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Author: Anne JA Jones

Please note: this piece contains strong language and descriptions some readers may find upsetting.

I’d left the Cameo cinema at Tollcross an on a dreich nicht an wis glad o the bus shelter. Twa lassies in thur early teens jined me there an jigged aboot me fir nae gid reason.

‘Whit’s up wi yis?’

They dodged aroon takkin the piss. I poued back the hood o ma anorak, fluffed up ma hair a bitty hopin ti look mair distinguished. They suggested a wis a tart, than the bigger yin pusht hur mobile inti ma face. I thoucht,

‘I’m too auld fir this. Fir the love o god, lit the bus cam soon.’

The bitches wur on a roll; brushin thur phones across my face rantin an jeerin. Buses came but thur wis nae sign o the thirty five. Naebodie in the queue pied ony attention

‘Leave me alane,’ I seyed.

Whan the shorter o the twa pushed hur puirly makkit-up face inti mines an mimicin ma “Leave me alane”, I lost it, grabbed hur jaicket lapels, chucked hur against the bus shelter an whispered,

‘Yi fuckin little bastard. Whit dae yi think ur you on?’

She liftit her haun ti strike me. I lit go hur jaikit an takkit her face in ma fingers, squeezed hard…

She wis alane. Hur pal left the shelter; she stood weil back. When I lit go o the wee lassies face, they baith scarpered.

I put ma pensioners pass on the drivers pad wi a gey shaky haun.

I’d bin thirteen again, dealin wi playgrund bullies.