Written in the aftermath of having somebody I love tell me to have a nice life. I've calmed down a bit since (I'd just recieved a Dear John -or rather Dear Jim- email), but I'm still thouroughly upset. At least eighty percent of this story is grounded in reality.

The silicon chip inside his head

gets switched to overload

and nobody's gonna go to school today

He's gonna make them stay at home

And Daddy doesn't understand it

He always said he was good as gold

And he can see no reason

Cos there are no reasons

What reasons do you need to be shown?

Nobody saw it coming. They knew James had broken up with his girlfriend, and some of them could have guessed how badly it had hit him. She'd meant everything to him, but it looked like he had meant nothing to her. After nearly eighteen months she'd become a part of his life, and that part was gone, replaced by a void and bittersweet memories.

The week before it happened was not a good one for him. He'd always had problems fitting in, being systematically bullied for much of his school life. Friday was no exception. Insults, threats, a discarded sandwich thrown at his head on the bus home; what he'd describe as business as usual. But now there was nothing left for him to look forward to, or anybody who might have made it bearable.

It was the suddenness of it all that hurt the most. She'd just got bored with him; her words. He'd asked her to tell him what was wrong, what he should have done better, but she hadn't even given him a shot at making it right.

/I was happy to try. I'd have made it work, or at least tried. A couple of bloody weeks, that was all I was asking. If I hadn't managed to become something like the person she deserved after that, okay, but she wouldn't even give me that!/ He silently screamed inside his head. A person who he'd loved, let himself believed had loved him, was just... gone.

He'd talked to a friend, and she'd tried to reassure him, but they were overheard and it was around the Sixth Form in an hour. Most had been sympathetic, but some had been openly derisive. The significant number of kids in the lower years who singled James out as a target -for he was a strange and somewhat nerdy boy, and not really good in a fight- latched on almost immediately, and Monday looked even grimmer than usual. Their observations had been typically helpful:

"Wouldn't want to snog her anyway!"

"Not surprised. Why'd she go out with a sad wanker like you anyway?"

"She shagged me alright!"

He'd been truly enraged, and had to be pulled off one kid. This last had been the worst, for despite everything he still loved her.

/I'm going to get the bastards. It is fucking well PAYBACK TIME!/

On Saturday morning he disappeared into town, looking for a street he'd half-jokingly asked another boy in his year about. He found it, and bought what he needed.

Monday morning was pretty much as anticipated; insults, stinging remarks about his girlfriend and a general attitude of ridicule. Nothing he wasn't used to, after six years. The first lesson of the day was technically Sociology, but the regular teacher had left and no replacement was forthcoming until the other side of the summer holidays. This worked to James's advantage, as many of the 'openly derisive' faction were also free.

He casually walked in the direction of the coffee machine/ Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Nutri-Matic drinks dispenser (judging by the quality of the tea), and fumbled in his bag for something as he drew level with the small mob who had had a good laugh at his expense the previous Friday.

"Hey, gay-go, how's-" He never finished his sentence, for he took a .45 calibre hollowpoint in the stomach, as did his compatriots. They all hit the ground, gasping in pain and beyond any hope of survival. They had minutes, agonizing pain-filled minutes to live, James knew. This thought pleased him no end.

James ejected the spent magazine from the silver plated semiautomatic handgun he'd bought for a hideous amount of money on Saturday, and fitted another. "You really, really shouldn't have asked that," he remarked, pulling the topslide back with a sharp click. He walked out of the Sixth Form building without another word, oblivious to the screams of panic behind him.

Tell me why

I don't like Mondays (rpt 3 times)

I want to shoot

The whole day down

He went from classroom to classroom, searching for those who had harassed him, driven him to this. Where he found them, they took a swift shot to the stomach or abdomen, where it'd take them a while. His own sheer marksmanship amazed him; he hadn't even fired a couple of practice rounds the day before! Terrible certainty of purpose, he supposed. The clinical, cool precision of the totally and utterly bonkers.

It made him sound rather sexy, actually, like Jean Reno in... anything but bloody Godzilla, actually. He wouldn't mind Natalie Portman fancying him, not now she'd grown up some and acquired nice tits! Laughing quietly at himself, James progressed to the next building, whistling to himself tunelessly.

The telex machine is kept so clean

and it types to waiting world.

And Mother feels so shocked

Father's world is rocked

And their thoughts turn to

Their own little boy

Sweet 17 ain't that peachy keen

No it ain't so neat to admit defeat,

They can see no reasons

Cos there are no reasons

What reasons do you need to be shown?

He was already headline news, and pictures of Wollaston Secondary School were being shown on BBC News 24, with police cars and vans screching to a halt outside; some money-grubbing git had called the press agency instead of 999 when they heard the shots. James's old Sociology teacher, a woman who he'd liked and respected despite her unashamed membership of the Labour Party (in fairness to her, she had joined while they were still vaguely left of the Conservatives and remained a socialist at heart), would doubtless have had something pithy to say about that.

They managed to obtain the basic details of James's life, problems and motives from a late-arriving student who had seen him leave the Sixth Form block with a gun in his hand. Fortunately, his parents were both at work and his siblings at school, so they were not harassed by the Press. The Sixth Form centre manager, who had been retrieving documents from her car, knew perfectly well where both parents worked but told the Press to get stuffed.

"This disturbed and angry young man has resorted to violence to seek redress for his many tribulations, not just at the hands of his peers, but also the indifference of a school administration that lacked the resources or the inclination to care," a BBC correspondent informed the audience. The Head of Sixth Form, who had made great but futile efforts to address the problem, took great umbrage at this. He became the first teacher -but surely not the last, what with the televisation of the NUT's annual conference next year- to punch a reporter live on national television.

Repeat Chorus

All the playing's stopped in the playground now

He wants to play with his toys awhile

And school's out early and soon we'll be learning

That the lesson today is how to die

And then the bullhorn crackles

And the captain tackles

With the problems and the how's and why's

And he can see no reasons

Cos there are no reasons

What reasons do you need to die?

James emerged from the Main Block, gun dangling from one hand, and faced the line of police officers levelling automatic weapons at him.

"Halt! Armed police officers!"

/I can see that,/ he said to himself. /Well, one bullet left.../

"Do me a favour," he said after a second or two. "Tell her I love her very much, and I couldn't carry on without her." He put the pistol against his temple. "Don't you just HATE Mondays?" he said with a wink, and blew his brains all over the playground.

Repeat Chorus

Lyrics and music by Bob Geldof, taken from the album "The Fine Art of Surfacing", and somewhat modified to fit the gender of the protagonist; ie me. If the girlfriend in question is reading this, well, what can I say?

Thanks are due to Paula, who was a sympathetic ear when all this happened to me.