Reblogged from The Jack Lockwood Diaries:
I pushed my friend from the first floor window ledge. His screams rang in my ears as I ran back home, crying my eyes out.
It had all happened sixty-five years ago, and now, having returned to England after a lifetime in Australia, I was revisiting my old haunts.
Incredibly, the derelict house in the forest was still there. Of course now most of it had collapsed, and where my eight-year-old self and my friend Guy had been able to climb up to the first floor window, now there was no first floor, in fact the roof and first floor had crumbled in, leaving just part of the ground floor. In the 1950s, small boys could play unsupervised, unlike today.
I still remembered the day it had happened. I was upset and tearful because the following morning Mum and Dad, my sister and I were leaving England forever to start a new life in Sydney, Australia. All the usual clichés had been trotted out, how “you’ll make new friends there”, and “We’ll be able to go to the beach every weekend”, made little difference to how I felt. I really didn’t want to go.
We lived in a small village in Cambridgeshire, and my world was my family, my friends at school, and grandad and grandma. I didn’t want to make new friends, I didn’t want to go to the beach all the time. I wanted to stay here and play in the woods, kick the football around the school yard. Most of all I didn’t want to leave my friends, especially my very best friends, Guy and Richard.
It had happened on that last day. Richard had gone home early, leaving Guy and me playing in the woods like we did most days after school. But I knew that this would be the last time I would ever play in the woods with Guy.
Even though small boys aren’t known to be sensitive, Guy was being particularly obnoxious, as usual his sense of humour overriding his finer feelings. He seemed to think my enforced leaving was all a great joke, and kept repeating “Sidney is going to Sydney”, proud of his pun. Suddenly all my pain erupted, and as we sat on the window ledge we’d just climbed up to, and he chanted that phrase again and again, I leaned across and pushed him so hard that he overbalanced and fell.
Continue reading here: Sticks and Stones