Brownsville Tales, Robin
John Jacob Erickson sat at his desk at the front of the room and surrepitiously slipped another couple of Panadol into his mouth. While the little monsters were busy reading quietly, he looked around the room, studying them.
This would be his second year teaching this lot. They'd arrived at the start of last year, all fresh-faced and innocent, excited and a bit anxious in their big new school. Brownsville High was a co-educational school, sort-of.
There were, roughly, equal numbers of boys and girls on the roll but the sexes were separated in the classrooms, boys in one lot and girls in the other. This was because of some social experiment that the Education Department was running, and they were the guinea pigs. He quite liked it actually. Boys functioned better in the classroom without girls to distract them. Now they only had each other to distract and to compete with. He liked boys, he always had – even when he was one of them.
Year 9 boys were just children really, in the beginning anyway, but most of them had changed a lot over the course of a year. They were growing rapidly and their bodies were changing, developing adult physiques and sprouting hair everywhere – on their faces and on their legs, arms and other unmentionable places. Many of them developed skin problems at some stage and their voices had changed, getting deeper and losing the childish squeaks.
He was quite certain that today's adolescents were reaching puberty younger than they used to. Practically every one of this lot had got there well before they were 14. Almost every one of them – his roving eye paused on a boy near the center of the room.
Jordan Houston. His dark hair had grown and curled, developing into a big, tangled mane, but otherwise he looked even smaller than he did at this time last year. That was probably because all of the others had grown and he hadn't. They called him 'Midget', which he hated and objected to, so they'd probably never stop until he grew some – if he ever did.
Moore and Storey were sitting very close together and Carver was stealing sly glances at them both. Some things hadn't changed since last year.
The Good Son, brother Peter, was sitting with Tommy Young who'd had a very messy and public bust-up with his best mate, Dave Fortune, who was now sitting all alone down at the back. That drama had happened during the Christmas Holidays, but he'd heard all about it.
Hey! Wait a minute. Who the hell were those two? Also in the back row, there were two boys, sitting close together and reading from the same book. Strangers – he'd never seen them before. Ever.
One thing that John prided himself on was that he knew all of the kids in his classes. He took an interest and he knew them all very well. He knew much more about them than they thought he did. Not so long ago, he was one of them – an oversexed and adventurous teenager exploring himself and the world about him.
But who were those two? They were total strangers, what were they doing in his class? He checked the attendance register in his laptop, but there were no strange names in there. Weren't they even registered?
'Oh. Time to stop thinking and start teaching.'
Some of them had finished reading and were sitting looking expectantly at him. He stood up to get everyone's attention.
"Okay, Boys. Stop where you are, please. Those that haven't finished can read it at home tonight. That'll be your homework. Yes. I know, I'm a monster. That's what they pay me for.
Now, we won't be following the textbook entirely. What I'm planning on doing is this . . ."
He sat in his seat and talked for the next few minutes, outlining his lesson plan and what he proposed covering this year. He didn't feel too bad now, as long as he didn't move.
Everyone's eyes were on him and they were paying attention. This lot had always been a good group – even his brother, Peter, though he'd never tell him that! And what the Hey were Moore and Storey doing? Rubbing their knees together? Those two had been fooling around for quite a few months now. He wondered how far they'd gone?
It was nice to see a Highschool romance last longer than the standard few days. Or, was it a romance, or just a couple of horny kids getting off together? Probably the latter.
He glanced at the clock – 10 minutes until the end of the period. That was near enough.
"Okay, People. It's the first class of the year, so I'm going to cut you some slack. You two there – yes, You. Stay where you are. Everyone else can leave now, quickly and quietly."
They didn't need telling twice. They were out of there at twice the speed they'd come in. It was all a bit of a wasted period really. He'd make up for it next time.
In a very short time, the door slammed and they were left there sitting looking at each other – 2 boys at the back and him, at the teacher's desk, at the front.
"All right then. Who are you and what are you doing in my classroom?"
The boys looked at each other. The one with dark curly hair nodded and the blond spoke. "I'm Robin Hedges. This is my brother, Darren Hughes, and we're supposed to be here. The lady in the office said to go to room 4 for first period, Geography."
"And, so you did. You're new here, I've never seen either of you before. Have you transferred from another school?"
"Right. We went to Riverston High, last year. We've just moved to Brownsville. Dad's got a job in the mines and we're starting here."
"I see. Just one thing confuses me – you're brothers and you're both in the same class. Are you both the same age?"
"No, we're not," said the curly-haired Darren. "We're both 14, but Robin's 3 months older than me."
"I didn't think you were twins. You don't look at all alike, but 3 months difference? How can brothers be 3 months apart?"
"Step-brothers," said the blond. "My dad married Darren's mum and now we are one family, so we're brothers."
"That makes perfect sense. At last. Okay, Boys, when you go to your next class, tell the teacher who you are. Have you got a note from the office?"
"We have, but you were running late, everyone was sitting down and you looked like you didn't want to be bothered, so we didn't."
"You got that right," John smiled for the first time in his day. "You'd better be going. What is your next class?"
"General Science, in the laboratory with Ms. Stafford."
"Not far to go then. The Laboratory is the next room along. It'd be Room 5 if there was any sense to the numbering around here. But there's not, so there's no Room 5 or 6 and the numbers start again at 7. Why, I don't know. It should be 8 because the library is inbetween as well, but it's Room 7. Okay?"
"I think so," said Darren.
Robin said, The laboratory is next door, right?"
"That's right. Go away now. I'll see you next time."
"Thanks, Mr. Erickson. I hope you're feeling better next time."
"So do I, Boys. So do I"
They picked up their books and left quietly. John watched them go. 'Nice kids.'
Brothers? They seemed awfully close for Step-brothers. If they were walking any closer together, they'd be joined at the hips. The shorter one had a luscious arse on him – 'Very nice!'
'No!" He shook his head. He shouldn't be thinking things like that. He was the teacher now and those days were over.
If they came from different birth-parents, would it be incest? He wondered.
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