I looked out of my bedroom window and saw that it had been done.
I’d half hoped to wake up this morning and find things exactly as they’d been left the night before. But words had been spoken, threats made – nobody was going to back down.
So there it was, a thick, green line running down the middle of our street from one end to the other.
I quickly got dressed, grabbed a piece of toast for my breakfast and went outside to join the others. Someone, not sure who, told me they’d heard it was young Billy Watson who’d painted the line, late last night, using some paint he’d found in his dad’s old shed. It wasn’t a very straight line, far from it, but it would do.
As the sun rose over the terraced houses on our estate we gathered. It was nearly time. Armed with sticks, knives, bricks and bottles, we each found our own vantage point. The time for talking was over. There was no going back. We stood there silently, hardly daring to breathe, our eyes firmly fixed on that wavy green line running down the middle of our street.
On the other side of the line, on their side of the street, they were also watching and waiting. Each of us knew this unreal calmness wouldn’t last. Before long, one of them would try to cross the green line and then others would follow.
When they did we’d be ready.