My name is Jennifer Yarada. I moved to England when I was eight. That was my dream coming true, I just didn't expect it to be because the social services said that was in the will of my parents. They died when we were on a skii trip in the French Alps. We had been to the exact same resort the year before because my sister was in love with the french and skiing and it had sort of rubbed off on me to. My parents thought I was too young to ski, but I found it easy. This, I knew, was my talent, what I would end up doing. Of course that's not the case now, at the moment I want to be a politician, it would be great to make a difference for the world. I remember it clearly, simple, but horrifying. We were on the skii lift. I wanted to go on last so I could see how my parents jumped off. I was a coward, a chicken. While we were on, somewhere above us, an avalanche had been triggered. At this point my parents had already jumped off but when it came to my turn I was too scared to jump off and I stayed on. When the avalanche came it swept up our chairs on top of it and bombarded the people below. As I surfed the wave of white destruction I screamed louder than I thought I could possibly scream and cried with all my effort as I saw my parents try to escape, escape from the blanket of death. Even out of the people who stayed on the skii lift only 4 out of 9 people survived. Me included. I was left half buried in the snow for three minutes crying and crying and crying.
Next thing I know, I'm in the office of Vishakhapatnam's social services, watching the lady pull out a folder containing my parent's joint will, telling me to go live with my older sister Aanchal in England (who was currently 19). Her name means protective shelter. Funny that. She was all that I had left. My parents were both only-children and the only remaining grandfather I had left didn't want to know about me. When I arrived at social services in England they supplied my sister with the monthly income and support she needed to bring me up and within 5 weeks I had joined Year 5 at a school near London. I hated school there. More girls spent their time passing notes and bitching about other girls (especially me) than they actually did trying to learn. I'll admit I've been bullied, but my teacher and my sister helped me get through it and I'm a much tougher person than I used to be.
It wasn't until Year 7 at Sir George Smith Grammar School where I met my two best friends. I've never told Joe this, but the only reason I sat next to him on that first day back in English was because there were no other seats left. He thinks I sat next to him because he was cute. Pah! He wishes. But nonetheless I don't regret it. Meeting Joe and then Simon.... I think to me it was a breath of fresh air.
Now Joe and myself new that people tried to pick on Simon because his size and huge heart made him an easy target to bullies. But all this has only happened recently. We've tried talking to him about it but he denies it when we suggest that he's not handling it. How could things have got this far from right under our noses?