To get to the point.
Simon was not having a good day. He rarely had good days. By that I mean that he had lots of good moments, times when things were going well and nothing jumped out at him. His decision to go to the coast was one of outcomes to having had a few positive days. Positive for Simon was measured by his ability to become as invisible as he could possibly get; that was the gold-mark. On top of being invisible for a significant number of days, he had managed to use the outside trampoline, propelling himself short stretches into the air and landing again and again without losing balance. It was this activity, more than being invisible, that gave him the much needed belief that he could manage the waves.
“You know that he should never have done it. He was asking for trouble. Should have stuck with what he knew. Should have kept safe. Should not have listened to his outdoors teachers.”
“Yes, thanks, Dom.”
I had taken to calling him Dom this time around as it seemed friendlier, as he seemed friendlier and did not deserve my little nickname that was in fact an obvious insult that was linked to his satanic qualities. Dom still had those qualities but he was taking care to mask them. Indeed, Dom was working incredibly hard at making me like him. He was on my side. He told me that Sandham was the only safe place around and that now it had become even safer with the disappearance of the teachers, the carers and the boys.
“You can trust me,” he assured me. “You can certainly trust me.”
And, do you know what? I did trust him. The Story of Simon was one of the reasons why I trusted him as Simon’s story was a ‘case in point’ as to why boys like us should never get too confident, never overstretch ourselves, never trust neuros to be anything other than vindictive destroyers of our world.
“You see? If Simon had stuck to his instincts, he would have never found himself so exposed, so very, very vulnerable. He would have remained safe and he would have still been at Sandham instead of running back home to his abusive parents. Do you understand what I am telling you, Clive? Never trust an adult; any adult. Certainly not one who is a female.”
Females played a big part in Dom’s cautionary stories. They were always creating trouble, always jealous, always selfish, and always the ones who set up conflict.
“Just like your mother, eh?”
Yes, I thought, just like my mother.
“You should never trust one of them, women, girls or adults. Now, finish the story.”
I tried finishing it, but forgot some of what had happened. Or, more to the point, I got it wrong. I knew that it was wrongly remembered and recounted because Dom put me right. He had a knack of doing that, often when I was clear of mind and recalled exactly what had taken place. “No, that’s not how it happened,” he’d interrupt before giving me a very credible retelling.
In the time that Dom spent with me, I was convinced by his accounts of how the world worked and how the neuro world was set in conflict against all the boys who were like me.
“This is why you are better off in here rather than thinking about the outside. At least in here we can decide things for ourselves, not be told what to do and when to do it, have ‘melt-downs’ when we want to and destroy anything we chose to destroy, when we choose to destroy it. This is our world and it will always be ours.”
I spiralled out of control along with Dom, who insisted that I call him, “Dem, short for Demonic,” he said. He even laid claim to the name, took credit for his razor-sharp wit. This was his cut-throat comedy.