“It is impossible for me to have a nice day!” Meg had always wanted to scream back but knew any such comment would fall on deaf ears. Since her father had left, Meg’s mum had slowly faded into a shallow shell. Talking to her mum about the hell her daily school experiences had become would only add to her mother’s mounting grief. So every morning she would instead cover the pain and fear with a plastic smile and reassure her mum that she would indeed have a nice day. And for once Meg meant it. It was the last day of school and she had finally decided she would take matters into her own hands. Meg couldn’t quite remember the day the bullying started or why it started. At first she thought it was a passing trend. She understood why Billy who was twice as big and twice as ugly as the other 15 year olds in the class had been labelled ‘ogre’ or why Fayed with the strange spiced smell which exuded offensively from the pores of his dark skin always sat alone, but Meg could not understand what was wrong with her. At night she would stare in the coolness of the mirror and intricately dissect every aspect of her features; pale skin, deep blue eyes, a hint of freckles and hair that could never be called red but golden with a reddish hue. No matter how hard she looked, her reflection always whispered the same painful message– “you are so plain – so absolutely ordinary.” Meg simply lacked the spark and vivacity of her other female class mates; especially Sharon and Linda - the source of all her woes. She would always avoid eye contact but in the safety of the classroom would often find herself secretly observing them. They were pretty and had all the curves in all the right places. They wore their uniforms as if they were the latest fashion trends rather than items of conformity. Too many buttons opened and skirts just that little bit shorter than was school policy. They exuded the confidence of their new found sexuality which left the boys swarming around them like bees to honey.
The taunts had started with name calling but progressed to comments that penetrated like knives into flesh. By the middle of the year the verbal progressed to the physical. Things went missing; money, lunches, schoolbooks and finally there was the pushing and the tearing of clothes. Any complaint to the teacher was invalidated by lack of evidence for both Linda and Sharon were masters of deception and ensured no witness to their actions could be traced or proven.
With one hand Meg waved her mother off, with the other she grasped at her school pocket clinging reassuringly to its content as though it were her last salvation. Her mother