Jamie tied the laces on his football boots, eagerly anticipating his favourite lesson—sport.  He pulled down his red shirt, so much softer than the grey ones they wore for classes.

The captain threw him the ball to carry, and he marched out, his head high. He still didn’t understand the rules completely, but he hadn’t been the only one who had to be reminded to move to a different spot when he’d run into the wrong area.

He looked up at the overcast sky as it began to drizzle. “I hope it won’t be cancelled,” he said to the boy running beside him.

“Me, too,” the boy answered.

“Is football your favourite?”

The boy nodded.

Towards the end of the game, Jamie had possession of the ball and, as he lifted his foot to kick it towards the goal, someone tripped him. Jumping up, he turned to see who had fouled him—a boy who always picked on him for no reason, rarely being reprimanded. Seething inside, he looked at the referee, who shook his finger at him. “He was the one in the wrong,” he wanted to shout, but the game had restarted. I’ll let it go this time, but try again and you won’t escape so lightly.

On their way back, rain dripped off his hair and down his face, so he could hardly see his way. Someone pushed him in the back and he almost fell. Swivelling round, he saw the bully from earlier. He wiped the rain from his eyes and squared up to the taller boy. “What did you do that for?”

“I must have lost my footing.”

Unsure whether to believe him, Jamie walked on. Everyone slipped and slid on the muddy field, so it might have been true. Receiving another nudge in the shoulder, he decided this one must be deliberate. He elbowed the boy, causing him to fall flat on his face in the mud.

“Oh, sorry,” he called, hurrying away. “I must have lost my footing.”

Once inside, he washed off as much mud as possible and changed into his uniform. The bell rang and he made his escape.