The Rebel


    What am I rebelling against? What have you got? Actually, that’s a line from an old film that mum told me about. I haven’t seen it myself. But it’s true, nevertheless. Mum says we are rebelling against The Established Order, and by not going off to uni I am rebelling against Middle Class Expectations. We don’t have a class, mum and I. There’s no point in uni anyway - it’s all just to get a job in an office supporting The Established Order. And we already live in one of the best parts of Britain so there’s no point in moving a long way away from mum to live somewhere that’s much worse, is there? Seriously, the house prices round here are among the highest in the country, and for a lot of people it’s just second homes, whereas we get to live here all the year round. And anyway, mum says she needs me and it’s always nice to be needed! And uni is just an in-between thing. In between childhood and adulthood. And I was raised to believe that childhood and adulthood are not two separate things. I am not in between anything.

    True, there’s not much to do in the winter here, but we think that’s for the best - a field left to fallow grows the best crops. That’s a farming metaphor. It means that we make our own entertainment. Because we have to. At least I do - mum already has a track record of Being Artistic, so she just needs to recharge her creative batteries with Netflix and books and wine. I get to go out and explore the world.

    Luke and Joanna are off at uni in London now. Their photos look like they’re having a great time. Or at least they think they are. But London is terrible. The tall buildings and the pollution and the crowds of people and the crime and all that. I’ve not been, but mum used to live there. I’m sure Luke and Joanna will see it as it really is once all that novelty wears off. It just looks exciting and fun, that’s all. I’m sure.    

    I started hanging out with Lily. I used to think she was just a boring weirdo at school, but she’s OK actually. She hasn’t gone to uni either. She says she wants to take a year off to do ministry or something. She introduced me to some of her church friends. Not the types I would normally hang out with, but they have some interesting points of view. I don’t agree with them at all. Perhaps that’s what makes them interesting. We have had some proper good chats. Some of them don’t care too much for the Way Things Are either.

    One of them, Alfie, is a really sound guy. Makes me laugh, like Joanna could. He says they have this thing called the Alpha Course that I should try. No pressure or anything, just chatting about life and stuff. There’s not much else to do. The beach is mostly closed because of the weather. The fairground is shut now, not that it’s all that exciting even when it isn’t. Everything is still bright and lit up and looks like fun, but there’s no substance. Alfie reckons that they just use coloured lights so that junkies can’t see their veins to inject their drugs. Some of the guys with cars go down to the covered car park and play music and drink and all that, but that doesn’t appeal to me much. Same as smuggling booze into the laundrette or the cinema or the kiddies playground. Drinking isn’t all that exciting. And if I want to do it, I’ll do it at home. At least mum buys decent wine.

    So I said I’d go along to this Alpha Course anyway. It’s at the church hall, but I’m sure it’ll be cool. I’ll tell mum I’m hanging out in the beach shelters like she did when she was a kid. Might even ‘smuggle’ a bottle of wine out to put her mind at rest. Can always hide it in the hedge and smuggle it back in later. I could just tell her, but it’s not worth the hassle. She hates the church because we are Free Thinkers. Rebels. See?