The day I met Ryan started like any other… My family and I had rituals that we went through each morning. I would be woken up by the
sound of radio Ulster’s today programme drifting out from the kitchen as the announcer told the country of the latest sectarian murder. I could pick out a few keys words, 19, New Lodge Catholic, I
imagined that a family would be crying somewhere mourning the needless senseless murder of their loved one…
I could hear my mother going merrily about her morning routine, toast tea and a few fags a cough as she collected her work
My sister would be out of bed and dominating the bathroom, as she preened herself for the day ahead. I would be lying in bed debating
whether or not to have a good wank before I got up. On this particular day I decided not to.
My mother would knock my door, stick her head inside and tell me not to be late for school. I would grunt some semi rude reply and
put my head under the covers and resist the temptation to drift off back to sleep.
I heard for my mum leave as she shouted a final get up to me. Then my sister go not saying anything to me (As usual) .
The house was as cold as a witch’s tit. The embers of last nights fire smoldering in the fireplace offered little comfort against the
morning cold. I shivered as the air hit my bare skin as I quickly ran into the bathroom. I washed and walked naked back towards my bedroom and the warmth of the clothes I would put on. I stopped to
look and myself in the full-length hall mirror. Naked I was stripped of all the hall Marks of my identity. This was me the really McCoy. I looked at my slight belly with the ugly appendix operation
scar that had been there since I was 10. My dick hanging limply I pushed from side to side.
Could anyone find me attractive I thought to myself. Girls at school I found boring. All they talked about was the latest pop music
and what they were going to do at the weekend. In fact I found girls in general boring. The idea of marrying one and living with her for the next 45 years was a horrible prospect. Most of the Boys
I knew just talked about football and the size of girl’s tits and how far they had got with certain girls. Was this it? Was my life destined to be the same? Was there someone I could relate to and
be at one with?
My sexual experience up until that point had been based around forming a close relationship with my left hand and one half baked
experience with a friend that didn’t really amount to anything much its hardly worth me even talking about.
The only real friend I had during those terrible years of high school was Peter hatch, or Hatchie, as I knew him.
About six months prior to the events I am about to tell you off Peter had invited me over to spend a Friday night at his house. His
younger brother who he normally shared a room with was sent downstairs to sleep on the sofa.
The night was rather boring, We stayed up later and watched some dull Vampire movie staring Christopher Lee as Dracula who went
around biting the necks of scantily clad local girls. Until Peter Cushing came along and put an end to his Shenanigans.
The next morning I heard Peter get out of bed and watched with one eye open as he moved around the room. He wore underpants with
black and white checks on them making his bum almost look like a walking chessboard. I couldn’t help noticing the imposing tent at the front of his pants. Peter had woken up with a painfully stiff
“What the fuck are you looking at?” Peter snapped at me still making no attempt to hide the bulge at the front of his
“Nothing” I said averting my gaze away from his crotch trying to think of something else.
Don’t lie, Peter said in a judgmental tone of voice. I saw you watching me.
I tried to protest my innocence but I could see that it would do no good. I had been caught red handed and was 100 percent
“You know what the boys at school say about you, don’t you”?
“What” I said in a nervous tone of voice, knowing what his answer would be.
“That you like dicks instead of fanny, that you’re a fruit or queer. That no one should bend over in front of you or be naked in your
presence.” That you would stick your cock up their bum hole”
I was close to tears, warring emotions building inside me.The things Peter was saying to me hurt me. Was I about to loose my only
real friend? The only friend I had.
“And what to you think”
“I couldn’t give a fuck. Those boys are wankers.” I think some of them fuck each other anyway…
I laughed out loud and Peter made wanking motions with his hand.
“do you want to see it he said calmly”
“What” I said not really sure where the conversation was going.” I pretended I didn’t understand what he meant.
My dick, cock, Willy, knob, John Thomas, fuckstick,
“fuckstick” I said trying not to laugh
“Yeah, that’s what Belch calls his.” And lets face it , it is a real fuckstick.
Biggest cock ive ever seen
Ok, if you want to.
Peter stood by my bed, with a huge grin on his face and like someone about to show off a prize possession pushed his underpants down
to his ankles.
“Holy Shit” I cried out.
What happened next, I will leave to your imagination. The only thing I will say it was nothing deep or Earth shattering, nothing even
Three months later Peter Hatch was out of my life. His father had been offered a job in Australia and had decided to emigrate there
and take the family with him. The Hatch’s being one of the many families that had left Ulster of account of “the troubles” Who wants to raise children in a world of bigotry and
On the last day before he left I gave Peter a hug and told him that I would miss him and promised that I would write… When he said
the same thing I sensed an unconvincing tone in his voice. I realized that Peter was only friends with me because, deep down inside he felt sorry for me and that’s what made the whole situation
I went into my room and dressed slowly. Red underpants, school trousers, shirt and sweater, sock and boots. Off course I had no
intention of going to school. I would ride the bus into town get off and hang around the streets. Have a bag of chips then come home and make up some excuse to tell my mother.
Off course I needed something to sustain me through the morning. I went into the kitchen and took a pack of ten woodbines from my
Mums fag drawer. I Looked on top of the cupboard where she kept her booze bottles. I found a half drank bottle of Mundies South African wine. Better still in another drawer I found two pounds
fifty. I was set for the day. Booze, money and fags. Who could ask for anything more. I took a mouthful of the wine and gagged at the strong bitter taste. Did winos really like to drink this? I
threw the bottle and fags into my school bag and left the house.
As I walked to the bus stop through the grey streets of the estate the black rain clouds started to roll in from the Belfast lough.
Soon the heavens opened and the rain was bouncing from the pavements. I stood in the corner of the bus shelter behind a gaggle of old women talking about the latest one of their friends to be in
hospital someone they referred too as poor old Annie. Annie it seemed only had a matter of days left and had suffered at the hands of her abusive husband.What was it with old people and illness and
death they seemed to love it. I turned my ears away from their inane talk and watched as the bus pulled in .
I paid the miserable looking driver the 15 pence bus face into town and took a seat at far away as I could from the old grannies who
were still discussing the fate of poor old Annie. I drifted off into my one word of loneliness and imagination.
I decided to get off at the old pier and spend time at the old dissued railway station, trains had not stopped there for many years
and the station was pretty run down but the waiting room still had benches in it and offered some shelter from the rain. Even if it did smell damp and u had to walk across broken glass to get the
benches it was forty times better than a day at school, but then almost anything was.
I saw him long before he spotted me. Walking aimlessly along the stone covered beach, picking up the odd stone and throwing it into
the angry sea. The brown trousers gave his identity away. A boy from the Catholic school, the first time I had seen one on his own. I looked further down the beach to see if he had and mates with
him. The last thing that I needed was to be given a good kicking by a gang of catholic boys. He saw me looking down at him and stopped picking up the stones. He tentatively raised a hand
acknowledging my presence. And I raised my hand back and beckoned for him to come over to where I was sitting.
He came slowly up the steps from the beach and stood nervously looking at me. He was around my age maybe a little older. A little
smaller than me. For a moment no one spoke. We stood like two prizefighters eye each other up before their title fight.
“There’s not more of you is there, he said nervously. Your not going to hit me are you?
“No, why do you think I would do that”
“You’re an Inter boy, aren’t you”?
Inter being the slang name for Blackfergus secondary intermediate school. No point denying it, the uniform I was wearing was a clear
“Yes” I said nodding my head.
“They are always causing trouble in the town”
“There a bunch of fucking idiots” I hate fighting” I said trying to make him feel more comfortable.”
“You got anymore of those” he said pointing to the fag I was smoking.
“Yes”, do you want one?
I handed him a cigarette, pulled out a box of matches and lit it for him.
I opened my school bag and took out the bottle of wine opened it and took a swig from the bottle. I passed it over to him. He took it
without saying anything and took a swig from the bottle then handed it back to me.
He pulled the zipped of his parker down and pushed the hood back. I’m Ryan O’Neil he said holding out his hand.
I shook it with mine. “John Watson”
“No school today”
“There is school, but it’s a waste of fucking time”
“Mine is too” I leave in the summer, even though my Da wants me to stay on and do A level, it seems like a waste of
Is it true that nuns and priests teach in your school?I said trying not to sound too condescending.
“Yeah those nuns are fucking bitches, always smacking you across the bum for one thing or another, and the priests and like
I laughed out loud. “I thought my school was bad”
We sat there watching the rain fall, smoking my mother’s fags and drinking her wine. He talked about his home life, how he was an
only child, how his mother had died when he was 2. His father was a lawyer who most of the week in Belfast. He spent his weekend with his grandmother in Blackhead a small town five miles away. I
told him about my life, what my mother had planned for me to do, how I wanted to be a writer and longed to live somewhere else.
Ryan had taken his coat off and now seemed very relaxed. I think he was finally convinced I wasn’t going to smack him in the teeth or
kick him in the balls. After a few more swigs of wine I was starting to feel merrily pissed and I guess Ryan was too. I looked at him closely. He had wavy dirty fair hair down to his neck. Light
blue eyes and a beautiful smile. It turned out his was six month older than me, though he looked much younger. I took an instant liking to him.
Two hours had passed like ten minutes. It’s amazing how quickly time goes when you’re in good company.
I got to pee, Ryan said jumping to his feet, where is the nearest bogs.
“Go there”, I said pointing to the back wall of the waiting room, “no ones looking”
Ryan went to the back wall. I heard the sound of his zip coming down then the sound of water splashing against the back wall. He
started humming a song, I recognized it was mamma Mia by ABBA.
“Do you always sing when you’re peeing” I said trying not to laugh.
“Yes, it helps me to go better”
He finished up and came back over to where I was sitting.
“Angels and ministers of grace defend us!” God I needed that piss, came close to peeing myself.
“ Hamlet, that’s when he sees his da’s ghost.
“You know your literature. Fuckin nuns make us remember it all”
Ryan glanced at his watch.
“Fuck, I have to go” he said quickly putting on his coat.”Thanks for the fags and wine. “Your not a bad guy for a
“And your not bad for a Taig” Can I see you again sometime”
“Sure, give me your phone number.”
I took a pen and a piece of paper from my school bag and hastily wrote my phone number on it and handed it to him. He looked at me
I’ll call you” .He paused for a moment as if he was thinking what to say next. “ Real soon, ok”
“Ok” I nodded back.
As we walked along the sea highway the rain had eased to a wet drizzle, the smell of the sea lingered in the air and I had the sudden
desire to be inside out of the rain. Yet I wanted to stay with my new found friend. He had a strange quality about him, something that was missing in the other boys I had been in contact
I heard the sound of a car draw up on the other side of the road and the sound of the horn give two quick blasts.
I looked across at the blue Ford Cortina and watched the window roll down. A hairy burly arm with two gold rings on the middle
fingers beckoned for Ryan to cross the road.
“I got to go” he said waiting for the traffic to break. “Take care”
Ryan ran across the road and got in the passenger side.
I saw the face of the driver look out as he wiped the rain of his wing mirror. It was a face I had seen before. It was a face well
know on the Downshire estate. It was none other that Jackie Walsh, rumored to be the local commander of the Blackfergus UDA, hardcore loyalist through and through and father of my Nemesis Belch
What in Gods name was Ryan, a Catholic boy doing getting in a car with him? I don’t know why Ryan would do that but I was determined
to find out…
© Copyright 2016 Stu Irvine. All rights reserved.