Secret Agent

Secret Agent

The bell rings for break time, the shrill sound quickly being swallowed up by the even shriller shrieks of the children as they dash outside, dragging on their coats as they run to escape the confines of the classroom. Only one remains. Shoulders hunched, Tim slopes over to the corner where he crouches down on a blue beanbag and picks up his favourite book. It’s the story of a spy from the Second World War who helped bring down a big German plot and was given a medal for it. He’s read the book so many times the pages are tattered and he knows most of it by heart, yet still he comes back to it most days. He knows he should really be reading books for older kids by now, as his teacher keeps telling both Tim and his mother. But somehow he can’t let go.
‘Oi Tim, you still reading that stupid book? Can’t you do something else for a change? How about going outside for once and doing something normal like playing football? I bet you’re crap at that though. You’re such a freak.’
Tim jumps at the sound of Barry’s voice. The biggest bully in the class, he’s always looking for a chance to pick on Tim. But Tim doesn’t really care any more. He knows he can’t stop it; scrawny and timid, he’s no match for Barry and his friends. Tim tunes him out as the jibes become increasingly nasty.
‘…you don’t talk to the girls, you don’t even look at them. And you say your dad is a secret AGENT! If my dad was a secret agent I’d get all the girls. That’s what it’s like. No one like you can be related to someone as cool as that. You’re just making it up because you’re embarrassed at how ugly and stupid you are. You’re pretending. That’s why you like that book so much!’
Tim flinches as Barry grabs the book and throws it as hard as he can against the opposite wall. ‘You’re pathetic. A pathetic liar with no friends. No way is your dad a secret agent, just look at you. You’re a nobody. And your dad’s a nobody too. A loser who’s probably on a bender shagging some tart in an alley, then he comes home and tells you he’s been saving the world! Haha!’
Barry cackles as he shoves his hands into his pockets and saunters back outside to find another victim for the second half of the break. Tim shrinks into the beanbag, saying nothing. When he’s sure Barry has gone, he takes his dad’s latest letter out of his pocket and starts rereading it. His dad is proud of him, and loves him. He hopes Tim is getting on well at school. Tim is proud of his dad too, for working so hard and doing so much for the country. His mission won’t take much longer. He’ll be home soon, and then nothing else will matter any more.

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