niina.amniisia » bits, pieces and photos from sydney, australia and elsewhere

the boy who never came home [s] (Tuesday March 17th, 1998 - 00:00)

category: mmhuh?

Late summer, 1994, sitting in my English class attempting to concentrate on a novel I’d already learned at my previous school. A whisper to me that Boy is outside, and I begin to wonder why – he’d left at lunch with the intention of getting drunk at a friends place. Five minutes of stressing went by until I excused myself from the class and walked around to the front of the school.


“Heeeeeeeeeeeey,” he slurred in an awfully happy manner. “I waaaant to goooo to Eeeengliiish.”

“Um, no.”


“The class is almost over.”

“I waaaaaaaanna gooooooo.”


I took Boy by the arm and lead him on his staggered feet to a patch of grass. After asking several more times to be allowed to go to English, he finally sat down, still muttering about missing class, until his stomach decided to empty out the vodka in harsh, burning fashion. Holding him on his feet while he threw up, not wanting his face to land in the clear liquid mess, I glanced at my watch and realised classes would be let out in 10 minutes.

Fortunately Boy’s insides settled down, and after searching through my bag for tissues for him to clean up with, I left him seated in stun while I went to buy a bottle of water from the canteen. Returning a minute later, I found him lieing down, dozing. I offered him the water, he woke up enough to splash some around his mouth, spit it out, and drink a bit, but then went back to dozing.

Sitting beside him, I waited for the classes to let out and wondered what to explain should our teacher walk past. Thankfully she didn’t, but even if she had, she knew all that was going on with Boy and probabaly would have only showed concern for him anyway. On their way off from school grounds, a few people stopped and asked what was going on, and I explained that Boy was tired and getting a bit of sleep – thankfully with no food in his stomach he’d left no visible trace of his chuck except a soggy patch of grass.

Harry emerged from her English class and I told her what the situation was. She sat down and we talked while waiting for Boy to wake up, occasionally asking him how he was feeling only to be replied with odd mutters about the spinning world and not wanting to get up.

I saw Mr B come in through the front gate and prayed that he would go in to the office, and my prayers were almost answered but just as he was about to turn left he spied us sitting on the green and possibly wondered why we were around almost half an hour since the end of school. His long legs strode over to us. I whispered to Boy to remain quiet.

“Why are you all still here?”

“Just sitting around,” I replied in an unfortunately false tone.

“What’s up with Boy?”

“He’s just kinda tired. We’ll wake him up soon and all go home.”

“Are you sure he’s okay?”


“Has he taken any drugs?”

“Umm.. No.”

“I could take him to the hospital if he needs to get there.”

“No, it shouldn’t be necessary.”

“Well, I’ll be in my office if you need me.”

“Thanks Mr B.”

Away he strode, perhaps a touch concerned, and I’d like to think more worried about the state Boy was in, than the fact that a kid intoxicated on school grounds could land him in trouble.

Once Mr B was well out of sight, Harry and I decided we had to get Boy and ourselves home. After vague argueings we decided to just pull him to his feet holding one arm each. We succeeded, until we realised he hadn’t opened his eyes, and suddenly his knees buckled but despite our small size we managed to keep him from falling – the past few months he had deteriorated in to just skin and bone.

Opening his eyes, the world must have spun at a dreadful speed and he dry retched while Harry and I hoped that he wouldn’t throw up. After the nausea passed, we slowly walked him out of school grounds, down the street, and to the taxi ramp.

“Have you got money, Boy?”


“Will you be okay in the taxi?”


Such short, cut answers compared with his slurs from just an hour before. Harry and I opened the back door of the taxi for him, Boy fell inside, we put his school bag in after him, closed the door, and spoke to the driver through the open passenger window.

“Could you take him to Elizabeth Bay please?”


And off he drove.

A phone call the next morning from Boy to tell me he was alive, appreciated the help, and that he’d thrown up out the door of the taxi somewhere near the Cross.

It was winter, 1995, when Boy came to school for the first time in a week, but this time sporting a “beauty” case. As we sat in the common room talking about his newest flat mate (gay, odd, what do you expect?), he opened the case to display a mirror, and other paraphernalia. I excused myself and went to class – no point questioning, no point scolding, no point encouraging.

Late winter, the same year, Boy disappeared. He couldn’t pay the private school fees, he had no money for food or bills, but without money, where had he gone?

A call from Indonesia or Singapore or somewhere telling me of coke-ing and crashing a car into a shop stall. No idea of plans, no idea of more money.

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