I can handle another 949 days of this school, I think

Ten Year Old Creative Writer Overcomes the Lipbalm Mob!

When we received a reader story by 10 year old Delilah we were so taken by their humour and imagination that we had to share their short story with you! In 500 words they manage to sum up many of our experiences at school including loneliness, awkward moments and attacks from basic people.

But she also recognises the strengths we find through close friendships, loyal allies and the slow turning tide toward the celebration of all things queer.


By Delilah May Massey Aged 10

How tricky can secondary school actually be? I mean, 3.5 million kids in the UK do it every day, right?  

My name is Tally. I have scruffy blonde hair that I occasionally brush. I am literally covered in freckles, I have green eyes and VERY short eyelashes. I live with my mum, dad and two perfect sisters. 

Me? Well I am not so perfect. I am just me and I’m OK with that. 

I am so excited because today my best friend Seb and I will take our first joyful steps into life as year 7 students.  I dressed in my scratchy new uniform, shoes fresh from the box. It’s 8:30am and I hear the familiar cacophony from the kitchen. Mum.  

My mum is autistic and when her anxiety levels are especially high she suffers with meltdowns which leave her completely zoned-out. I calmly dim the lights, put on her favourite playlist and sit close beside her for a while, then dash from the house.

I burst through the school gates, late into my first ever lesson of secondary school. A short, skinny teacher peers over thick rimmed glasses at me as well as 30 other pairs of 11 year old eyes.  

“What good excuse have you got for being 23 minutes late?” the teacher spits at me.

I flash her a sheepish smile and slide over to where Seb was sitting. Seb turns away from me and locks the chair with his leg.  A pang of terror squeezes my tummy; butterflies circle.  Has Seb de-friended me?

At lunchtime I sit alone watching a group of glossy haired girls trading banana lip balm on the next table along.  I feel all at once invisible and like I stand out as super weird.  Swallowing food is impossible. Hot tears well up, I build a dam to keep them back.  

I pull my Pride notepad and pen from my rucksack.  My hurricane of thoughts become words on the page.  I write about mum, about Seb, about me.  

I’m mid-sentence when my writing is taken by a pink finger-nailed hand. The stench of banana lip balm wafts as the butterflies in my body re-emerge.  From deep within me I already know that my most private thoughts will soon be spilled across the school dinner hall.

“She’s a freak because her Mum is autistic!  Not only does she LOOK weird, she’s totally GAY too!” the voice penetrates across the room.

My whole body tingles, my fist clenches the pen…. Then I hear a voice, clear and composed.  “Being different isn’t bad or weird… it means you’re brave enough to be yourself… and who else would I be?” My words hang in the air.  I tense, await heckles.

From the far corner, Seb calls out, “Go Tally!”  This makes me warm inside. Then, unbelievably, the unmistakable chant ‘GO TALLY’ begins to roll around the hall. The lip gloss gang look aghast.

I can handle another 949 days of this school, I think, with the tiniest smile.

Image By Fumi Nagasaka