Alarm

Gronk watched Groate casually stroll away and then he stopped. Looking both ways, Groate smashed some glass and set the fire alarm off. The bells rang out and pandemonium broke out. Doors flung open and crowds of students pushed and jostled out of classrooms to the nearest exit. The noise was deafening with the fire alarm, stamping feet, talking and teachers shouting. But Gronk loitered near the lockers and waited. As a few stragglers went outside, he made his move.

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Ploy

Gronk sighed. He needed a ruse to distract Steve Nobody. Something had to be done. Something out of the ordinary. Something extra special. And then a sly idea entered his brain. It was fool-proof and guaranteed to cause a stir in College. He knew later in the afternoon, Steve had a History lesson in a room opposite the locker area and close to a door to the rear of the College. It was going to be perfect. He sought out Groate and whispered his scheme. His friend nodded enthusiastically. And now all they had to do was wait. Gronk attempted to speak to Fathead, but got ignored. He saw that girl gossiping as she walked by and managed to make her giggle with a squirmy smile. The afternoon drifted by.

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Spy

Gronk became obsessed with Steve Nobody’s backpack. It was green and khaki, and looked military. But he never left it unattended, not even near the lockers. No matter how close Gronk got, the backpack was always either by Steve Nobody’s feet or on his back. He never even left the zips open to enable a furtive glance inside. It was beginning to annoy the hell out of Gronk. He began to stake out Steve’s movements. It was relatively easy as Gronk was often posing in the College corridors. He missed lessons as standard practice, but now he used his time to recce Steve Nobody’s movements. Gronk dreamed of a high-flying career as a spy. And his secretive observations in the corridors of Snookington Sixth Form College proved to him that career choice was a serious option. In any event, Gronk knew missing lessons enhanced his image and enabled him to hang out with the Posheys.

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Rubbing Shoulders

An added twist to Sixth Form life was there were a lot of girls there. Gronk had his eye on one particular female called Munterla Twonk. She had limp brown hair and was heavily built. He liked that and kept his eye on her. One day, she would be his girl. Until then, he watched her from a distance. She looked over occasionally and Gronk made sure he stayed in profile with his nose elevated at a superior angle. Often she would walk past and whisper in a gruff tone to her friends. Gronk made a point of making eye contact and did one of his best smiles, which made him look like he had shat himself. Her brawny features giggled back. It was only a matter of time before they would hook up.

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High Hopes

Gronk was not interested in his studies so he invested his time in posturing and posing. He stood tall in his smart clothes and considered himself well-to-do with a gritty edge. Mimicking toffish bluster, he tried to speak with the cut-glass accent of real Posheys. Even as a teenager, he was intent on ascending to something better, despite social mobility being frowned upon in the Snook. He wanted to be as narcissistic as the Posheys. His manufactured image carried the reward of sometimes allowing him into Poshey conversations. The impending uplift in status would stand him in much better stead compared to the idiots who actually studied. He viewed swotting with contempt and anyone who thought reading books was a way of bettering themselves was a fool in his considered opinion. Rather than going to boring lessons, he regaled loud stories about himself within earshot of Posheys in an attempt to garner favour.

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Ambitions

Gronk spent his time hanging around with Groate. They were still only on the fringe of Fathead’s band of Posheys, despite it being clear Gronk had gone to a lot of effort on the image front. His style included black boots, black corduroy trousers and the desirable oobaTWAT™ black trench coat. And it was all rounded off with a pink shirt. To enhance his standing, he turned up the collar of his shirt, just like the Posheys did. Gronk was impressed with his look.

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Sixth Form

Before the opening day of Sixth Form, Steve Nobody looked into the content of some of the courses. Social biology looked interesting, but his grade in biology was not high enough. Another possible subject was government and politics, but that just seemed boring. In the end, he chose law, history and art. On the first day, Steve entered the arena of teenage tribalism wearing trainers, jeans and a hoody. He got to know some new people on his courses and began to enjoy the relative freedom of studying without school discipline.

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Run!!

In despair, Gronk put the trench coat back on its hanger and sloped out of the shop. The shattered dream made his head spin. After a long moment of self-contemplation, he noticed Groate had not yet exited the shop. Gronk waited impatiently. He had fantasised about that coat for weeks and the message it would send to everyone who saw him wear it. It could have transformed him to be THE person to hang around with. Popular, stylish and posh. Definitely posh. It was what he craved. Now the dream was over. And all because he never had enough cash. A dark mood was taking hold just as Groate barged into him, hurrying out of the shop. Gronk saw him turn a corner and followed, just as a shop worker ran outside, looking around.

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Image

The days of Snookington School were finished for these boys. During the summer break, Gronk was in a quandary. Fathead and his band of Posheys had kept their distance, which annoyed him. But Groate had become a close acquaintance, although he too was not actually accepted as a Poshey. Gronk’s dilemma centred on his image. Until now, his days were spent cloaked in his cherished Snookington School uniform. The blue blazer adorned with a red badge of Bosworth spoke volumes about his existence. He had been in the best school and proud of his house. It meant he was on the cusp of becoming a Poshey, despite his modest background. Without that beloved blazer, he would be lost. A new stand-out style was needed and he had an idea what it should be.

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