Revenge is so Very Sweet
Samantha Michelle Davies(SamanthaMD)
The Headmaster reread the letter for the umpteenth time still in total amazement and disbelief.
As he read the words again he just shook his head.
I heard about the tragic death of one of your pupils due to Bullying. This brought a tear to my eye.
One of my closest friends was a pupil at your school many years ago and was subject to the most terrible bullying. I know from first hand experience the long term effects that it can have on people probably for the rest of their lives.
I applaud your stance in expelling those concerned. If there is any thing I can do to help you in your campaign please let me know. I (my busy schedule willing) would be only too glad to help. However, there is one caveat. As this is a serious matter any help I give should be given BEFORE any word of it is released or leaked to the press. I hope that you can understand why I make this request. The Paparazzi are in my life every day but helping those who are the victims of bullying should be a private matter.
The bell for the end of Lunch forced the Headmaster to turn his attention to the lesson he was about to teach. Year 10, English Literature.
It was not until the next day that he returned to the letter. He had slept on it overnight and decided to present a synopsis of it to the weekly staff meeting he was about to chair.
With the normal business completed the Headmaster made the announcement.
“I have received an unexpected offer of help in our Anti-bullying campaign. I can’t say who the offer is from but they are a well known public figure. They have a friend who once went to this school and was subject to the same sort of bullying, as I’m afraid that Jeremy Dean unfortunately experienced from other pupils at this school.
I’m open to suggestions and comments”
There was silence from the Staff Members present. Then John Adams, head of Year 12 piped up.
“I take it that this so called Z list Celebrity wants to remain Anonymous so they can bring their own paparazzi and manufacture the publicity the crave like a junkie”
“Not So. Mr Adams. Yes they want to keep the press out of it. My take on it is that they are prepared to do things like one-on-ones with the victims of bullying which most certainly do not need the presence of the press. Does it Mr Adams?”
He didn’t reply.
“What do you others think?”
“Is this person a sportsman or women?” asked Ms Jones the only Lesbian on the staff and head of the Phys Ed Dept.
“The person is not a sportsman. I’m not going to say anything other than they are a well known and very recognisable Woman”
That got the attention of pretty well all the staff members.
He had them in his hands. Apart from Mr Adams, they all agreed to participate in whatever events that the Headmaster and this as yet unknown celebrity organised.
The headmaster left the school that day with an unexpected spring in his step.
“April! There is some guy called Worthy on the phone. He says he is a headmaster. Shall I give him the standard press get lost message?”
I stopped applying the mascara nearly putting her eye out.
“Ask him if he is from High Chase College?”
“He says yes” shouted the PA.
“I’ll take the call” I said
She handed me the phone and I motioned that this was a private call.
When she had left the room and the door was shut.
“Hello Mr Worthy. This is April speaking”
“I’m pleased to speak to you Ms Day”
“April it is then. Thank you for the most generous offer of assistance. We really appreciate it”
“No Thank you for calling. I’m only to glad to help in any way I can. Do you have any ideas about how I can help?”
“Many and most of them are totally useless”
“Perhaps you could look into the school records for a boy named Thomas Malthouse. He was bullied all through school. My friend was in his class. He knows who did it. Tom killed himself just after leaving school. Perhaps we could use this as an example and show definitive how being bullied effect people in different ways. Then go onto to emphasize that there is no shame in dobbing in the bullies”
“April. That is a magnificent idea.”
“Its not mine. My friend has suggested it. I have helped him get over the years of bullying he experience all through school”
“Will you tell me his name?”
“No. Most definitely not. He had had the psychological scars for years. It is only in the past 2-3 years that he had got over it enough to even talk about it in private. He won’t go public if that is what you want”
“No. I would never pressure any one to go public unless they were totally happy and aware of the consequences”
“Then we have an understanding”
“We do indeed”
“Could we arrange a meeting where the victims and the bullies along with their families are invited and then I’ll talk in general about my friends experiences and you can highlight the problems that past pupils have had and what has happened to the victims and the bullies since they left school. Some of the victims have made successful lives for themselves”
“That would be brilliant”
“And that many of the bullies have led lives of crime”
“Mr Worthy. As you are aware, I’m a very busy person. My diary is arranged for weeks if not months ahead. However if you can do this and it does not clash with London, Paris, Milan or New York fashion weeks, I’ll drop everything to spend time helping you. I’ll even do some individual counselling with the victims. Then we can finish with the meeting”
“I’m not sure it is appropriate for you to do counselling April”
“Oh. Don’t worry about that. I’m a qualified psychoanalyst. I have a PhD in it. After all, Modelling as a career only lasts so long and at my age, my sell by date has just about passed”
“April. You are a woman of surprises. So that’s how you have helped your friend”
“Yes. Actually, it was my wanting to help him that got me interested in it.”
“April, I had this image of you from your public persons. I have to say that it appears to be wrong”
“Ha-Ha. That persona is carefully manufactured. Don’t believe everything you read in the press or see on TV”
“I certainly won’t in future”
“Mr Worthy, please do try to set this up. I want to help but I really don’t want this to get out until after the event. These poor children do not need to be hounded by the press just because they had met someone like me”
“April. I thank you for being so candid and honest with me. I will do my best to set things up at a date that is convenient to everyone”
After the call my PA came into the office.
“Was that something I should know about?”
“Not really. It’s a private matter. Nothing to do with work”
End of discussion.
Sally was a good PA but she was having a hard time coming to terms with my other recent decision.
“Have you reconsidered retiring?”
“No. I’m going to go through with it. My use by date is really long in the past. I can’t carry on for much longer trading on my past. The bookings for this year are way down on last years”
“That’s because the big fashion houses want Size 0 models this year”
“And my 36C’s are certainly not Size0”
“April. You are far better looking than any of those malnourished babies”
“Thanks for the confidence boost Sally. But you know the situation and that once I have made up my mind, it stays made up. As soon as we complete of the purchase of the practice then I’m done in this business. God knows that most of the Models I ply the catwalk with need my services. The Drug and Nicotine abuse and addictions they suffer are literally killing them”
“Yeah. That’s why you are setting up in Harley St. Shrink to the Stars”
“For a few years at least” I joked back
“And I’ll be on the Dole”
“You have the offer of a job”
“I’m a PA not a receptionist. No thanks”
“Hayley is looking for a PA. I’m sure…”
“You have got to be kidding. She is so crazy due to the amount of Charlie she snorts she should be in a padded cell”
“I take it that you don’t want to work for her then?”
“No. No. And Thrice No”
“Sally, you know how much I appreciate what you have done for me over the years. That is why I’m giving you a year’s salary as compensation”
“And for me to keep my lips shut eh?”
“Your reputation as a PA is built upon keeping your lips zipped tight. If you took the 40 pieces of silver from the press do you think that you would ever get another job as a PA again?”
“Not in a million years”
“So our agreement is good then?”
“April. Sometimes you are so insecure for someone who knows what you want in life. Yes of course it’s good. Keep schtum for 2 years after your death then I can sell to the highest bidder. In return, I get a pay off of 100K. Of course I can keep silent. Besides April I owe you for getting me back on the straight and narrow. That is worth more than ay amount of dosh those vermin of the press could drag up from their hell”
We laughed as we both pictured our first meeting some 10 years earlier. We were both very different people then.
It was more than two months before Sally got the call from the school. We had just finished the season in New York and were having a holiday at my place in the country to escape the clamouring of the press that had been pretty constant since I announced my immediate retirement from modelling. In three weeks, I would start my new career as an analyst in London.
I was getting back to nature and trying badly to create a flower bed in the back garden when Sally came out of the house carrying my mobile phone.
“Its you favourite Headmaster”
I took the phone.
“Shall I leave?”
“Can you get the diary please?”
She nodded and turned on her heels and went back inside the house.
“Hell My Worthy. It has been some time since we last spoke.”
“I heard about your retirement and wondered if you offer still stood?”
“It does. It certainly does. And my diary suddenly has a lot more holes in it. Well, for the next three weeks it does anyway”
“Could you come down next Wednesday & Thursday? I would like to have that meeting on Thursday evening if that ok with you?”
“That’s fine. Did you look up the records on Tom Malthouse?”
“I did. I am ashamed to say that Tom’s case does not show my profession in a good light at all”
“Do you think you could get permission from his family for me to mention it in the meeting?”
“I’ll try. I think his mother still lives in the town”
“One last thing. Could you send me a list of the bullies names and also if their parents were pupils at the school at the time that Tom and my friend were there?”
“Was your friend in Tom’s year?”
“No. He was two years behind.”
“Ahh. Finlay & his gang”
“You know about him?”
“Yes. His son is the ringleader of a gang here. Like Father Like Son eh?”
“And you can’t touch them?”
“Perhaps there is a way we can do that and make the Finlay family loose some of their street cred”
“What do you have in mind?”
“I’m not sure yet. I think I may have to wing it but I have an idea. I’ll have a talk to my friend”
“Thank you for your efforts. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday”
“Ok. Thanks for calling. See you next week. Bye”
Sally was eavesdropping.
“April. Have you really thought this through? The press are going to have a field day when they find out”
“No Sally. Its time the world knew. If I can save some kid from becoming another Tom then I’ll do whatever it takes. If that means exposing myself to the world then the size of my Bank Balance says ‘Fuck You. You fell for it for all those years. More fool you’”
She shook he head.
I knew she was not happy with me and my decision but she had known me long enough to know I was not likely to change my mind easily.
“I think this might be an opportune time to visit your Brother in Australia?”
“I think so too. My Mobile will be red hot once this gets out”
Then she got serious.
“Are you 1000% sure you want to do this?”
“Yes. It took me years to get over my time at school. If I can help one child escape from being bullied then it will be worth it”
She held my hands and looked me straight in the eye.
“Good Luck. You are going to need it. I’ll be here for you when it’s all over. Just give me a call and I’ll be on the next flight”
“Thanks. I know you will and I do value your support”
Sally left for Australia the following evening.
Over the next few days, I spoke frequently for The Headmaster finalizing arrangements for my visit.
I travelled to the school on Wednesday. It felt really strange to walk through the gates after all these years. I was dressed in very un-fashionable clothes and had minimal makeup on. Still I got some stares from the few pupils I passed on my way to the Headmasters Office.
At the door I stopped.
“Oh God!” I thought.
Do I knock and enter of do I do as I had done many times as a child knock & wait. Suddenly the memories and horrors came back to me. I could feel tears welling up inside me. I decided.
I knocked on the door and entered.
Mr Worthy was at his desk.
“Ah April. Please come in. Welcome to our school. I trust you had a good journey down from London”
“Yes I did”
I was lying. I had travelled down the previous day and spent the night with the one person in the town who I had kept in touch with all these years.
“Yes. The wonders of Sat-Nav and all that” I continued.
“Please take a seat. Would you like some Coffee?”
“Yes Please. White no Sugar thanks”
He poured some freshly brewed coffee for both of us. He handed me a cup.
“My Deputy Head. Mr Garnett will be along shortly. He knows that we have a visitor but not who it is”
“Good. I would like to keep things as low key as possible for as long as possible”
I took a sip of the coffee.
“My Son is a Coffee Dealer in the City. He sends me samples. Some are awful. This in one of the better ones though”
Before I could reply the office door opened and a man in his late 40’s or early 50’s walked in.
“April. This is John Garnett. The Deputy Head who I spoke about before.”
“John, this is April Day”
“Pleased to meet you John” I said offering my hand in welcome.
“You are the supermodel. Didn’t you announce your retirement the other week?”
“That’s me” I said smiling.
John turned to the Head.
“Arthur. If this is some stunt then it is in very bad taste” he said urgently.
“John, get some Coffee and sit down. I’ll explain”
A very unhappy John poured himself some coffee and sat down.
“Well?” he said without even tasting the excellent coffee.
“April is as, or rather was what is known as a Supermodel. What is not generally known is that she is a qualified psychoanalyst with a PhD in Psychology”
“I’m not really the dumb blonde that you see on the TV. That is an image that I cultivated over the years”
“Arthur? Are you sure?”
“John. I sent Arthur full details of my academic history. April Day is a stage name. My real name is Janet Evans. I have also sent him my CRB record history.”
Arthur piped in.
“I checked it out. The dean of the University that awarded April her PhD was at my Public School He verified that she did achieve what she says she did”
“But? I don’t really understand” exclaimed John.
“I am sure you will be the time I leave tomorrow night. There is one fact that Arthur didn’t let on. My PhD Dissertation was on the ‘Long Term Psychological effects of Bullying at School’. So, you see I do have a little bit of knowledge of the problems and issues involved. I was bullied at school. In fact, from my research, 99% of children are bullied at some point in their school lives”
“Does that make you happier?” asked Arthur.
“I suppose so. For a moment I thought that this was going to be some sort of publicity stunt”
“Do I look like I want this to be a publicity stunt? I’m not Cherie Blair deliberately opening the front door of her house on the morning after the night that Hubbie Tony got elected as PM looking like something the cat dragged home. In my former profession we would not dare be seen in public or private for that matter without enough makeup on to paint as battleship. Do you get my gist?”
John nodded. He looked a bit happier.
“John. I have arranged for the Medical Room to be free for the next two days. I have prepared a list of pupils that I would like to get to see April. If you could handle the logistics”
Arthur handed John a sheet of paper.
He read it.
“I think you have got all the most badly affected pupils. What is going to happen at the meeting”?
“April is going to talk about how the effects of bullying can be overcome in adult life. However what happens then depends upon who is in attendance”
“What do you mean?”
“As you know, we have invited the current crop of bullies and their parents may of whom were bullies before them at this school. I have done some research into their peers and what they are doing today. It makes very interesting reading. Then, we shall see?”
Arthur looked at me and winked.
I wondered if he had discovered my secret. Still, it probably would not matter after the following evening.
I looked at the clock.
“I think it is about time for my first patient”
“April, John will show you to the medical room”
“Thanks Arthur. I’ll see you at lunchtime?”
“Yes. We are going to the Plough for a quick bite. John would you like to join us. Strictly no shop-talk though?”
“Yes. That fine.” He agreed and led me out of the office.
I thought as we walked along the corridor that if Arthur had discovered my secret then he was not letting on. He could have easily slipped up and said that I knew where it was instead of letting John guide me.
I saw 8 pupils that day. Once they got over the shock of realising who was sitting in a chair within touching distance they became surprisingly talkative. I was able to steer most of them into at least starting to realize there is life outside bullying at school. Two were in real serious risk of self harming or even suicide.
I stressed the importance of confidentially to them and that I would continue to see them if they wanted help. All but the worst two accepted the offer.
At the end of the day I met up with Arthur & John to report progress.
“There is this rumour that someone who looks a bit like April Day has been seen at the school” reported John.
“All teachers are under strict instructions to confiscate all Camera Phones tomorrow”
“Don’t worry John. I’m retired now. My ‘press’ value has plummeted in recent weeks” I jokingly replied.
“Even so, I bet there are a few papers that will pay at least a few quid for pictures of a former model visiting a school”
“Let them. Let them concentrate on me. That way, the kids won’t get involved. They are all troubled enough to be bothered about some hack pestering them. Actually, in a perverse way, it could be good as most of the bullying events that have been told to me relate to times when the bully tries to remove any self esteem that the victim may have. Someone actually paying them some attention could go some way to reducing this feeling of worthlessness that has been instilled in them by the bully”
They both nodded.
The next day, I was ensconced in the medical room before many pupils had arrived. I saw a further 10 patients that day. This time there was only one who was ‘at risk’. The others were not so deeply affected as those on the previous day. This was good.
I dined that evening in the Staff Room with Arthur, John and three other teachers. We ate a pretty good Chinese from the Chinese Chippy that had been near the school for donkeys years. Once the meal was over I went to get changed and prepare for the evening ahead.
John Worthy was taking this opportunity to brief the staff members about the evening.
I returned to the Staff Room looking more like a supermodel. A bit of makeup on my face helped my confidence level greatly.
The staff left to get the hall ready and get the Audience seated.
Dead on time, John poked his head round the door and signalled that the meeting was about to start.
I followed him to the assembly hall.
We entered and I stood at the back as Arthur was opening the meeting.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, our guest of the evening has arrived. I would like to welcome April Day, to the school”.
There was a gasp from the audience. I could see a few of the pupils I had counselled telling their parents ‘I told you so’ as I walked to the front of the hall.
There was virtual silence penetrated only by the click of my heels on the parquet flooring.
I reached the front and turned to face the audience who were watching my every move.
“Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Pupils and former pupils of this school. I want to thank the Head, Mr Worthy for allowing me to come here to address you tonight”
I paused for some effect.
“You may well be asking what does this ‘Blonde Bimbo Supermodel’ know about Bullying in schools?”
“It might not look like it and you may not believe it, I was subject to some pretty severe Bullying while was at School. I hope that what I am about to say and show you tonight might change your attitude towards the bullies and more importantly towards listening to those who are the victims”
“I have asked the head to look at what has happened to some of the former pupils at this school over the past 20 years or so and especially to those who were the victims of bullying and those who did the bullying. Arthur.”
Arthur took over.
“We all know about our most famous former Pupil. Alan Winter the boxer is well known to us all. There are many others who are not well known”
“Take Steve Wynn. He left here the year before I became head. He is now head of research at a Multi-National Drug Company”
There was some chatter in the audience.
“On the other side, there is Mervyn Smith. He was in the same year as Steve Wynn. He is currently serving life at a top security prison for murdering three people. It will come as no surprise to many of you that he was one of the so called ‘heavies’ in a mob that was known as the ‘Cherry Lane Gang’”
There was some disquiet in one part of the Audience.
“There are a few members of that gang here tonight. It is with deep regret for me to say that some of the main bullies in this school are the offspring of former bullies”
“We didn’t come here to be slagged off and have my kid accused of bullying” came a shout from the audience.
“Ah Mr Matthews. I wondered how long it would be before you piped up. If you want some proof then I’ll give you a video tape of your son doing just that. A copy is in the hands of the Police by the way”
“We’re leaving” he said and stood up.
“Please do. There are some police officers waiting outside who will only be to glad to interview you and your son. If you want to delay that for a while then please sit down”
He looked at the exit. There was a policeman standing there. He sat down.
“Thank you. I’ll hand back to April”
“Thank you Arthur”
“As I said in my introduction, I was bullied at school. I had money extorted from me. I was beaten up several times a year. It was the sad death of one of my fellow pupils that made me get out of the vicious cycle. It took me several years and a lot of hard work to fully recover my health and more importantly, my Self-Esteem”
“Self-Esteem is what the bullies play on. The ridicule you and make you feel that your life is totally worthless. When you are down then they own you”
I paused for effect.
“At this school, there was the recent case of Rachel Dawson. It was clear from the evidence produced at her inquest that she had been bullied mercilessly for a long period”
“Some of the parents here tonight will remember the name of Thomas Malthouse. I know it was a long time ago but his suicide was directly attributable to bullying”
“These sad events are a terrible waste of life as well as in reality a terrible crime”
“I would like to relate some of my own experiences of bullying. I have never told anyone apart from a few friends and relatives about this. I hope you find this revealing”
“As I said, I was subject to the most severe bulling when I was at school. I was regularly beaten up if I didn’t pay the bullies protection money. My homework was often torn up. And when I tried to fight back, no one would believe me and it was often me that ended up being punished for fighting. I am sure this rings a bell with the bullied and bullies alike”
A few of the parents looked sad as they recalled their childhood. A few actually had smiles on their faces.
“I’m rather pleased that Mr Alan Finlay is here tonight. I mentioned the Cherry Lane Gang earlier. Mr Finlay was the leader of this mob. He directed everything that went on. He was always too smart to get caught doing the bullying but there was no doubt that he was always directing things. Sometimes though, he did get involved”.
I took a deep breath. I looked at Arthur. He nodded his head. He knew but soon, it would not matter. Everyone would soon know.
“Do any of the parents here remember a boy called Simon Young?”
I scanned the audience.
Several heads nodded.
“He was a pupil here and was one of the favourite targets of the Cherry Lane Gang. On one occasion, Simon had stayed behind after school to attend the Chess Club. He was a good player. Anyway, on his way home, he was attacked by the Gang. On this occasion, Alan Finlay was in the thick of things. It was time for him to get his kicks. Literally, he kicked Simon repeatedly”
“That’s a lie. Where is the little Cocksucker? I’ve 10 witnesses that say different” shouted Alan.
“It doesn’t matter any more. Would you please moderate your language? We are not in the public bar of the local flea-pit boozer now. Let me continue”
“Simon was subject to a beating. At the end, he was made to perform oral sex on several of his attackers before being left for dead”
“If those of you who remember Simon can think back, you may recall that he never returned to school. His family moved away shortly afterwards. Well, Simon has lived a full and productive life. He is here today to confront the bullies that made his life hell and changed it for ever on that faithful day”
People looked around for a strange face.
“So where is that long streak of useless piss” cam a cry from the bullies.
“I bet he has chickened out like he always did” said another.
That got a laugh from that part of the hall.
“No. He has not chickened out. He is very much here with us today”
“Where is he then?”
“He is standing here in front of you”
“Fuck off. I only see…” the crier stopped in mid sentence.
“Yes. You guessed it. I am Simon Young”
The place was totally silent.
“Yes, the Model that has graced the catwalks and your TV screens is actually that Cocksucker as you so crudely put it. You, Alan Finlay literally gave me the kick that led me to become what you see here today”
There was still total silence.
“Alan Finlay kicked me many times in my, shall we say ‘Private Parts’. The damage was so severe that both of my testicles had to be removed when I was taken to hospital that night”
“You are taking the piss lady. There is no way you could be that cocksucker” shouted Alan.
“Oh, its me all right. I can produce the medical records to prove it if you want. But in the meantime there was one incident that may stick in your mind. Can you remember when you threatened to throw Simon out of a second floor window if he didn’t do your Maths homework for you?”
“Do you remember this?”
“So what if I do?”
“Do you remember what he said to you?”
“What does that prove?”
“I said to you when I was being held down by your cronies that I would never do your homework for you. Then you proceeded to set fire to my school bag. Do you remember that?”
“Yeah! It was cool. The little cocksucker got what was coming to him”
“No I didn’t. I showed resistance for the first time. I kicked you in the balls. I actually felt good after that. That is also why it was easy to make the decision to have a sex change after the beating I took from you which removed all chance of ever having children”
“You were always a poofter and a faggot. That is why you were so good at sucking cock” came, a shout from another of the Gang.
“I’m not a poofter or a faggot as you so crudely put it. I never was. However, I did always know that I should have been born female. Unbeknown to you, the injuries that you inflicted on me gave me the opportunity to become the woman I always wanted”
There were many people just shaking their head in disbelief.
“I want to wrap this up” I continued.
“Being bullied at school is not something you have to keep to yourself. Society is a very different place from what it was 20 years ago. People do believe you when you say that you are being bullied. You are not alone as I and many others were”
“Finally, I am proud of who I am and what I have done with my life. I honestly can’t think that those of you who have been bullies or are at present can honestly say that”
“I want to thank the school for letting me come here these past few days. Those of you who I have seen privately know that I am available for further consultations at no charge and for however long you may need them. You can overcome the trauma that these morons cause you to experience on an almost daily basis with the right help. I’m available to give whatever help I can. Thank you for being so patient”
I sat down to a silent hall. Then a number of parents stood up and clapped. The bullies tried to leave but the police were going to be talking to them. Several had admitted assault and other offences this evening. The Video tapes of the evening would be used in evidence in several court cases over the coming months.
I said my goodbyes to Arthur and John and too many of the parents.
As I drove off into the night, the editors of the nations Daily Papers were being bombarded with ‘exclusives’ about the true sexuality of ‘April Day’.
I didn’t care any longer. I was finally ready to get on with the rest of my life. The final ghosts of my childhood had been exorcised at last. Revenge was indeed tasting very sweet.
This tale is very autobiographical. SEveral of the main characters in this story did exist my childhood but no all at the same time. The Teacher ‘Mr Worthy’ was instrumental in getting me diagnosed as being Dyslexic and yes, I was bullied at school becasue of it.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.