I'd Rather People Hate Me For Who I Am Than Love Me For Who I'm Not

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 Again, she was writing while they threw insults at her. It was hurting her that day. More than it ever had. Someone tripped her as she walked to the teacher's desk to give up her maths homework. Tears sprung to her eyes as she smacked her face off the desk.

 "Shut up." Mr Ferris said as the class erupted into laughter. "Cara are you okay?" She stood up and nodded, holding her hand to her nose to stop the steady flow of blood. "Go to the bathroom and clean your face."

 Gladly, she escaped the stuffy classroom. She opened the door to the bathroom and held a wad of tissue to her nose. It stopped bleeding after fifteen minutes, but a deep cut and a purple bruise wouldn't let her forget.

 She attempted to clean the blood off the green jumper of her uniform. Her face was pale and there was blood in her hair. She washed it out and clipped back her fringe. The bell rang and Cara slid down the wall, a headache clouding her vision.

 Ten minutes later, Ms Grant came in. "Cara! You're supposed to be in my class. Mr Ferris told me you left fifteen minutes early to clean your face." Cara slowly lifted her head. "My God. What happened?"

 "I fell," Cara lied.

 "Are you okay? You're very pale."

 "I feel sick and my head hurts."

 "Come on," Ms Grant said, slinging Cara's arm around her neck. "We'll bring you to the office."

 Cara stumbled with every second step, but they eventually made it to the office. "Okay, I'm going to call your parents and tell them to pick you up. Are they home?"

 "Yeah. Only for this week," Cara mumbled, her words slurring together.

 "You're lucky, then... Hello? Mrs Duffy? Yes, this is Ms Grant. Cara fell and needs to be taken home... No, no. She's not in trouble. She just feels sick. That's okay. Thanks." Ms Grant put down the receiver. "Your mam will be here in five minutes. I have to go back to class. I'll ask Mr Ferris to bring your bag up. Will you be okay?"

 Cara nodded, too tired to respond with her voice. She put her head in her hands as the teacher walked away. About three minutes later, one of her classmates, Alice, walked up with her bag. "Are you going home?" She asked.

 "Mm hm." Cara looked up and Alice's brown eyes widened beneath her black fringe.

 "Oh, my God. Are you alright?"

 "Yeah." Alice was never mean. She usually just ignored Cara.

 "Cara? There you are." Alice walked away as Cara's mother, Janna arrived.

 *****

 Cara sunk down onto her mattress, her head pounding. Her mother asked Dan to look after Blue for a few days until Cara was ready to. Like everyday, her pillow was soaked with tears. Her cries were silent by then.

 They had never physically hurt her until that day. It had all been verbal. Cara didn't understand it. She hadn't been shy going into school. She was an outgoing, happy girl who was friendly towards everyone.

 Ah well, she thought, that doesn't matter. They hate me. I can't do anything to change it.

 

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