We'd moved here a few months ago and I quickly made new friends, both at school and in the neighbourhood. There's a place called Cooper's Quarry which is now a formal garden with paths, benches, flowerbeds, an orchard and a glade. It used to be an adventure playground and according to the group of kids I'd befriended, it was 'totally ace'. They spent many hours playing there, and the more dilapidated it became, the more fun they had... then the council decided it was dangerous and removed all the fun stuff, replacing it with flowerbeds and benches which are only good for OAPs and parents with pushchairs.
A few weeks ago, we were passing through Cooper's Quarry and reminiscing about how much fun they had there, as well as grumbling about how boring it is now. I could only take their word for it since the space was redesigned before we moved to the area. Climbing frames, elevated walkways, rope swings and a 'death' slide sounded loads better than what there is now. Looking back, I'm not sure who started it, but it didn't take long for the rest of us to join in; stomping on the flower beds, uprooting shrubs, breaking branches, booting the bins and benches over and generally destroying or disturbing whatever we could.
The act of vandalism was front page news in the local paper, which stated that one of the gang had been caught at the scene and the others ran off. That one was me, but I didn't grass my mates up. I'd have got my head kicked in if I had, and no one wants to be friends with a grass... so keeping shtum and taking the rap all on my own was, I believed, in my best interests. Being a minor meant they they couldn't print my name in the paper, nor could the authorities fine me for the damage caused, make me do x hours of community service or anything much... the most they could do was make me attend Sunday School which sounded really boring. The judge who heard my case said that I'd have to attend Sunday school for a period no less than 48 weeks and no more than 48 months, and that my attendance period would be closer to 48 weeks if I did the decent thing and gave the authorities the names of my accomplices. I refused and claimed that they were some kids I’d just met and I didn't know their names or where they lived... but they knew I was lying, I knew I was lying, and I knew that they knew I was lying.