Author – Ted
My name is Ted, 16 years old, 6ft with blond hair. My looks make me more suited to the beach than school. I liked being casual, shorts, t-shirt, vans with white socks but at school I dressed correctly and smartly, trousers, blazer, white shirt with school tie and black brogues which where always polished.
My family circumstances changed and I had to move from a private school to the local school. It was a culture shock but I still kept my standards which reflected in my work and behaviour. It didn’t take long to get the respect of the teachers as my grades where good.
One lunchtime I spotted a boy getting picked on by an older pupil. I intervened as I don’t like bullying. The younger pupil ran away but caused me to have an altercation with the bully. We ended up fighting on the grass only to be stopped by a Prefect. His name was Steve, older than me but smartly dressed unlike most of the pupils here. I told him I had been defending a boy from this bully but as he had ran off I had no proof to defend my actions.
Both me and the bully called Henry where photographed by the Prefect who then ordered us to follow him inside the building. We entered an old gym hall. Inside was another Prefect named Ben, he was sitting on a desk with an empty box beside him. “Two newbies” he said. I asked why I was here. “You’re here to be punished for fighting” said the prefect called Steve. I again tried to explain but was told that there was no excuse for fighting. “All pupils brought here lose their lunchtime liberty” said Ben. Any disobedience means automatic detention.
“Take off your shoes” said Steve. “Why” said Henry. He didn’t like the explanation and said “You want to control us by taking our shoes, no fucking way”. He stormed out of the gym leaving me alone with the two Prefects. “He’ll regret what he’s done” said Ben who stared down at my feet. He again demanded my shoes, I wanted to follow Henry out the door, I was innocent but couldn’t prove it. I decided to just accept my punishment, losing my shoes and my freedom for an hour wasn’t too much of an hardship, was it? “Shoes, take them off” demanded Steve. The floor looked dirty so I stood on one leg like a Flamingo, unlaced my shiny black Brogue and removed it and handed it to Ben. I put my dark blue socked foot on the cold dirty floor and raised my other foot repeating my actions and handed over my right shoe. Holding both my shoes, Ben admired them and complimented my choice of footwear as they where the same as his and the other prefects shoes, smart polished black Brogues. The only difference was they still had theirs on their feet. Ben placed my shoes in the box on the desk and told me to sit down. I looked around the empty hall, there where no chairs. “Sit on the floor” said Ben. I told him I had not sat on a floor since I was a small kid and most certainly not sitting on this cold floor getting my trousers dirty. “They’ll match your muddy blazer” said Ben. My left arm was covered in mud and I had grass stains on my white shirt also, my pristine uniform was no more but I still refused the indignity of sitting on the dirty floor. “Obey the rules and sit” said Ben “Or you don’t get your shoes back”. Henry had been right, my shoes where now being held to ransom and I had allowed it to happen. I should of left with him, they have my shoes and there was nothing I could. I sat on the cold floor like a shoeless beggar. Steve left the room, I tried talking to Ben again pathetically begging him to give me back my shoes and letting me leave but he just kept telling me to shut up. Steve returned with two more boys, I watched as their shoes got confiscated, their black socks turning grey from the dusty floor. I felt even more humiliated, no difference between me ‘innocent’ and them ‘guilty’ we where all shoeless, which made us the same, like prisoners in a jail cell. After watching several more pupils arrive and have their shoes taken. I realised all the confiscated shoes had been placed in the box on top of my clean polished shoes. The bell rung and I watched everyone retrieve their shoes and leave, Ben refused to give me my shoes. Apparently I had been disobedient by not remaining silent and refusing to sit on the floor. “You can collect your shoes in detention” he said rather smugly. I felt colour drain from my face “I’ve never had detention before” I said. Then I realised not only was I getting detention but I was going to spend the afternoon shoeless “I can’t go to lessons without my shoes” I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach. “I’ve done nothing wrong” I pleaded. He just smiled and took away my shoes.
I walked along the corridor, students staring at my socked feet. In my few weeks at the school I had seen students walking shoeless in socks and thought ‘losers’ now here I was ‘the loser’ walking to class with shoeless feet. I arrived at my first lesson of the afternoon, I could see the look of disappointment on the teachers face. I quickly sat down wishing a hole would appear and swallow me. At 4pm I walked to the detention room my dark blue socks looked worn and dirty. I reached the door it was locked, I had to wait in the busy corridor shoeless, might aswell of had a sign above my head saying ‘bad boy’ as it was obvious why I was stood there in my socked feet. Other boys appeared and waited, all shoeless. The creator of my humiliation, Henry, was walking along the corridor. It pleased me to see he had no shoes on his feet. He stood next to me, he told me he wasn’t a bully and he was trying to stop the boy from bullying his younger brother. I had come along and intervened and he’d got angry. I was actually the instigator and not him I had been guilty all along. He felt as aggrieved as me in the Sin Bin and that’s why he left, unfortunately he was identified by his photo in an email. His teacher immediately confiscated his shoes in front of the whole class. I felt bad for the guy. I looked at my reflection in the window, muddy blazer, grassed stained shirt, dirty trousers and socks and my blond hair had been messed up since the lunchtime fight. From a smart well groomed pupil in the morning to scuffy shoeless tramp in the afternoon, my humility was complete. Henry and me became good friends getting up to mischief and spent many lunchtimes sitting on the sin bin floor shoeless.