‘That’s the one, Mum. That’s the one who hates me.’
To my careful eyes, the child at the top of the slide, laughing, head thrown back, looks adventurous, not like a bully at all.
‘I’m sure she doesn’t hate you. What makes you say she hates you?’
‘Well, whenever I just wave to her and say, “Hi, Lucinda” she starts chasing me until she catches me then punches my arm.’
I look again at the girl and she, for a moment, looks at me.
‘She doesn’t hate you, my love.’
And my mother’s heart begins its bleed.