When I was at secondary school it got quite bad. I used to pretend to leave to go to school but actually just get the bus to the station and then catch it back when I thought the house would be empty. I probably only attended about 20% of my lessons in my A-level years.
There is one particular incident which has always haunted me. There are plenty to choose from, but this one maybe hurt more than all the others.
I had a necklace from my Nana before she died. It was a Christmas present - a celtic cross with a blue stone. I wore it all the time. One day as I was walking to the bus from school the chain broke and the pendant fell onto the path. I didn't realise until I got home but I was heartbroken. The next day I searched the paths, everywhere, but I couldn't find it.
In assembly a girl came up to me and said she had found the pendant on the way home. She wasn't sure who it belonged to so she'd pinned it onto the noticeboard in the common room. She went to get it from me.
When she came back I knew from her face that something had happened. She handed me an envelope and said she was sorry. When some of the bullies had found out it was my necklace they had snapped the cross into pieces and put it in an envelope for me to find.
I guess deep down I want to believe that when those people look back on the things they did they'll be sorry.
I hope my novel gets everything across that I want it to. I hope people read it and realise that even though I'm writing from the point of view of one of the bullies I'm not validating what they do. I think a lot of people who are bullied want to believe that the people responsible might one day understand the true magnitude of what they've done and be sorry for it. It's what gets us by.