Remote control

When Eric’s mum came home with the shopping and found him watching TV she asked why he wasn’t at school. ‘I got sent home,’ he replied. ‘I punched Dale Flemming in the face.’ Neither of those statements was true, and he wasn’t really sure why he’d said them except that the last part was all he’d thought about the whole way home. It was all he’d thought about from the moment Belinda Carter laughed at him and told him she and Dale were an item.

Later, when he heard his mother’s sobbing coming from the laundry he could only think to himself, why’s she crying? He grabbed the remote and upped the volume until the ranting of an American talk show host drowned out the noise of her disappointment.