We were Sitting down at lunch one day,
Me and Ba, and Scott and Ray,
Being Happy and merry (But never gay)
Until Shank decided to come our way.
The conversation quickly turns,
To that which makes the stomach churn;
Hot chicks, porno, renticle tape
To make shank stop it, we give him a shake.
“Profanities Shank” loudly proclaims Ba,
“Give it a rest” I say, “You’ve gone too far”
“bIsAmused equals false” guffaws semlar,
And Ray just pretends to play a guitar.
Ba scratches his head and thinks of a topic,
one that is safe and will make shank stop it.
Up until then, everything was normal…
“So who are you guys taking to the formal?”
This quickly got everyone’s attention,
I stayed quiet, as if on detention.
I was interested but it did not show,
Everyone became edgy, ready to blow.
Semlar coughed “Sarah”, we whacked him hard,
“She’s in France, are you a retard?”
Ba says that he wants to ask Alanna
This gets met with “Ba’s gonna be a father!”
Ba hides his face and talks to shank
What did they say? I drew a blank.
I became apprehensive as of then
“Who did you say you are asking again?”
His one word answer, as it sunk into my mind
Sent my heart crazy and put shivers down my spine
The one name that I did not want to hear
“Nicole” said shank, confirming my worst fear.
She was the only girl that I wanted to take
And now she’s about to be stolen by Shank.
The gears in my head started to revolve
A plan was formed and I was resolved.
Shank will NOT be stealing my redhead;
He will be taking someone else instead.
This occupied me for the rest of the day
Shank had become my enemy in a way.
As I looked at my options I exclaimed “damn”
I didn’t know whether it would go to plan
But I was possesed and my fingers would shake
In such a frenzy I made a fatal mistake
One email that I don’t want to recall
I was putting too much faith in it all.
With butterflies in stomach, excitement, nervous,
I pushed “send” and the words did their service
I had no idea that I was already dead,
So I felt better then ever as I climbed into bed.
I had to make certain that shank didn’t ask,
His real words are superior to an email from my arse.
The next day was friday, both a blessing and a curse.
After school was youth group at Ba’s Christian church.
This meant I could ask her for real
Shank could too; so it was not ideal
I had a sense of “Carpe Diem”, Sieze the day!
On top of the world? I was feeling this way.
But behind it all there was a sense of betrayal:
No matter what, one of us is going to fail.
For the first time I could see what paths lay before me
Extreme jealousy or sweet victory, which was it to be?
I was determined to see this through
“Damn you Shank, this is all because of you!”
And so there we we’re on friday night
Soccer in the park; it was a vicious fight.
Does shank suspect why I am here?
If he does then I must fear:
If Shank Knows my thoughts then he’ll be using all speed
He will pounce on Nicole like one full of greed.
But if he doesn’t know my plan he will take his time,
Wondering how to word himself, while I make a beeline.
Either way the race is on, for I will not be waiting long.
Besides I’m wearing sneakers, I can’t lose to his thongs.
For Nicole I begin to search around,
I covered quite a lot of ground.
But what is this? I can not find,
the thing that has plagued my mind.
Where on earth could Nicole be?
Surely she can’t be hiding from me.
The night dragged on and it became clear:
Nicole was not going to be coming here.
I was disappointed until I saw the truth
More time to practice not sounding like a goof.
I withdrew from my thoughts and looked around
There was Ba and at Shank he frowned.
Shank had no idea that he was spoiling Ba’s chance
For Ba to man up and ask Alanna to this dance.
I laughed and let the night take me away
The stress was gone until another day.
And so I had a lot of fun
Before I knew it, the night was done.
I woke up and it was saturday
I felt good but the sky was grey
This was a bad omen that I ignored
I had slept so well! I never even yawned
I turn on the computer, I let it load
I waited and waited until the windows logo showed.
I decided to check email but I had totally forgot,
That email of doom that I should have let rot.
I had new messages but none from Nicole
But I didn’t worry. Today won’t be droll.
So I let the morning go flying away,
Before I knew it, it was the end of the day.
Once again I returned to my email
To find a reply from a certain female.
And there it was waiting for me;
The reply of success, surely.
My heart was beating, I didn’t dare
To read that which was written there.
My hand hesitated for I could not bare,
A reply that causes me to tear out my hair.
But then I decide to take the plunge
This sweat making me as wet as a sponge.
I opened the email that decided fate
No more delay. I could not wait.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t go”
This can not be! No no NO!
“I’m sorry, but I can’t go…with you”
No…After what I’ve been through…
The world had ended, Shank had won
I had failed, the game was done.
Silent tears flowed as I retreated to bed
Sadness was swept up into dreams instead
I woke up feeling depressed the next day
I couldn’t believe that it had happened this way.
But I would not go down like this,
I must stop Shank, make him miss.
I come to school, Shank says “Wassup!”
“What a bummer that she didn’t turn up!”
At recess I find Ba talking to Shank
The subject, “Revenge” and some stuff about tanks.
Ba says that the Bible condones vengence
“How ironic, that means I won’t pay repentance”
“Only if the punishment fits the crime”
“Perfect. You know, that sounds just fine”
So I vowed to stay close to Shank, never give him a chance
To ask Nicole to the formal, they would never dance.
To me it seemed an eye for an eye
I couldn’t forsee how this plan died
And so it was Friday night once more.
We were in a church with leaky walls.
This time Nicole did indeed show
What Shank was thinking we could only know.
An awkward triangle we three made
In a river of emotion I did wade
While Shank stood silent trying to think
And eventually, Nicole ran off to get a drink.
Shank stayed away from her for most of the night
I relaxed and watched some bogans fight.
The next thing I know Shank has disappeared
But before I could swear I saw what I feared.
Shank had a look of confidence on his face
As he turned round the corner I was frozen in place
But what came next was not expected
Shank looked strangely affected
He rounded the corner looking resolved
but as he came back the look had dissolved
From within came an exclamation of glee:
“She didn’t pick him and she didn’t pick me!”
To me it came as a great victory
Shank tried to take it happily
His poker face hid what emotion he felt
He eyed me off till my face almost melt.
He was thinking the same as me
“My ranga was stolen by Herlihy”
I laughed and told him of my fail
He seemed to be turning pale.
My thoughts turned inward, as they do
And I got thinking about things undue
This was not a victory at all,
Oh boy did I just drop the ball
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
That’s what I have always been told.
So of course it came as no suprise
When all of a sudden, I realised:
Nicole would not be at our formal
With me or Shank or someone normal.
I couldn’t help feeling that it was all my fault
I should have locked my hard feelings in a vault
I was blind. Look what I’ve done.
Oh sad consequences of my fun.
As I dealt with reality
It finally sunk into me
This formal is more trouble then it’s worth
Time to get more down to earth.
And so I chose to forget these incidents
I did not want to remember, the memory was rinsed
And so I forgot, I could not recall
Until another email brought me back to it all.
Ba gives the facts as blunt as a plank
“Nicole wanted to say yes to Shank.”
Ba haven’t you heard that ignorance is bliss?
Why oh why did you have to tell me this?
I demand that you now let me know
From where this information flows
But Ba is silent, he does not say
Why these tidings came my way
So I leave the mystery unsolved
And once again the memories dissolved
The formal it did come and go
And I did not toss to and fro
I just came and had some fun
Before I knew it, the night was done.
On the bus I sat with Shank
We talked of all things rank
Hot chicks, porno, renticle tape
But I didn’t stop it, It was too late.
Shank was not an enemy then
“I still wish you asked Nicole again,
Even though we had such fun,
I still wish that she had come”
I hear a sigh, he gathers breath
I’m so tired I feel like death
“We’re still learners” is the last thing he said
But I still wish that I had my redhead.
I haven’t seen Shank since then,
And I have taken to the pen
“We’re still learners” lingers in sight
With that in mind I kiss the Formal good night
I finally can let it go
No more of this horrible show
Months have passed since I last cried.
To the formal, a big “Good bye!”
But no, I had a dream last night
You see, it gave me quite a fright
Not because it was a nightmare
But for what was contained in there:
The formal again, I’m back on the boat
With Ba, Alanna and a red goat.
But there is one I was not expecting to see
Nicole! And she is coming towards me.
But before I can say “This must be a dream”
There appears Shank, his smile like a beam.
Hands clasped firmly with Nicoles, I was enraged at the sight
Such a fury that I woke myself up in the middle of the night.
I do not know what this dream meant
But one thing I know as hard as cement:
This formal will not close it’s door
It will plague my mind forever more.
Alex Herlihy – 2008