Chapter 2 – Extract 7 from The Paradise Induction!
I squinted my eyes as his hot breath struck my pupils and spittle flew across my cheeks. The shouting and grip he had on my throat made my entire body tremble.
“Get out of here coconut!” he bellowed. “And don’t come back or I’m gonna bang you up!”
A few tears leaked from my eyes as the laughter of the black boys chased me out of the playcentre.
“I want you to step to the side here and wait! Do you understand what I’m saying?” said the security guy, insisting on talking to me like I had a hearing disability.
“Yeah, I understand you,” I replied, looking him square in the eyes.
He glared, then turned away.
From the back of his head, I could see he was smiling at the other security personnel; his cheeks gave him away. They responded with clear grins of their own.
I watched as they routed through the compartments of my wallet and pulled apart my mobile phone, examining behind the battery and the SIM card holder.
At eight years old, Thaxton Playcentre in Hammersmith, London during school holidays introduced me to loads of black kids; a change from my predominantly white school.
The comments from black boys and girls never stopped.
“You’re too posh to be black.”
“You don’t dress black.”
“You got your hair cut by a white man.”
“You’re not a real black man.”
“You’re a coconut.”
One day, a black guy and girl, both massively overweight in stature and emitting the stench of puberty’s arrival, invited me to ‘be their friend.’
It wasn’t long before the two of them beat me up so badly, I almost blacked out.
The cries of my brother and sister got the playcentre coordinators’ attention, but I always wondered; why did they pick me out of all the kids they could have selected?
And why did they suddenly turn on me?