The group of unfamiliar boys growingly crowded around Daniel, causing his throat to tighten up and butterflies flutter in his stomach. Trying to peek past the ensuing crowd, he couldn’t spot Jerome anywhere.
“Wow, how could my boy snake me like that? Why would he leave me here on my own?” These questions ran through his mind until he realised that there was no easy way out of what he’d found himself in. It felt as though his brain was heating up, trying to find it’s bearings. Suddenly he was brought out of his head again and back into reality…
“Speak up fam,” another guy said while pushing Daniel firmly on the chest.
“Oh, I know you,” said a different member of their crew. “You’re that wasteman from the T-Way with that fucked-up mum. We aren’t gonna get anything off this guy, his family’s broke.”
There was collective sniggering and groaning from the crew, as they realised this wasn’t going to be the most fruitful encounter. However, Daniel was seeing this from a different perspective. Since moving to Temple Way Estate, he had understood that to cope and be respected in this particular social setting, you can’t let yourself be talked down to and absolutely “no one can diss my family and get off lightly” thought Daniel, with his overhanging anxiety rapidly changing to waves of anger, although still confused about how he found himself in this situation, he wanted to exact justice, however subjective that may be.
“Tbh, man still wants something from you init. I don’t care about your family, fuck them” said the boy who began the confrontation.
“You can go back to your shithole after we……” and in that moment, Daniel threw a punch which interrupted the first guy’s speech and knocked him to the ground. A few seconds, which felt like hours, passed, as the crew looked on in disbelief, shock, and then anger as Daniel stood there, angrily at first, but which slowly transitioned to panic as he realised the severity of his actions and what the consequences might be.
“Oh shit,” he thought. In that moment, the crew descended upon Daniel, punching, kicking and pushing him about. Daniel was trying as hard as he could to defend himself, but there were too many of them.
One of the crew members, wearing a white hoodie, stood still outside the melee before making a booming statement.
“Let me teach this yute, and any other yute who thinks they’re bad, wagwan if you try it with us,” he said.
The expression on Daniel’s face changed from struggle to pure despair, as he felt the vicious intent from the demeanour of the white-hooded figure, who slowly presented a weapon that looked like it could cut through trees in the forest. Evidently, Daniel felt he’d be taking the role of a tree in this scenario…