After college Alice usually met me in the car park, but she was really late today. I’d had to move my car into a shadow to stop myself from baking. I tried to call her mobile, but it was just going to answer phone. I was tired and I thought I’d give her five more minutes before I went to look.
It had been a strange day, too…
I’d been calling to Alice across the art room when Natasha had stepped between us. At first I thought she was going to speak to me, perhaps explain what was going on with her. Instead she got right inside my personal space under the pretext of reaching a scalpel on the shelf behind me. As she drew back she turned her head towards me. Her cheek rubbed against my face and her mouth touched mine. It was so quick, I wasn’t sure whether it had happened, or whether there was something wrong going on inside my head. Her tongue had flicked out and licked the inside of my top lip. Nothing was said; she just turned and walked away back to her work station. Alice caught my eye, looking shocked and even, I thought, a bit upset. Her gaze moved over to rest on Natasha and Natasha gave her a wink.
Where the hell was Alice? I’d been waiting over an hour, the student car park was almost empty. The only other car was Natasha’s sky blue Audi TT. As I watched, Natasha strode into the car park, a satisfied grin playing across her face. Wind gusted over the roof of the buildings and tousled her hair, which she tucked back behind her ears. Something gold flashed in the sun, then it was gone. She jumped into her car and drove away.
I decided to go and look for Alice. The corridors were deserted and only a few teachers lingered in their class rooms. But the place was pretty empty. I was just going back to see if Alice was waiting at the car, when I heard crying coming from the girls’ toilet. Alice was in there alright, sitting on the floor holding saturated paper towels to her bleeding ears.
I raced to her, put my arm around her and pulled her hands away from her head. Both of her earlobes had been split through, the earrings gone. I managed to bundle her up and get her into my car.
I called Dad. He said he’d meet us at home.
Dad was there when we arrived. He took Alice into his study. I stayed and held her hand; the flesh was still raw and bleeding, but the cuts were straight, there were no ragged edges. Dad gave Alice some local anaesthetic and stitched the wounds closed. Her ears would be alright, but she was shaken. Dad and I took her into the living room. Alice snuggled up against him and fell asleep. He looked worried, sat there all afternoon stroking her hair while she slept. He didn’t ask me anything.
Break the Cycle is an anti-bullying anthology of 14 stories by 14 different authors. Each story features a different scenario.
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