Monday, November 17, 2008

50 Colour Pages

School was out. The Highbury kids piled into a red, loaf-of-bread shaped bus. We were going home.

I wore a blue two button shirt with a collar, shorts that showed off my bony eleven year old legs and roman sandals. I was swinging on the overhead handrail and Simon was sitting down the back reading a comic.

Okay, so it wasn’t just any comic; this was the Buster Annual with 50 colour pages. I would've given a months pocket money for it – if I'd earned pocket money that is. Simon’s parents probably gave it to him as a happy Tuesday present. Yeah, I was jealous.

Anyway, there I was swinging away on that chromed handrail. I was wondering if a man’s legs need to be long enough to reach the ground if he is swinging in the air. I couldn’t work it out so I kept looking over at Simon and thinking about that comic book. Did I mention it had 50 colour pages?

Simon wasn’t the most attentive kid in the classroom but boy, you should have seen him with that book.

I dropped off the handrail and went and sat next to him.

“Wow!” I said “Wow!” Okay, so I said 'wow' twice.

“Is that the Buster Annual with 50 colour pages?” I knew it was.

Simon didn’t look up.

I had to get off at the next stop anyway so I cast one last longing glance at the Annual and swung out the door without using the steps.

Simon didn’t come to school the next day, or the day after that. After a week someone asked the teacher where he was. We were sitting on a tripped out stripy mat at the time and I remember the teacher going all serious and saying that Simon had been in an accident about a week ago and he was very unwell in hospital.

That didn’t explain why he was still on the bus every day reading that comic though.

Did I mention it had 50 colour pages?
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