There's a kid I used to know,
we used to hang around a lot.
She was the centre of our group,
only leader we had got.
Her word was Law amongst us,
she told us what was cool or not.
We all vied for her favour.
All wanted what she'd got.
To me she seemed amazing,
so daring and so brave,
I'd scramble for each little
pearl of wisdom she gave.
She always took the biggest risks
yet never seemed to fall.
I guess I never realised she'd nought to lose at all.
When I went round her house for tea
on evenings after school
her parents were so nice to me
I thought they were well cool!
They let her get away with things,
my folks'd be appalled,
it all seemed so perfect to me.
I didn't hear the walls.
She'd talk about her other gang,
kids along her street.
She'd chat about them endlessly
but never let us meet.
She told us that she had a "rep"
cos she was really tuff,
she said her gang had lots of fights
and we weren't hard enough.
She'd proudly show each cut and bruise
as trophies from each fight,
and happily recount her tales,
she made it seem alright
to inflict pain on other kids
for reasons not quite known.
Her fighting prowess we knew of
although we were never shown.
I do not know her anymore, can't tell you where she's gone.
Our paths diverged when I refused to blindly follow on.
Our friendship died a drawn out death. From when cracks first appeared
to when I trusted her no more was at least a full year.
Now years have passed and I with hindsight try once to look back.
I find myself questioning what I had thought were facts.
The way that always one day after showing a fresh bruise
she would come into school with something expensive and new.
The way her parents never contradicted what she said.
The gang we never met. All facts I never really read.
And asking myself why the greatest risks were what she'd choose...
Perhaps she wasn't all that brave, just had nothing to lose.
When at the bottom of despair you cannot really fall
I think of her house and I'm there, list'ning to the walls.
And one last question:
how is it she never really cried?
The walls scream out the answer now:
her tears ran down inside.