He was never quite sure about his school friends. Sure, they had great fun; sang and played football together, and properly looked out for each other. But, no question, they were different from him and he always felt a little removed and actually a bit superior. He was quite sure he was cleverer than them, even though several of them beat him in class tests, most were better at football and pretty much all of them were better singers.
They also spoke funny. But they were kind and they picked him up when he scraped his knees and also everyone shared their sweets with each other.
However he could never quite shake off the knowledge that some of them had definitely come to play at his more than they had invited him to theirs. And a couple of them, he noted, never had their own sweets to share with the group. And all their pack lunches were weird.
He just wasn’t sure. In the playground, in front of them all he decided to flip a coin; Heads he’d leave, Tails he’d stay. He threw the coin up as high as he could. It seemed to hang in the air a while before it came crashing onto the tarmac by his feet. He bent down.
His friends regarded him seriously.
‘I’m not in your gang anymore,’ he told them.
They shrugged their shoulders, turned their backs on him and went back to their game.
He went to the other side of the playground, whistling tunelessly and tried to play football on his own, It was a lot less fun and also very lonely.