The Ben Beater

To Solomon: As I said a long, long time ago, feel free to comment on my space.
To the Captain: Thank you. Truly, it’s encouraging to have someone intelligent to leave a note.
To Lozareth: Hello!
To the rest of you:
I am going to end up engaged in lethal combat with Ben Caddy. In all seriousness, I think we might. You see, it all started when we got our results for the music test back on Thursday.
"Sir, what were the highest and lowest marks?"
"Highest, 25 [out of 34]. Mind you, there were a few around there too. Lowest was… 14 and a third. If you’re wondering why there are thirds, some of the questions are split into three." Skipping forwards, he started handing them out to us, one at a time. Mine was on the top of the list. 25/34. I tried to breathe normally, but I couldn’t be sure I had beaten Ben until he got his test back too. At the bottom of the pile, I saw his name, and the number 25. I gaped. "Bullshit!" I cursed, inwardly. "A tie!"
That was when it went downhill.
"Oh, I was mistaken," said Dr Braham, inspecting Ben’s test. "The highest mark was 25 and one sixth."
"OH MY GOD!" I screamed, leaping to my feet and panting. It was an outrage! I got 73.5%, and he got 74. It was almost as bad as the 0.63% difference that separated us from the music award last year. I drew a red line across my wrist in pen, and rubbed it to fade it a little. Then, when Dr Braham turned around to explain something on the board, I feinted using my scissors to cut myself, then pointed them at Ben with an empty death threat. I spent the rest of the period fuming.
Side note. I titled a piece of music I wrote in class, "The Ben Beater", by "John Marshall (in your face Ben)". I can safely say it did indeed beat Ben. His new piece is called "The John Beater", but he hasn’t beaten me in a composition yet, though he has come uncannily close. I laugh the loudest when Dr Braham picks on Ben in chorale- a favourite hobby of his.
We were grappling yesterday. He wouldn’t listen to me, so I grabbed his hands, partially crushing his fingers, and he retaliated, trying to gain the advantage over me in a primitive game of mercy, without the "Mercy!" rule. He looked right at me and said,
"Let go!"
I faltered, but didn’t want to concede so tightened my grip and told him to cut dissing me about the music score. He widened his eyes in fury, and I got the impression that if he were ever to be angry and snap, he would be the type that lets off steam as he breathes and is completely relentless. It’s hard to be angry when you’re scared, and Ben scared me with that look. I let go, and he stormed away. I convinced myself that it’s his fault, not mine, but I should have learned more than that by now.
If we do have another episode, I hope he hits me. I deserve it.

One thought on “The Ben Beater

  1. Pat. says:

    Look man, just drop. I’m sorry, but this is petty. Who cares what you get? You’re a biiger man if you dont say anything at all. Ignore him.
    Besides, why should you be angey? You get top marks for your music class (cept 1 6th- so what). Is that enough?
    We all have people who are going to ride over our talents in some point of our lives. You have Ben Caddy. Stephen Dale has his Suliman and Reuben. I have Liam Dee (but he’s an ok fella). You should congradulate them.
    It’s not like on sixth of a mark is going to change his and your life anyway.
    Cheers out.

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