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It was disconcerting, unnerving, wonderfully exciting. Her heart was beating so hard and fast she could hear it.

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It was disconcerting, unnerving, wonderfully exciting. Her heart was beating so hard and fast she could hear it. When he kissed her, his mouth, was warm, soft, unspoiled. The moment was perfect; the day, the park, and Jason Anderson. Mandy was certain now, entirely confident in her feelings, she was in love with him. "I have to see you tonight," she whispered. She had made up her mind, once and for all. Jay was so much a part of where she was going, what she was going to be, and who she was, that there was no longer any question. Everything seemed so messed up; my friends had dropped me, my parents seemed suddenly so distant and Jason, well, who knew with him anymore? I didn't know what was going on and what I needed most was to talk but I couldn't, not to him, not to anyone. I had been crying for hours. Sometimes I only just managed to get through the day. The constant taunting by my old friends had just made everything so much worse. Things with Jason were on and off, although recently it had been more off. I felt lonely without him; I missed his late night phone calls, his cheeky little text messages and the e-mails which always managed to put a smile on my face. ...read more.


Being one of the first in the register, I had landed myself a place at the back of the hall next to the window. Outside the rain was crawling down the pane in pitiful rivulets. Hopelessly, I took to drawing a rudimentary face in the condensation -a circle, two dots for eyes, down-turned mouth and a speech bubble containing the single word "Help!" This occupied me for the whole of two minutes. I could feel the penetrating eyes of Miss Taylor staring down on me authoritatively through the rows of diligently bent heads. I started to write, random words at first with absolutely no relation to any of the six strategically worded questions. I remember reading back through my work; the countless words conveyed the feelings of the mounting hurt and fear which had been present for so long in my head. I felt my eyes starting to prickle with tears and before I realised it I was savagely unzipping my pencil case and furiously thrusting my regimentally laid out belongings into its void. Then I pushed my chair back; two of its rubber feet were missing, and the metal legs scraped across the polished parquet floor with a squeal that resembled that of a pig being tortured, causing every eye in the hall to turn in my direction. ...read more.


The next thing I remembered was the pink walls, the pink bed, the pink teddy, my pink teddy. I was home, in my room; I was safe at last. I was lost. I didn't know what to say. I felt degraded, embarrassed even. The overly enthusiastic police officer kept looking into my eyes, willing me to talk, but I didn't say much, I couldn't. Later that day I was examined for internal injuries and infections. My clothes were taken to be analysed. It wasn't real, it couldn't be. I didn't understand why everyone wanted me to talk. I wanted to forget about it, put it behind me, and I didn't want to talk, to think back to that dreadful night, that hideous day. I wanted to move on. Jason was arrested and charged. I had been raped. It all seemed so insignificant; everything had changed over the last two months. Exam results were out and on everyone's mind. I failed History, but got A and A* in the others. Things were okay again; I was okay. I can cope, I thought. I can. You've got no say in a lot of the things life throws at you - but you do have a say in how you deal with those things: how you let them affect you; how you let them change you, inside. Lucy Blackbourn 10Y ...read more.

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