Entering the South Building girl's loos I find Tracy by the basins looking grim next to three Year 11 girls.
This entry is part 24 of 24 in the series The Amanda Chronicles


My phone buzzes.

Tracy: hlp grls sth

Now what?

Entering the South Building girl’s loos I find Tracy by the basins looking grim next to three Year 11 girls. Emily is hunched over crying, and her friends Lauren and Caitlin are on either side comforting her.

Tracy sees me and immediately looks relieved. I mouth “’Sup” at her but she just looks back at Emily, so I go over to them.

“Hi Lauren, Caitlin.”

The both look over and smile pleased for the recognition, before Emily sobs again and they turn back to her.

“Emily, what’s wrong?” I say gently.

She shakes her head and sobs some more.

“It’s all right. You can tell us and we’ll make it better.”

She sniffs a bit and takes a breath.

“I went to the beach with Mark last night.”

This brings on another sobbing fit, and Lauren and Caitlin try to comfort her.

The beach after dark is a popular hook up spot so I have a good idea where this is going.

“You had better get to class. I’ll take care of Emily.” I say to Lauren and Caitlin.

They leave and I give Tracy a nod on her way out.

“What happened? Did he force you?” I say to Emily.

You can never be sure with Mark.

She shakes her head.

“No, I wanted it.”

Then it will be the other thing.

“Did you use protection?”

“I wanted to.” she says, then puts her hands to her eyes and sobs heavily.

Bloody Mark! That boy is completely irresponsible about Safe Sex. Goodness knows what he’s caught. Or left behind.

“Have you told anyone?”

She shakes her head.

“Are you on the pill?”

She shakes her head again.

“You’re going to have to go to the doctor. Today.” I say. “The Nurse can ring your mum. I can go to the Office with you if you like.”

At the mention of her mum, there’s a look of horror on her face, then another round of sobbing. I give her a hug until the sobbing subsides.

“I don’t have to tell my mum, do I?” she pleads.

I feel really bad about doing this, but she needs to take action now.

“You can tell her now. Or in six months when you need her help with baby names.”

As I expected this brings on more sobbing and I hug her again.

Feeling the implant just under the skin in my arm, I’m so glad I can tell my mum everything.

Once the sobbing subsides, I find some tissues in my purse and give them to her to dry her eyes.

“I can go with you to the Office and wait with you if you want. We’ll go around the back way so no one sees us.”

She nods glumly, and we head off.




Josh bounces the ball, but fumbles it. Matt grabs the ball and hand-balls it to James, who kicks the ball, but it’s smothered by Dan.


Dan drops it; Matt tries to grab it; Dan blocks him; James tries to join in, but only manages to trip himself and Dan up; they both fall on Matt and they all wrestle for the ball in the mud. The coach blows his whistle for a ball-up.


“You know they can’t hear you?” says Jordan.

I turn to face him.

“What’s it to you, ya cunt?” I say, glaring at him.

He just looks back at me.

If they thought putting Jordan on me was going to put me off kicking goals, boy were they wrong. I ain’t scared of him.

“Little Mandy still got your balls in a jar Jordie?”

“She better not hear you talking about her like that.” says Jordan.

“What ya gonna do about it?” I sneer.

“Nothing. I’ll just watch her use you as a practice bag.” he says with a shrug.

The coach blows his whistle again. Eric is arguing with him, pointing his hands for emphasis.


“She’s only pissed with you because you didn’t put on a raincoat before taking the snake for a walk.” says Jordan.

“I don’t give a shit what little Mandy thinks.”

“You know the rules. No glove, no love.” he says.

Eric is still arguing with the coach. David is next to them waiting for play to resume.


“You’re not doing yourself any favours.” says Jordan.

“Shut ya fuckn’ gob, ya poofter!”

I grab him by the front of his jumper and pull him close. My other fist raised to smash his stupid face.

But I hesitate.

His face has gone completely expressionless. His eyes are just staring at me, like death. He hasn’t made any move to defend himself, but I can feel that he’s wound up poised to strike. I have a feeling that I’ll only get one punch.

There’s yelling from downfield. I look towards the sound. David’s won the ball-up and is running this way, bouncing the ball as he goes. The rest of the boys are in pursuit. I let go of Jordan and start running towards David.




“I’m very disappointed with you Amanda.” say Old Four Eyes. “Fighting in the schoolyard.”

“It wasn’t a fight Miss.” I say.

It couldn’t have been a fight – they didn’t need to call an ambulance for him.

“Then why did I have a mob of students in the yard chanting ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’?” she says, gesturing to her office window.

What would Bec say?

“I can’t be held responsible for the actions of others Miss.”

She just glares at me before turning to Mark.

“And Mark. Really. Fighting with girls?” she says.

“Not a fight Miss” I say, but she ignores me.

“But … But … It was Amanda.” he says, looking confused.

Well, he always looks confused – except when he has a ball in his hands.

“And Amanda’s not a girl?” she says, gesturing in my direction.

I bat my eyes coquettishly at him, but flatten my expression as Old Four Eyes looks back.

“I’m very disappointed. Detention for the rest of the week for both of you.”

We walk back to class together in silence.

Until we reach the junction where Mark is going one way for Sports and I’m going the other for the Science Labs.

“We’re still on for Friday, right?” he says.

Shit! I’d forgotten about that.

I’m so going to hate myself for this.

“Of course sweetie.” I say. “Mum’s making your favourite – Roast Beef. Don’t be late.”

He smiles and turns to walk away.

“Oh Mark.” I say.

He turns back.

“Don’t be silly, wrap your willie – or I will cut it off.”


All people, places and events depicted are real, just not in this universe.

© Paul Shipley

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