Not being alone

When I think of not being alone, I think that it’s not a very complicated thing; really it isn’t. But to still have the liberty to place my trust in others makes my tired heart rally.


Tuesday 1 September, 2009:

Nio: he knows damn well I know his hit, and yet he goes and scrawls it on my windowsill; does he think I won’t say anything? Because I could take a photograph, call the caretaker – and will I? No of course not; of course I won’t. But he should know I have my own reasons for that.

Jack sees it, and says, “Oh Miss… he only did it in pen,” as if to say – be lenient

“I know,” I grumble. “But he shouldn’t do it at all.”



After break I have 11 Social.  Nio comes in with Alexander and Dimario– and I immediately accost him: “Nio!”

“What, Miss?” says Nio.

“You tagged my room.”

“I didn’t!” he says, indignantly.

My class, waiting for their instructions, are laughing and looking at us.

“You did.”

“No Miss, no – where?” asks Nio, innocently.

“On my windowsill!” And I take him over, with Dimario hovering behind. “There!” I point to the offending tag.

Dimario cracks up laughing. “Nio, what an idiot – to hit Miss’s room.”

Nio frowns, perplexed. “I did,” he says, “I did… but I didn’t mean to. And look, it’s only in pen, you can hardly notice it.”

“Yes – but I did notice it,” I say

“Oh Miss, I’m sorry,” he confides. “It must have been last time I came in. I was stoned, and I must have done it without thinking.”

“And that excuses you?” I say, trying not to laugh.

He pauses, looks hopefully at me. “I’ll clean it off Miss – shall I clean it off now?”

“Yes,” I reply.

“How shall I clean it off?”

‘You can lick it off!” I tell him, making everyone burst out laughing, including Nio himself. “Next time,” I add, “I’ll  take a photo and send it to Mr Roberts.”

“Get this guy out of here!” says Dimario fondly. “Go away Nio – go to class!”

“Yes, I agree, someone take him away,” I wave my hand, and he goes off blithely.


At lunch, Nio follows me across the yard and drifts in through my door again. He studies the room carefully, pointing to another tag which has been clumsily scratched into the edge of a desk.

“I didn’t do that, Miss,” says Nio. “Honest I didn’t.” He looks at it again and says, “Shall I snitch, Miss?”

I nod.

“It’s a girl Miss, a girl did that; TRIX – see?” and he points to it again. “It’s Rita, Miss – she tags Triks.” He looks at me with joy. “I’m a snitch, aye Miss!” he says.

Then, “Can I hit your board now, Miss?” he asks politely. “I’ll show you how to tag old school styles, look…” and he takes my whiteboard marker and does several quick hits. “There! That’s my hit. Bad, aye Miss… it’s everywhere, I’m the king!” He gives it a fond glance. “Shall I rub it off – or could I leave it up?”

“Leave it – it’s ok,” I tell him.

“Yeah!” he says. “Thanks, Miss.”  He adds, kindly, “Shall I show you how to do a couple of moves? I’ll show you what my brothers told me to do – if someone shin taps you, you just do this, and then this…” he demonstrates, “And you can break their leg – cool, aye Miss.”


Then, “Miss?” he ventures, “Can… I borrow that new DVD?”

“I don’t know,” I say. “Nio, I don’t know if I can really trust you…”

“But you trusted Cluzo.”

“Yes – and he returned it.”

“And so will I, Miss, I will… please Miss, please, trust me,“ he begs.

I think of the wolves I run with, and the way Nio is with me – and I have to trust someone –  and so I say, “Ok Nio, ok.”

“Yay-yar! Miss, I won’t let you down! I’ll bring it back – I promise.”

I take it out of my laptop bag and hand it to him. He holds it tenderly, opening it and looking at the two discs and the liner notes. “Ohhh… ” he says.

I mutter, “I must be mad, I think.“

“No-oo Miss, I promise. I promise to bring it back.”

“Ok Nio, I’m trusting you – but if you let me down that’s it!” I say.

He grins. “Deal, Miss… but you can trust me.”


The bell’s about to ring, and as Nio leaves he turns, smiles at me and says radiantly, “Can I bomb it Miss? Can I bomb the inside?”

“Yes,” I say. “You can bomb it.”

He gives me an exultant wave as he goes out through the block.


I think maybe Nio won’t return it. Nio has been stood down for theft (more than once this year already). Nio is in KS, and that’s where the buck stopped last time. But more than I can adequately explain; even if that DVD vanishes without a trace, I will trust his intentions.



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