Going to her first gig changes the course of Fiona's life when she witnesses a scene in the bathroom which pushes all thoughts of her friend's boyfriend out of her mind. But making adult decisions aren't easy when all you wanted to do was have a good time. Quite short story.

Reef Drifter

Chapter One

Keeping Donnie sweet for a week had been a nightmare. My jaws ached from grinding my teeth and my tongue now had a scar where I'd bitten down hard on it to stop me kicking off at him.

This week had been even harder than most. As if to test us he had sunken into an even deeper pit of morose self-pitying despondency where anything you said to him he replied with a dejected sigh or a cynical, jutting remark. I'd endured countless petty jibes from him and listened with strained sympathy to him moaning all week.

But I hadn't relented. I'd promised myself I wouldn't give him any excuse to snatch away my one chance of having a decent night out. Which he would do at the slightest provocation – because Donnie's a jerk.

A jerk that just happened to hold the five golden tickets to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, or Slatingham's equivalent thereof. Five tickets to see Riot Girl at the Reef.

I couldn't have been nicer to him had I got down on my knees and sucked his… ahem. And now, standing outside the school gates on Friday afternoon, now this was my reward as I reached out for my ticket.

"No! You can't have it!" he said suddenly, whipping the fist in which the five tickets were splayed behind his back. My nails grated against empty air and I resisted the temptation to rake them down the sides of his podgy face, smirking infuriatingly in childish malevolence.

I forced myself to smile; a sickly grimace which threatened to shatter my cheekbones.

"Awww, come on," I said, playing along.

"How badly do you want it?" he asked slyly.

How badly did I want this ticket? Bad. All niceness abandoned I lost my temper.

"Give!" I said sharply. "I've already paid you for it."

"Well I could always refund you and give it to someone else," he suggested.

"Like who? You don't have any other friends apart from us," Harry laughed. He's allowed to get away with saying things like that now because his ticket's already sticking out of the back pocket of his baggy jeans. He'd been waiting outside for us like he had done everyday since he'd got suspended.

"Then I'll sell it on eBay," Donnie retorted.

"A ticket for a gig which is tomorrow night?" Ness said. No one had seen her arrive, sidling up behind Donnie. Having assessed the situation and taking her chance before Donnie had even turned round to face her; she'd whipped the ticket from out of his fat fingers and was holding it out to me.

I grabbed it and before Donnie could make a lunge for it I tucked it into the inside pocket of my school blazer.

"Fine," Donnie said sulkily and then added bad temperedly to Ness, "I suppose you want yours too?"

Ness dumped her flute in its case on the ground at her feet. "Oh yeah," she said with a delighted grin. "Gimme."

Donnie responded straight away. He didn't ever wind Ness up like he did me.

Ness held her ticket up to the weak September sunlight as if checking for a watermark, before loudly kissing it.

"Mwah!" she said her grin even wider than before and her eyes crinkling. Sometimes, Ness looked old to me; and not old as in grown up. Old-old.

I wondered what she'd look like rocking out at the gig tomorrow night.

Come to think of it, what were any of us going to look like? A bunch of fifteen-year-old public school kids in our school uniform that'd never been out in Slatingham alone at night before let alone to the Reef?

OK, so we wouldn't be wearing our school uniform, but still…

"Happy?" Harry laughed.

"Oh yeah," Ness beamed at him.

"You guys just remember who made this night possible, yeah?" Donnie piped up. Now he had lost his hold on all of us his tone had a nasty, bitter edge to it.

Harry, a lot more good-humoured than the rest of the us, slung an arm around Donnie's shoulders and planted a big wet kiss on his cheek. As Donnie's face contorted in shock and disgust Harry said,

"Don't worry mate. That's a thank you. Without you, we'd all be lost."