MAN/boy/DOG

by Jack Fanciulli (age 16, Glasnevin, Dublin)

All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children.

All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children.

 

Dave was a real piss and vinegar type of guy. Though it may not be obvious at first, his angst and frustrations could easily be seen in his sullen silences and through his hardened face. His eyes could burn a hole in anything he stared at for long enough.

That was exactly what he was trying to do to the man sitting in front of him. His name was Bill or something like that, he couldn’t really remember.

They were sitting in a small, almost remark-less room. Outside, John could see two homeless people sharing a joint.

Bill, or whatever he was called, was sitting cross-legged with a clipboard on his lap. He had thick rubbery lips, which Paul assumed was the cause of his strange lisp and pronunciation of words.

Despite the alien and awkward situation Harry was in, it was very hard for him not to be cynical about it. Did this guy really know more about him than he did himself? There was nothing to say to him. Nothing.

So they sat there in silence for about 20 minutes, Luke didn’t even look up. He thought for a moment that this was going to be the entire session, when Bill cleared his throat and finally spoke up.

“So how was your day?”

“Fine.”

“Did you have school today?”

“Yeah”

“How was that?”

“Fine.”

Bill smiled. Adam did not. Already this was getting tedious, and he was sick and tired of the patronising tone, that was being put on, because there was nothing he hated more than-

“Do you want to kill yourself?”

The suddenness of such a question didn’t shock Kevin, as much as annoyed him, that this guy would have the balls to throw a sucker punch like that. Behind his pursed mouth, he gritted his teeth.

“It’s okay if you do, it’s fairly common.”

Robert had enough composure to spit back a one-word answer.

“Uggghhh . . . No.”

“Then why are you here?”

Jake considered even answering him. Why should I even listen to anything that comes out of his slippery mouth? Jesus Christ, what was he doing? It was at that point when he almost walked out, but he cooled down, and told himself, that that wasn’t a good idea, and just to stick it out.

“My Mum wanted me here.”

“Why did your Mum want you here?”

“Because I don’t talk much.”

Bill smirked. Michael wanted to vomit all over the bland carpet.

“Because I don’t like many people.”

Bill leaned back. “What is it that you don’t like in people?”

Stephen thought long and hard about an answer to that question.

“I hate how loud they are.”

“Hate is pretty strong, are you sure that’s the right word?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you hate a lot of things?”

“Most things.”

“Do you tend to be aggressive? Do you often give out about things?”

“No.”

Bill wrote something down in his clipboard and Tom felt strangely paranoid.

When he was done, he put the goddamn clipboard away and looked back at Harry.

“Your problem seems pretty straightforward to me. Please don’t be offended, but to me, you seem like a real piss and vinegar type of kid. The kind of kid who is frustrated by just about everything he comes across, the type of kid, who no matter how old he gets, finds that there is always someone bigger than him to push him around and force him into uncomfortable situations. To be honest, there is probably a healthy dose of teenage angst involved but you never vocally express these frustrations, because you think it is bad to be visibly angry. Did I hit the nail on the head?”

Yeah. He did. Chris was no longer annoyed at Bill but stunned. He hadn’t even considered these things but now that he said that it was clear. Was he really so un-unique, this man could figure him out in just one meeting?

“Well, it may seem like a bad thing, but there is nothing wrong with expressing anger. It is better to take it out on something than to let it build up inside. I think we will leave it at that, so when you go home, now, maybe think about letting it out occasionally to make you feel better.

Frank was completely turned around. Just like that the hard shell had worn away and now he was feeling numb. He couldn’t really think straight, but he could feel the sudden respect he had for the man sitting in front of him.

“I . . . I’ll try. Thank you, very much.”

“Alright, now, see you soon.”

But that wasn’t true. Barely a week had passed by, and the service that Bill worked for called to say that there was no need to see him again because his problems weren’t serious enough to be continued and so, the sessions were called off.

Matt was in his back garden, messing with his dog when he heard the news. The air was calm and windless and it was oddly quiet. He had been having a pretty great week until then. For the first time in recent memory, there was something that he was looking forward to. He scowled. He shouldn’t have expected so much, of course this would happen. Of course.

His dog came up to him looking for a pat. His dog was the one thing in his life that he truly loved, but right now, the barking was drilling holes into his ears. He was really, really not in the mood for it at the moment. But it kept barking. He looked at its scruffy, loveable and smiling face and his anger spiked. After all Bill had said, in the end he was dismissed. He was probably lying through his teeth, as well. Why was it that his dog was be so carefree and he wasn’t. Why couldn’t it be him?

Then he remembered Bill’s last piece of advice. He thought that it probably wouldn’t work, but he’d give it a shot. He stood up and allowed all his anger to boil over for the first time in his life. He then lifted his foot and swung it at the dog’s cheerful face. There was a shriek, a whimper, and nothing as his dog collapsed onto the still grass. Jack sighed, it felt like the weight of the world that he had been carrying for so long, was finally lifted off is shoulders. He smiled as he wiped the blood from his shoe. Well what do you know; he thought to himself, Bill was right!

Article 3

All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children

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