It is 3.40 PM, Noreen a 12 year old girl is sat on a large rock outside her school, there is noise and commotion of children trying to get on the 3 buses lined up in front of her. A back drop of green hills and semi detached homes catches her eyes. She is waiting and watching the world.
Asef: Where is he?
Noreen: I have been waiting since 3.15.
Asef sits beside her. Throws his bag down.
Asef: OK, When these 2 go and its the last bus we will que up and..if he’s still not here..
Noreen: I don’t have a pass
Asef: Are you serious… it don’t matter, we’ll sneak on
Noreen: NO, NO, Miss is there look, ohh.. now what..
Asef: We just get on..what’s wrong with you.. have you got money?
Noreen: Er no..why would I have any money, why is Dad not here? He’s such a…
Asef: Shut up,
Noreen: I am scared..she’s not going to let us on..I forgot to fill the form in..for the pass..should have done it after last time..but I thought he only forgot that once he’s picked us up since.. but I bet he’s forgotten about us again.
Asef: Its the last bus.. now! come on.
Reluctantly Noreen follows Asef’s lead and queues up to get on the bus.
Friend: Asef.. you getting on bus today yh?
Asef: Yh me and my sister, are dad’s not here.
Friend: Safe.. sit at the top yh..we all go upstairs.
Asef: Yh safe.
Noreen: Look..Asef..look they told David he can’t get on, he doesn’t have a bus pass
Friend: Just sneak..
Asef: You serious.. shit.. No its alright we’re going to have to walk it now
Noreen: I told you she is tight, its just a stupid piece of paper
Asef: Lets wait for Dad a little longer
They walk away from the queue and take their seats on the Rock again
Noreen: David is walking home, he lives near us..she is proper tight she is.. That Miss.. shall we go into reception and call home
Asef: Er yh lets call home to the land-line that has been cut of because your dad didn’t pay the bill yh
Noreen: It’s not my fault is it, he has just forgotten about us, I
Noreen: I am telling you he has just forgotten about us and he is your step-dad, still a dad so shut up!
Asef: Its 3.50 now, he’s not coming, we’ll have to walk
Asef: With you’re legs dumbo, lets catch up to David, he’s from Fagley yh
Noreen: Yh, he is new in my class, and funny.. He only started a couple weeks ago, he gets the City circle in the morning sometimes, haven’t you seen him before? Do you think we can get home for 5, because Mor always worries when we are just a little bit late? Do you know which way to go home? What about the main road there is no where for us to walk, and..
Asef: Yh, Yh we will use the bus route, chill man it will be about an hour, I bet you a tenner
Noreen: Where you going to get that from then.. dad?
Asef and Noreen run down the hill
Noreen: David, David
David turns around
Asef: We are walking too, to Fagley
David: The bitch wouldn’t let me on the bus, have you got some cash for a taxi or the City Circle
Asef: No, my dad normally comes for us and last time..
David: Just got to walk quick, will be getting dark soon, you fast yh, what about you Reeny?
Noreen: I can walk fast, will it really be getting dark soon?
David: Are you scared of the dark
Noreen: no..Asef..my bags heavy..
Asef: Just come on quick.. we using bus route yh?
David: Only one I know, hate coming all the way here to this stupid school, so far away, my mum cant even drive and she’s skint.
Asef: We got the bus last time, its seventy five pence with a school pass..don’t have any money on us this time.. anyway that bus takes an hour, then you got to change at town or walk home from there.
David: Oh shit look at that..the bus ha we caught up, look at them slow as a snail.
Children call out of the bus and throw rubbish out at David
Asef: What you doing!
Asef puts his middle finger up to the bus
Noreen: Seriously so embarrassing, they know now we are walking home..Asef..look are they looking at me? Is my face red? I think you lot are walking to fast. Can we sit down when we get passed this dumb bus?
Asef: they were looking at your 90’s bag, what you got in their bricks…
Noreen: Mor got me it OK!
Asef: I got fifty pence on me, do you want a drink?
David: What about me?
Asef: sorry mate, that’s all I got..
David: Only joking..
Past the bus and the traffic, the three of them sit on a bench outside a line of high rise flats, watching the traffic and birds sitting on the grass in front of them and the road.
David: Right I have had my rest..
Noreen: Asef..what do you think has happened? What if something’s happened..
Asef: Just chill..
Noreen: I don’t trust dad, seriously what’s wrong with him..
Asef: Lets get home quick its starting to get dark..
Noreen: OK, look at David, he’s fast, eh what’s he doing sitting on the floor
Asef and Noreen run
Asef: What are you doing.. get up
David: Look..my shoes got a hole in.. I have holy shoes ha
David: Guys I can sit here and beg, I am not walking any more, we done what forty minutes now..if only the weather was good..
Asef: Yh you carry on, we are walking on..
Noreen: Cant leave him here..
Asef: Seriously! He’ll catch up..keep walking.. Do you want to get home or what?
Noreen: Now you’re being tight, he actually looks like a beggar look at his shoes.. and his coat is dirty too.. Ohhh look at that man there.. He might attack him..
Asef: Come on, its not safe here..need to get out from under this bridge, he knows the route..
Noreen: OK, just slow down, I can’t go up another hill, my feet are hurting..the rain..
Asef: Do you want that tenner?
Noreen: And where are you getting it from!
Asef: Kaka Ji will give me it, I am helping him out this weekend on some cars
Noreen: Not fair..I want some money too
Asef: Get a job then,
Noreen: Do you think when I grow up, mum will let me? Actually they don’t care what I do, if they cared they would have picked us up from school and dropped us off. Looked after us.. How many Asian kids do you see getting the bus outside Fagley at 6.50 AM.
Asef: We’re not special..
Noreen: Them Asian aunties stare at us, they talk about Mor.
Asef: She has lost the plot..like when she looses the plot when she has to give us bus fare..why send us to school and so flippin far away if you can’t afford it..
Noreen: She doesn’t because of dad
David jumps on Asef from behind
Asef: What the.. What you doing man, shit me up
Noreen: Oh my god I thought you was that that man
David: It was a Junkie..the guy had cash..and he asked me for more! Look what I got, some old man threw me a quid, yesss going to get some munchies from the corner shop.
Asef: Can’t you get a bus with that
David: Rather get some food
They run to a corner shop
Noreen: You guys, wait!
David and Asef sit on a bench under a bus stop, its raining and dark now. Noreen is walking towards them. Noreen talks to her self.
Noreen: Cant believe I am walking home, no one cares about us
Noreen stops, and puts her hand on her chest, takes a deep breath and sees a man approach Asef and David, Noreen stops, heart beats
Man: Do you want some weed?
Davis: Is it free?
Man: You little shit
Asef: Get lost..
Man: If.. If..yous you..you weren’t kids I would l.l..lamp you, you likle shits
Noreen: who was that
Asef: Don’t know, come on, guess what time it is..five
Noreen: Yes I got money coming in! Make sure Kaka Ji gives you that tenner…Its five O Clock! Mor is going to be mad.. the bus is normally home by now
David: Who is Mor?
Asef and Noreen in sync: Our mum
Noreen: She is not well, and she is paranoid and she is going to be really really upset.. Oh no what about Omar, do you think he is home from school?
Asef: yh yh they would have took him home.. the teachers
Noreen: she is going to be mad, why has no one come looking for us, we are on the main roads..
Asef: Its dark and I don’t know what’s happened, we should have called Kaka ji from the reception
Noreen: Do you have his number, what about Dajee, is his number on the list for emergencies?
Asef: I don’t know, no point now, keep walking and don’t get behind us again
Noreen: I am scared what’s happened to Dad?
Noreen: I feel like something bad has happened…