“Her eyes were cold as she stared down at me from the tree.
Her voice was sarcastic, and singsong:
“Thank God I was never sent to school,
To be flog’d into following the style of a Fool”
“You know nothing about it”, I said. “We don’t get flogged and my friends aren’t fools”.
“That’s it,” I said. “You know nothing about it. You think you’re special but you’re just as ignorant as anybody. You might know about William Blake but you know nothing about what ordinary people do”.
I stared at my feet. I picked my fingernails. I kicked the garden wall.
“They hate me,” she said. “I could see it in their eyes. They think I’m taking you away from them. They’re stupid.”
“They’re not stupid!”
“Stupid. kicking balls and jumping at each other and screeching like hyenas. Stupid. Yes, hyenas. You as well.”
“Hyenas? They think you’re a monkey, then.”
Her eyes glared and her face burned.
“See? See what I mean? They know nothing about me but they hate me.”
“And of course you know everything about them.”
“I know enough. There’s nothing to know. Kicking, screeching, being stupid”.
“Yes, ha! And that little red-haired one…”
“Blake was little and red-haired.”
“How do you know that?”
“See? You think nobody but you can know anything!”
“No, I don’t!”
Her lips were pressed tight together. She pressed her head back against the trunk of the tree.
“Go home,” she said. “Go and play stupid football or something. leave me alone.”
I gave the wall a last kick; then I left her. I went into my front garden. I went through the open front door. Dad shouted hello from somewhere upstairs. I went straight through into the backyard and squatted there and squeezed my eyes tight and try to stop the tears.”
Laurel-Leaf, 2008 (existe edición española del mismo año, en Ediciones Castillo. También está disponible en castellano la edición en Random House, titulada -de modo más que cuestionable- Alas para un corazón).
**** Un gran libro de Young Adult Fiction que se lee en media tarde lluviosa, y que -como suele suceder con lo mejor del género- no es solo para jóvenes.