Mandarin juice dripped down my arm. I licked at it but my skin was already sticky, so I stopped trying. I looked up, my tongue still wet and poking out. Matty from school had just turned up at the park with his mates.
‘Oi look fellas, it's the copper's daughter.’
I picked up my backpack and left quickly. I couldn't be bothered dealing with those dickheads. They didn't try to follow.
My shoelace was undone. I ignored it, I'd kick them off soon enough anyway, and it was still too painful to bend down. A gust of wind swept my hair into my face, and I had to stop to unravel thick clumps and elusive strands from my glasses, from around their arms and underneath the lenses.
It took me only a minute to walk home, and inside was nice. Quiet. The kitchen light kept flickering, and the tap shuddered as I got myself a glass of water.
‘Love, is that you? You know you shouldn't have been out for that long, not so soon after your op!’
I pretended not to hear for a moment, holding the cup to my lips, gulping. My throat pulsed; the water fell into me. My knee pulsed too. She was right. I had been out a while and it hurt.
I glanced down at the arm holding the cup, and the soft hairs glistened in the mottled light. Sticky, coated in juice. I rested my cup on the kitchen table, next to the fruit bowl that was filled with the culprits. The bowl was almost overflowing, mandarins precariously stacked one on top of the other. We'd eat them all though. They were in season.