As I reach the foot of the hill, I am confronted by a group of teenage boys. They surround me and one of them snatches my scarf. They each take it in turns to wear my scarf, taking the piss out of me as they do. We all walk towards my mother's house, me in the centre of the gang.
The boys' leader asks me to give him my hat. I say that he can have it if they all leave me alone. He promises they will.
I give him my hat and he puts it on his head, dancing around shouting, "Look at my hat! Look at my hat!" The other boys then take it in turns to do the same. They don't leave me, they carry on walking with me trapped in the middle.
We are in my mother's street. I can see her house in the distance, just past the woods. And I think about the man who lives three doors down from my mother. He is a retired police officer, nicknamed 'Psycho'. I think if I could lead them to Psycho's house, then he could save me from these bullies.
We reach the end of the woods. Suddenly, out of the woods steps my stepdad together with Psycho. I am safe! Psycho asks the boys what they are doing harrassing a poor defenceless middle-aged man like this...
The boys run away.
All except for one, the largest, slowest, most innocent looking boy. I grab hold of him. I am bent on revenge. I ask Psycho to hold him still. He holds him in a head lock and I kick the boy with all my might.
I am half awake but I know I'm in pain. It's my toes. I have kicked the radiator, hard.
Betty is now half awake, too.
"Are you alright, dad?" she asks in her half dream state.
We are now both fully awake.
"Are you alright?" she asks me.
"I kicked the radiator," I say. "I'll be alright."
"I thought you'd fallen out of bed," she says. "Sorry I called you 'dad'."
For a moment there I thought we were turning into our grandparents.
The Infomaniac Christmas Party!
8 hours ago