Beth watches the clock from the third row, second desk from the right. Come on, I have to go. It’s now 4pm, she looks expectantly and Mrs Willis who sits at her desk doing a crossword. Beth puts her hand up.

“Miss?” she asks. Mrs Willis raises her eyebrow in Beth’s direction. “It’s time to go, Miss.”

“It’s time to go, when I say it’s time to go, Beth. Perhaps if you focused during class instead of distracting everyone you wouldn’t be in detention in the first place.”

“Sorry Miss.”

“Okay everyone you are now free to leave and please, remember that I do not enjoy having to supervise your detentions, just as you don’t enjoy being here. So do us both a favour and think before you act next time.” Beth quickly lifts the wooden desk lid to grab out her backpack she had stuffed in there before detention. Jenny is going to kill me. She rushes out of the classroom toward the school gate. Checking her watch she see’s it’s ten past. Fuck, I’m not going to make it. Once out of sight of the school she pulls the straps of her backpack tight around her and starts to run. With every step a new thought comes. Jenny’s gonna be so pissed. After everything she’s done for me, I should be on time. If she doesn’t go to work we don’t eat. Man, I’m gonna get a crack. She sprints around a corner and runs straight into a group of try-hard gangsters. Try-hard because they were only 14 years old but thought themselves hardened criminals.

“Hey white girl, you lost?”

“What the fuck you doing round here aye?”

“Wearing a blue skirt aye? You think your black power?” Beth pushes herself back up and notices bits of gravel embedded in her palms.

“No it’s just my school uniform.” She takes off running again.

“Come back baby.”

“Yeah, you can suck my dick for a dollar.” The try-hard gangsters, dressed in red and black, laugh at their cleverness. Dicks, they’re such dicks. Wait til I see their Mum’s at the rugby club. That’ll teach them.

Beth raced up to the front door and took a deep breath before answering the door. Checking her watch twenty-five past. Yes, I made it! She pushed open the door and immediate chaos hit her straight on. She narrowly missed knocking Jim over who ran straight past her out the front door. The baby was crying. Noah could be heard trying to help calm the baby. Oh no. Jenny appeared in the doorway to the lounge. Her hair was freshly permed and she had on her trademark blue shadow and red lipstick on. On her hip baby Lena was squawking whilst Jenny wrestled with her lighter to get the ciggy hanging out of her mouth lit.

“Where the fuck have you been Beth?”

“I’m sorry Jen, I had to stay late at school.”

“I thought you weren’t coming home! Here take this.” She hands Lena to Beth and picks up her handbag. Lena quietens to a gentle sob.

“You know the deal Sis, you can stay with me and go to a proper high-school in town not like that country bumpkin excuse of a school, but you gotta contribute aye?”

“yeah I know, I’m so sorry Jen.”

“All goods Sis. I gotta go, or I’ll be late. Probably be a late one, there’s a big game on tonight.”

“Okay have a good night.”

“Seeya Sis”. Jenny kisses Beth quickly on the cheek before she leaves. Beth watches from the doorstep as Jenny hops in her poo-coloured piece of shit car and drive away. She turns to the baby in her arms who is still sobbing gently and walks back inside. That wasn’t too bad. Now time to sort these kids out.

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