you don't question things, you simply exist in the moment however pointless it is. For a lot of people this never changes.
I got there first and seized the ball. An excitement swelled inside me. I felt good. The kid that arrived second was from the wrong side of town. There was something animal about him, something broken. He demanded I give him the ball. I refused, so he launched at me and bit my left cheek so fucking hard he drew blood, his teeth scarring my face. Distraught I relinquished the ball. Whilst I stood there in shock, tears streaming down my face, he returned to the teacher and received the prize.
Everything I ever needed to know about the essential nature of life I'd learnt by 6.
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