I learnt a lot about relationships in high school. When you're in a small class with ten or so guys, you tend to bond fairly well, and you can come up with anything to fill a lunchtime. Many of those lunchtimes involve schoolyard cricket - you know the sort, where you don't have any wickets, so a wheely bin will work. And any shot that goes remotely near a teacher is six and out - because said teacher will call the whole game off. It's the perfect pastime for a bunch 15-year-old kids.
Often you can make do without one bloke. As long as you have a bowler, a wickety and a fielder or two, the difference is fairly unnoticeable. In fact, it gives you an excuse when they hit it in that sweet spot that gets them a few runs - "Aww, that's where Ricko usually stands!" you declare.
And where was Ricko, instead of catching that pivotal ball? He was with a girl, sitting against the wall. The problem is, once Ricko's sitting against the wall, the process is only just beginning.
It always happens the same way: Boy meets girl, one thing leads to another and before you know it, you don't have enough people to play cricket. Instead, the boys sit all in a row along the wall with a girl between each of them. Boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl. You may have your bowler, and your fieldsman, and your wickety - but they're useless, because you have no batsman.
Those times require an amazing bond between you and the few blokes left willing to do something with their lunchtime. Pushed on by this inability to play traditional sports, we would find our own entertainment. It was in this elite group that I learnt more about physics than in any science lesson. Who in a classroom ever discovered that Anzac biscuits make the best frisbees? Or who ever calculated how close you could throw a shoe to a tree branch before it would get stuck?
The best physics lessons came when it was just myself and one other faithful. Moving to the wall beside the boy-girl-boy-girl pattern, we filled an empty bottle with water, tightened the lid and pegged it with all our might. The patterns of water resulting would put any of Da Vinci's or Picasso's "masterpieces" to shame.
Would we have discovered such an incredibly fun game without the loss of all the other cricketers? Who knows. But even more than the fun games, "the wall" taught me a lot about forgiveness.
Because often, the boys would rotate by a weekly basis. As one went to sit with a girl, another would slink back from the wall and re-join the elite group. Granted, the 'elite group' was made up of one bloke who'd just broken up with a girl, one bloke who was willing to put mates before dates no matter what his girlfriend thought, and two other blokes who couldn't get a girl no matter how hard they tried, but it was an elite group nonetheless.
And every time a guy would come slinking back, nothing even needed to be said. You can break up with a girl, but you can't break up with your mates, even if you become confused for a while and think that sitting against a wall is more fun than cricket. Mates are mates, and mates don't hold grudges.
Instead, we were all just thankful that Ricko could catch the ball and get Fluff out after his eighth over in. That earns forgiveness quicker than any words could.