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I love my best friend. She means the world to me. I met her in year eight Geography and we were friends almost straight away. She’s so funny and random and I can tell her anything, well almost anything.
"Ew. There's a hair in my pasta. That's disgusting." She held up her fork where a single grey hair was stuck to a piece of pasta. The whole table burst out laughing. Hayley pushed the bowl away from her. "Seriously, that’s awful.”
“What do you expect from this crappy school?” I crumbled the flapjack in my hand and pushed it around my plate. “Anyone coming outside?”
I lay back and soaked in as much sun as possible. Why was it always sunny when we were at school? I bet it will rain at the weekend. I watched the boys play football a couple of meters away from us.
"Hey, what do you think? Is leather my thing or not?" I burst out with hysterical laughter when I saw Mike try on Hayley's jacket. Mike was her ex and they absolutely hate each other now. I saw her have a little rant at him, but I could tell she was finding I hard not to smile. He did look absolutely ridiculous.
I heard the bell go in the distance. I got up and wiped mud off my butt. I put my bag over my shoulder and started to walk to Guidance. I wasn't looking forward to it. It’s the most pointless lesson ever.
"We're in here because we're watching a video today. Everyone be quiet." Mr Granger can never really control the class. There was paper aeroplanes and pens flying everywhere and half of us were sat on tables in the center of the classroom. It was all laughs and jokes until I saw the name of the video. The lights dimmed as my body grew stony and I clenched onto the table.
I sat in the dark and couldn't take my eyes off the film. I ignored all of the voices around me and could barely breathe by the time the video had finished.
"Tess? Are you okay?" Hayley was shaking me. I slowly nodded and released the table one finger at a time. My eyes were still on the screen even though it’s now blank.
"Can anyone tell me what the video was about?" Mr Granger was stood at the front of the class and I was aware that he had somehow got silence. I wanted to run, to escape but I was still frozen in place.
"It was about a girl who was raped and murdered. She wasn't even that fit." The whole class laughed as usual at the class clown. My hands clenched again, this time into fists as I suppressed the urge not to scream.
"I don't see that the way she looked had anything to do with this. I think you should stay behind for that comment. It's very disrespectful." His voice was strict but everyone was still laughing. I could feel eyes on me and I had one single paranoid thought pop into my head. They are laughing at me.
"She was talking to people online and wanted to meet him, but well it wasn't who she thought it was and he did stuff to her." Another voice yelled from the back of the class. I thought I was the only one that had paid any attention. Memories came rushing back.
"That's right. It shows us how dangerous it is to talk to strangers on the Internet." He was writing something on the board now. My vision blurred and I felt a sob escape my lips. Hayley was looking at me. I wish that I'd already told her. I've told her everything else. Why didn't I tell her this? My eyes locked onto a girl sat on her own across the room.
She looked knowingly at me and I felt her love and support. It was Kathy. I have known her for years, but I’d stopped talking to her last year and yet here she was, still looking out for me. I gave a small grateful smile to the girl who was there at the time it happened and waited for the bell for last lesson.
Hayley knew there was something wrong but never asked. That is one of the things I liked about her, but right now I wish I could just break down. I almost ran home once the final bell rang.
"Tess, please could you put the washing out?" My mother walked into my room. I looked up as the tears fell. "What's wrong?" She came and sat next to me on the bed. I cried into her shoulder.
"We were talking about... s... sexual abuse in Guidance." I felt her arms wrap tighter around me. “They kept saying how dangerous it was meeting someone off the Internet."
"That has nothing to do with what happened to you." I could tell she was confused. I didn't want to explain. I was crying too hard to explain.
"I kept thinking, why me? Why did it happen to me? I didn't do anything dangerous." Her top was getting increasingly damp. “I was just at home.”
"I know Hun. I know." She started to rock me.
"It was at my home. I wasn't on the street. It was in my home, with a person I was meant to trust. Why did he do it to me? He was my step-brother, he still is." The tears came harder than ever before.
"I thought you were over this. I thought you had forgotten." This was hurting her as much as it was hurting me. I had forgotten and I wanted to forget again. It stopped me from seeing my dad for years. I hated my step-brother for this, for affecting my life so much.
"How can i forget?" I fell asleep with tears in my eyes. I knew I was scarred for life. I hid away those feelings years ago and here they are bursting back out. I hate him. I'll never stop hating him. No matter who I pretend to be, I will always be the girl who was abused. For me, it isn't some other girl I don't know. I can’t just shrug it off and say it will never happen to me because it already has. I will always be that girl.