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Friday Afternoon
It is strange to visit Tracy in a nursing home. Somehow Nadia associates the words with the old and the infirm and Tracy has not yet said good-bye to her teens. But that is what the gold elegant letters say and when Nadia rings the bell she asks herself, But what else do you expect them to write on the front door?

Cosy, unobtrusive, the house is like any other in this quiet North London street. A quaint gate, a small front garden and when she goes inside Nadia can see the back garden with a clothes line, a green lawnmower propped against the wooden fence of next door.

There are four women in the room. Tracy, three others and two empty beds. It's not one of our busy days, the nurse later says. The curtains separating the beds are open and Oprah Winfrey beams down from the TV which protrudes from the wall high above. Bullying is the topic of the show. Childhood victims of bullying are telling their stories to a sympathetic audience.

Tracy in a pink nightgown, lank hair, a little pale. No it doesn't hurt much now, it did at first. We all had it done one after the other. I was first, then they brought me back here in a wheelchair.

She tells Nadia about the other women in the room. The oldish looking woman is Irish, Mandy or Maggie, Tracy isn't sure. Her husband is sitting with her on the bed, they are laughing at the television show. The skinny woman with the permed hair, Kay. And the blonde with the great tan, she's come all the way from South Africa. She was far ahead of us, Tracy whispers, you can still see now how big her stomach is. And believe me Nadia, she soaked her bed with blood.

The South African girl has a visitor, a similar-looking friend who arrives with flowers. Kay's boyfriend appears shortly after Nadia. Fat and reluctant he edges his way into the room, empty-handed. I should have brought flowers, thinks Nadia. But then she consoles herself with the thought that if she hadn't come, Tracy would have been the only one without a visitor.

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