Sitting at the back of the playground, she opened up her lunchbox to reveal what was inside. Her mum always knew what she liked; a ham and cheese sandwich on wholemeal bread, a Granny Smith Apple, and a small piece of homemade cake.
She took small bites out of the soft cake when another child strolled over. She hugged her lunchbox into her chest and didn’t blink as the girl, tall and built like she was meant to be a boxer, sat down.
Her cake finished in second, the only thing left now was her sandwich. She wasn’t particularly hungry, and as in most days negative comments left her deflated. She hadn’t seen this girl before, but instantly on her guard, she looked down to her polished shoes, trying not to catch her eye.
Strangely, this girl was as silent as she wanted to be. Was it true, did one wounded animal recognise another? She hadn’t called her names, or pushed her down to the floor.
Only then did she look up.
On closer inspection she noticed the solid soup stain on her shirt, and the small rip in this girl’s jumper. She took out half of her sandwich and passed over half. ‘My name’s Clara, what’s yours?’
‘Bethany . . .’