Elle was the one the boys talked about. But she had a way of flicking her hair, sharpening her eyes and laughing that kept them at bay. The day she asked Marco if he’d take her to the dance he thought  he might be dreaming. He said yes before he’d remembered Polly. They were just friends really. She’d understand.

The night of the dance they arrived fashionably late. Elle had made a point of re-doing her immaculate hair. All eyes followed them—followed her—up the stairs until a scream ahead drew their attention away. Unused to her heels Loni Hendricks had taken a nasty fall. Marco stooped to help her, but felt a tug on his arm. ‘Leave her.’ As they passed their fallen classmate Polly, glanced up then refocused on Loni’s ankle. ‘Nothing’s broken,’ she said, but she wasn’t so sure.

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