by Anton Wills-Eve

<a href=””>When Childhood Ends</a>

how a friend of mine heroically ended his childhood.


Cosi Fan (almost) Tutte


John’s hesitant speech and terrible stutter

Belied the kind heart which could never utter

The words he really wanted so much to say,

And phrase in an acceptable and loving way

The girls he knew, and who knew each other,

Treated him like an annoying, younger brother

Always bothering them with an unfinished word

And gestures of despair, which they all found absurd.


So Jane and Cathy, with Kim, Liz and Anne,

Decided to find out if he was a mouse or a man.

They hatched a vile plot to tease him rotten,

First appearing attracted then leaving him forgotten.

Jane was the first to have a go at poor John,

Telling him he was handsome, not laying it on

Too thick, just letting him wonder if it could be true

That a girl actually liked him. But what should he do?


She said she would meet him behind the school gym

But just went on her way, oh how she hurt him!

John could not fathom why people wanted to make fun

In this way of any boy. What on earth had he had done

To hurt or harm in a malicious or mean way,

Girls he liked but to whom he was unable to say

That his heart beat as normally as any young boy?

Oh why did they treat him like a cast off old toy?


He waited an hour then went home alone.

To be met by Cathy who, in a really bitchy tone,

Said, “Hi John. Jane ditched you? What d’you expect?

Think she’d cover you in kisses, you pathetic reject?”

And after this minx had covered him in shame,

Kim stopped him by his home and shouted his name.

“Hey, John, want a cuddle? Some hopes for you mate!

“You can’t even ask a girl seductively out on a date.”


His response was so fierce it stopped her quite still.

N –n–no, I kn-kn–know I cc—can’t: BUT I W-W-WILL!”

At this point Liz appeared, and wiggled her hips,

Then taunted poor John with her pursed, pouting lips.

He raced to his door and went quickly inside.

“Think you’re safe now? Home’s nowhere to hide!”

Anne teased him, “Earlier I copied your house key.

Come on lover boy, now it’s just you and me!”


Poor Anne did not know just how deeply John felt

Real love for her, but with the cards he’d been dealt,

Could never express it, the words would not come

’til his brain just snapped and he was no longer dumb!

“Go on! mock me! Make fun of me! That’s if you dare,

But beware of me Anne. You see, never did I care

For anyone but you and, as you just walked in, then

I presume that you want me, so come up to my den.”


And there, ‘mid his books, tablet, laptop and all,

He crushed her in an embrace, but Anne did not call

For help. No, she just passionately kissed and caressed

The most wonderful boy she’d ever held to her breast.

“John! What’s happened? You can talk! And you’re great.

I love you so much, but I am afraid it’s getting late.”

He replied, “My parents are away, so now it’s up to you .

You’re welcome to stay here if you really want to.”


She took out her mobile and told mum not to worry,

She was going to be late and of course would not hurry

Back until morning, it was quite usual for them all.

Then turned off her phone to block any incoming call.

John listened, delighted, taking her in his arms again

To spend the night showing her he was one of the men.

And never did Anne tell Jane, Liz, Cathy or Kim,

What they had missed by making such cruel fun of him.