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  • He told me that his dad was a pilot
    based abroad maybe the middle east
    and then cried into his mattress
    the first night
    but settled in well
    after that

    A big lad, good at rugby
    quiet and studious
    he was no trouble to anyone

    I, on the other hand,
    was a different story

    Shoplifting, smoking,
    and petty vandalism
    the police around
    more than once

    Our paths didn’t cross often
    but one time
    I came back wasted
    hung between two sixth formers,
    my chin and clothes crusted with vomit

    And as I was dragged down the dark corridor
    our eyes met and I saw confusion muddy his

    He couldn’t understand what I was doing or why
    and I couldn’t tell him
    because I didn’t know myself then
    and I think we both just assumed I was somehow
    sick or broken

    After three years they kicked me out
    for my own safety
    and theirs they said
    and I went to another school
    in another town,
    never saw him again but according to the papers
    he died in a car crash
    a few weeks after finishing his exams
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