“Dance, dance, dance, dance,”
That’s the first I hear of it. The chant that will haunt me for the rest of my life. It may haunt Ezme more, but at the moment she seems okay with it. She doesn’t seem to mind their mocking tones, barely recognizable in their thick Manchester-ish accents-the ‘a’s short like in the word ‘ants’. But the cruelty is still there; the viper under the flower…
It’s mostly the older ones. I see Year 10s standing in their brightly dyed air, gossiping in the corners and occasionally whipping out the phones to video the timid girl dancing in the middle of the classroom. One Year 10 with dark violet hair like a stormy sky is standing nearby cheering roughly, clapping and videoing with her only free hand.
This is how it started: Ezme had danced as a joke to a tune one of her friends, Amber, had randomly sang. It was always only meant for the classroom, but the silly ginger freckled girl ‘accidentally’ let a message slip on her bus. The next bus journey Ezme was on, the Year 10 was on her like a fly on healthy food.
I hear whispers in the corridor as a couple of girls walk past, oblivious yet again to my presence. It’s not, according to them, that no-one has the guts to tell her she can’t dance to save her life-they all just want to humiliate Ezme even more.