Mr Blackwell:Teacher Student Romance

By: S K Quinn

Baz’s choice, naturally. He hates ‘poncy fucking LA bars’.

I’m the only man in the whole bar wearing a suit jacket and I see the tattooed, scarred clientele eyeing me up.

Baz shouts at the barman, ‘Hey Billy. Two of the usual.’

The gruff, shaven-headed barman folds his arms. ‘You’d better drink fast. We’re starting in five minutes.’

‘Starting what?’ Baz asks.

‘The fight. It’s Saturday, remember?’ The barman glares at me. ‘Who’s the suit?’

Baz grins. ‘A very talented actor. Marc Blackwell. We’re shooting a movie together.’

The barman snorts. ‘Never heard of him.’

‘Then you don’t watch enough TV,’ says Baz. ‘He’s been in loads of stuff. He’s been acting since he was a kid.’

The barman laughs. ‘A pampered child actor? Don’t bring him up to the fight for god’s sake. He’ll shit himself.’

‘He ain’t pampered,’ says Baz. ‘He’s lived more of a life than most of the men in here. He’ll do just fine in the ring.’

‘He’ll get the crap beaten out of him.’

‘Maybe. Maybe not.’

The barman slams two pints of lager in front of us, shaking his head. ‘I’m serious Baz. Keep the little LA prince away from the fight.’

Baz crosses his arms. ‘Listen. If he fights, I’ll vouch for him, all right?’

The barman walks away. ‘Just as long as he doesn’t call the cops.’

Baz pushes a pint towards me. ‘Get that down you and your troubles won’t look half as bad.’

‘What’s going on?’ I ask. ‘Fight? I thought we were here to talk.’

‘And we will. Didn’t know the fight was on tonight. But since it is … let’s make a man out of you sunshine.’ Baz takes his own pint and downs half in one gulp. ‘Good stuff.’ He slams the glass on the bar. ‘Now then, young Marc Blackwell. Tell me your worries.’

‘Ria said she loved me.’

‘Oh shit. Well that’s a first. She certainly never said that to me.’

‘What should I do?’

‘Don’t do anything.’

‘Shouldn’t I … I mean, I don’t want to hurt her. Shouldn’t I tell her I don’t love her?’

‘Don’t tell her a thing. Just keep on doing what you’re doing, and when the movie ends you’ll forget all about each other.’

‘I don’t want to lead her on.’

‘Look, sometimes you have to tell women a few white lies.’

‘That’s not how I do things.’

‘Listen mate. Ria’s a nice-looking girl. What makes you so sure you don’t love her back? I mean the two of you have been at it for a while now.’

‘I’m sure.’

‘Okay, so get rid of Ria and find yourself a nice girlfriend. Someone your own age. A kid like you – you should be falling in love with someone. That’s what being a teenager is all about isn’t it?’

‘I’m not the sort of man who falls in love.’

‘Why the hell not?’

‘For me, it’s just not a good idea.’

Baz downs the last of his pint. ‘Because of your dad?’

‘He’s gone now. Forgotten.’

‘Yeah, but … the way he was with your mother. He roughed her up a bit, didn’t he?’


‘So you think you’ll be the same?’


A clanging rings across the bar.

‘Uh oh.’ Baz nods at my pint. ‘You’d better drink up. Time to head upstairs. Fight time.’ Baz gives me his crooked grin. ‘This will be the making of you kid. Just you wait and see.’

The bar crowd leave their drinks and head towards a wooden door at the back of the pub.

Two confused-looking tourists watch the stampede.

Baz and I join the throng of muscular, shaven-headed men in paint-covered overalls and workman jackets.

There are a few boys my own age, pushing and jostling through the door. They look tough. Mean. Well used to scrapping.

My black jeans and polo shirt couldn’t be more out of place. Nor could my clipped, brown hair.

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