“You have WHAT!” he screamed, grabbing the paper and resting back into his leather chair. “I- I have detention,” George said meekly, standing shyly in front of his father. “Martha! Come here a second love!” His father spat towards the kitchen. Martha Higgins stepped around the corner, apron on and mashing potatoes in a bowl.
“What’s wrong love?” she exclaimed, confused, looking at George and Walter. “Your son has something to tell you,” he nods at George “Go on George, tell your mother the news”. George’s eyes widen as he slowly turns towards his mother whose stopped mashing the mush. She looked at him confused. “Well dear? What is it?” she said sweetly.
George gulps, “I…” his voice quietens “I got detention”. He hangs his head in regret, Martha on the other hand looks at Walter who is reading the piece of paper. “W-what? Oh heavens why?” Martha exclaimed looking back and forth between Walter and George. George goes to explain when he’s cut off by his father. “It says here that he got into an argument with a teacher” Walter spits. Martha gasps, “Georgie, you fought a teacher?” George looks in disbelief. “I didn’t fight a teacher, he was talking bad about religion, saying it caused all the worlds problems, I couldn’t just let him talk like that” He realises that he’s raising his voice and quiets down again.
Walter and Martha look at each other and nod. “Well… that’s not too bad then,” Martha shrugs “you were defending Jesus and that’s what’s most important” she nods. Walter pauses for a moment before standing up and slapping the back of George’s shoulder lovingly. “Well, good job son, but maybe next time be a bit gentler” Walter then walks into the kitchen and Martha follows. They continue a conversation they were having earlier.
George looks at the direction his parents walked in then back at the piece of paper. He grips his cross necklace and mutters something under his breath. He walks over to the table and grips the piece of paper. “It’s not like I meant to or anything, he was just so… demeaning” He sighs and walks upstairs, he opens the door to his room. It’s pretty plain with only a few religious iconography around the place. He walks in and dumps the paper on the desk before sitting on his bed. As he does Lilly-Anne pops her head around the corner and into his room. George turns his attention to her.
“heard you got detention! What are you, some sinner now?” she said mockingly. George responses by throwing a pillow at her, she just barely dodges. Lilly-Anne is eight, turning nine in May. Her bright blonde hair brushed into two loosely divided ponytails. One of her front teeth are missing. “I’ll take that as a yes” she smiles. “Look I made one mistake ok! Besides, we’re all sinners remember what pastor John said” George remarked.
At that moment Trisha passed by his room and Lilly-Anne went to go get her attention to annoy her. “Hey, Hey sissy! Did you know that George got detention!” She said as she followed Trisha down the hallway. George got up and closed the door, sighing as he did so. He loves his sisters but sometimes they can be too much, they like to play to his sensitivities.
George flopped on his bed and put a pillow over his head. “I wonder if I can still get into heaven if I suffocate myself,” he exclaimed under the pillow, which muffled his voice, “Jesus would understand, right?” he removed the pillow and stared up at the ceiling. Today had just gotten worse and worse for George.
The next day George got up sluggishly, his hair a mess and his sheets all wrinkled from a restless night. Today was Thursday, detention day. He hadn’t wanted to wake up but was forced out of bed by his mother. “you have to take some accountability Georgie,” She said sweetly, pulling the blanket off of him.
“Mum, can’t I just skip today I really don’t feel too well…” he said meekly. Martha looked him up and down then clasped her hands together and closed her eyes. She then made the sign of the cross and began chanting “Dear lord, please make my baby boy better today so he can serve his punishment” She signed again and opened her eyes, smiling smugly at George. “Now deary, do you think Jesus was in tip-top shape when he had to carry his cross?” she asked. “… No” He said quietly.
“That’s right!,” she began folding his blanket and put it back on his bed. “He had just been tortured for heaven's sake, so you can go to school with a bit of a cold honey”. George groaned as he got up and shooed his mum out of his room. He then grabbed his uniform from the cupboard and walked to the bathroom where a line had formed. Lana was first in line, leaning against the door, then Lilly-Anne who was sitting reading a book she was obsessed with.
“Don’t tell me, Trish is taking up all the hot water” He sighed. The two sisters nodded and Lilly-Anne smirked. “Guess you’re in for a nice cold shower big bro” she smiled. George groaned and sat down on the floor, leaning up against the back wall.
George had been born and bred into this household, three sisters and two dogs named Lucy and Taffy. He was the only male except for his dad, meaning he had some big shoes to fill. George himself wasn’t super set on the whole religion thing but was raised to believe certain things, like that God was real and you should pray to him on a Sunday. The rest of the family, as you could tell, were very religious, even the youngest Lilly-Anne loved going to Sunday School. George never got fully into the religious thing for many reasons, but he hides it from his family, that and one other thing.
Trish opened the bathroom door, a gush of steam escaping as she did. She looked down at George and rolled her eyes, leaving with a towel wrapped around her still wet hair. Lana got up and walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
George got out of his mother’s cream minivan with the rest of his sisters. George was a senior, Lana was two grades below him and Lilly-Anne still went to the primary school attached to the high school. Trish, the oldest sister, went with Martha to the church where she volunteered on her day off. George knew it was mostly due to her having a crush on one of the choir guys.
George walked into the stuffed school hallway. Students were everywhere, lining up to go into their classroom, standing by the dingy, old, blue lockers or sitting at the plastic tables. George watched as his sisters went to their respective spots, as he realised that he was all alone. George wasn’t very popular at school, he only had one friend, the transfer student from Europe but he moved back last autumn, so he was left with no one.
“Hi George” a sweet-looking girl walked up to an overwhelmed George. It was Peggy Reed, her red curly hair was strung up into a low hanging side pony, two strands of hair hanging out of her fringe area. Peggy was a sweet girl, she went to the same church as George and was just as religious as his sisters. “hi Peggy” he said reluctantly, you see Peggy had a very obvious crush on George but he didn’t feel the same way at all.
The bell rang signifying the end of the school day, the rest of his classmates cheered and walked out of the room happily. George shrugged and sluggishly made his way all the way over to the quiet part of the school, the detention room. George passed by Peggy on his way over and had a very brief conversation about something other than the pageant.
George entered the room, it was the epitome of grey itself. The only posters hanging on the wall were disciplinary ones. The wooden desks were crooked and the carpet looked stained with muddy shoes of the past. Several desks had carvings in them, some of the slur kind, others had simple names.
The teacher was Mr May, he was a very strict year 11 math teacher, George was lucky to have skipped his last year. Mr May was already sitting at his desk reading a book, he peered over his book to look at George who was standing awkwardly at his desk. It was his first detention, after all, he didn’t know what to do.
“Just sit down Mr Higgins, and sit there quietly and do some homework or something” Mr May grumbled, returning his gaze to his book. George followed the instructions and sat back at a desk in the middle row. He got out some homework and began jotting down some notes when he suddenly felt a paper ball bounce off his head. He turned around to see the only other person in the room, he was leaning back in his seat and chewing on the end of a pen. His raven black hair was messily swept around his face, freckles jotted his face and his vibrant brown eyes gazed into George’s soul. It was the school “bad boy”, Killian Jones. And he was looking right at George.