Toward the end of the final school year, Steve was studying hard. With books borrowed from the local library, he was glued to a makeshift table in his bedroom and memorised notes until late in the evenings for months on end. Pupils from Goodson were not given homework, so Steve studied in secret. The teachers had no idea of the ground he was making up. Steve sat the end of year exams and felt he had done well. The school had a tradition of collating the exam results and placing the pupils in order of merit. And the day came when the marks were due to be read out in assembly.

The children gathered in the main hall. Shuffling, coughs and chatter descended to a hush as the teachers entered in single file. Steve remained quiet and his heart rate noticeably increased as the headmaster stood before a lectern and cleared his throat. He read out the names of pupils and final percentage grades in reverse order. Outsiders predictably came bottom of all subject areas to chortles from the Posheys, but there was one anomaly. Steve Nobody earned the second highest mark in the whole year. Only one Poshey managed to beat him. A couple of friends patted Steve on the shoulders as the teachers were visibly baffled as to how this one Outsider could have bucked the trend with no help whatsoever.

His exam results set Steve apart from other Outsiders. And it meant he attracted attention. Many of the Bosworth boys glared at him. A rumour was spread around school that he cheated in the exams. There was no other explanation for an Outsider from Goodson doing so well. As schoolchildren whispered lies about Steve, Gronk decided to play it to his advantage. Still a wannabe Poshey and within sight of Fathead and his crew, Gronk decided to approach Steve on the final day of school. Thoughts zipped around Gronk’s mind, bolstered by a strong belief he would eventually be better than everyone else.

I’ve got to cultivate a nasty streak. I shall waylay that Steve Nobody and give him a piece of my mind. My superiority will overwhelm him. Any resistance against me is pointless. He doesn’t have the mental toughness to take me on. I have an advantage here. I’m me. And he’s just a Nobody. If.. no… WHEN my escapades are recorded in a book, it should be called ‘Domination.’ I deserve to be rewarded by formal entry into the order of the Poshey!

Copyright © 2022 Callum Stanford.  All rights reserved.

Author: C.Stanford

Writer, blogger, outsider, survivor.

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