Beth Young, sections co-ordinator at the Gladstone Observer.
Beth Young, sections co-ordinator at the Gladstone Observer. Brenda Strong

Start with a fight

ASK anyone. This girl is fairly mild-mannered.

Small in stature. A big reader. Pretty nerdy, actually. More a lover than a fighter.

But that all changed at Schoolies Week 2004. It was like Mean Girls.

My mates and I drove down to the Goldy from the Sunshine Coast.

We'd booked our flash Surfers Paradise apartment months ahead.

Spa. Balcony. Right on the beach. It was perfect.

Along with a few other buddies, I had my two best friends with me.

We called each other the Tricycle. That's how tight we were.

Let's just say the tricycle lost a wheel that week.

It got nasty after a few drinks on the very first night. And I started it.

A little tipsy, I made a mean comment which, to this day, makes me cringe.

My girlfriend was also a little drunk. She made an equally mean comment.

From there it was tit-for-tat. A catty domino effect.

I chucked her make-up on the ground. And then she pushed me.

That push signalled my first and only fight.

It was pretty ridiculous. A few slaps. A couple of shoves.

And then she threw my book over the balcony and into the pool below.

That was the last straw for this geek.

To graduates on their way south today for Schoolies: Have fun.

But be careful. And look after your buddies.

And to Kelli: I'm really sorry.



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