Part Thirty-FiveMature

At lunch, Anna brings three of her friends to sit with us. It's horrible. I count the seconds going by in my head, and I can tell none of them really want to be here.

The monitor near our table watches us disapprovingly. She is definitely not going to have anything good to say about the atmosphere.

Seamus picks up on it. "I think this is a good idea," he says, sliding a note into the middle of the table. It reads 'we think what the school thinks'. 

""Uh... me too," Anna responds. Her friends nod silently.

Evan smiles. "You're Lola's friend, aren't you?" He asks Anna.

"Yeah, I, uh... I mean, she's told me you all know about me, so..." she nods slowly.

Trish looks at Judo, begging him with her eyes, using them to tell him now would be a good time for questions.

He looks around for confirmation, and we all nod.

"Go for it," Evan tells him.

He looks to Anna. "Did you know she's got a count for it?"

She looks confused. "A... a count? What for? What's a count?"

"For knowing you, a scar," he explains.

I nudge him in warning. "Judo," I mutter.

He changes the subject. "Do you really have something against us?"

"No," Anna says. "I don't have anything against anyone," her eyes fall down to the note. "At least, not for the colour of their skin. In fact, I quite like the colour of your skin. I think it's... it's nice..." Everyone urges her to continue. "Uh... actually, Jodie's always complaining about how pale she is. Aren't you, Jodie?"

"Oh, all the time," Jodie says. "I bruise easily , and burn 'cause of the sun... 'cause I'm so pale..."

And then, to everyone's immense relief, the bell goes.

The End

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