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  • She stomped across the lush grass hoping she was killing something. The heavy boots chafed and pinched, amplifying the bright zigzagged light flashing behind her eyes.

    Again! She had seen him outside the pub having a smoke, flirting with Meg. That tall skinny slag with the cruel twist to her thin lips. There was nothing generous about her. Her skin was white and flawless next to black tendrils of a curving neck tattoo. She knew, he wanted that violence and sophistication. He wanted that sharp rake of the nails digging in his back. Her careless moans.

    Everything was wrong. He lived on the same estate. She'd heard his voice deepen on the bus when he was just a skinny boy, and her ears were hot with shame when he shouted: Dork. Geek. She had got contact lenses for her blurry vision, pierced her tongue. Learned to smoke so she could lean against the cold metal of bins at the back of work and talk to him.

    She wanted to scream in the humiliation of the last thick August night, both of them stumbling drunk in the dark brick of the alley. How she leaned against the wiry heat of his ribs. She fell to her knees breathless and unbuckled his belt.

    Nothing changed between them. She blinked her puppy dog eyes, trying not to cry.
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