Present day

I made it. It only took two trains and a bus, but I’m finally here. The overwhelming sights, smells and sounds light a fire inside of me, ever‐growing, and to never be extinguished. I see people of all ages, races, cultures, coming together for one common cause. Freedom. Equality. It should have happened a very long time ago, but it didn’t. That’s not right. It should never be okay for someone to be subject to prejudice because of the color of their skin, their age, their religion and beliefs or their culture. And the list goes on. feeling exhilarated, I take my place amongst hundreds and hundreds of people, a never‐ ending stream of light, and love, and passion, because I am finally with a group of people who understand me and feel the same way that I do. A million thoughts rush through my head; but I manage to grasp a few as they race past. One stands out to me, a memory. the edges are rough, like an old photograph and it is black and white. The more I think of it, the more it comes to life. I sit down on a bench to fully concentrate…


I was sitting in the back of a classroom. It smelt of coziness. You may think I’m mad for saying that, but some feelings are so lovely they can be smelt in the air. The classroom made me feel light, and could be blown away at any moment, like one of mother’s gossamer silk scarves. The beige dusty blinds were half‐shut, but it was a sunny day, so the warm sunshine filtered through. From the outside. The large windows with the half‐shut blinds looked like big sleepy eyes, which only caused this feeling of coziness to stem. Something was going on at the front of the class, but it was a hot day, and I couldn’t focus. suddenly, a door slammed. a small, slight girl, with a shoulder‐length bob and glittering eyes was standing by the classroom door, trying to catch her breath.

“Frank! Late, once again. I shouldn’t be surprised.”
The girl appeared to mumble some form of apology and took a seat next to me.

“hello,” she began, “my name’s Anne. Pleasure to meet you.” and she shook my hand warmly. She smelt of cherries.

The lesson seemed to become more interesting once Anne had arrived. Like a lightning bolt, her hand shooting up in the air at anything which seemed to be a question. At points, she was half out of her chair, in a strange half‐standing half‐squatting position, as if she was to spring out of the classroom ceiling. Then, my worst nightmare came true. The teacher had called on me to answer a question, and I didn’t even know what lesson we were in! Beside me, Anne’s face was flushed pink as if she needed to be excused to the lavatory, and by this point she was fully standing. I felt as if I was going to cry, my eyes stinging like I had sprayed something nasty into them. But something clicked for Anne. She slowly sat down and handed me a scrunched‐up piece of paper under the table. It had the number 63 on it.

“I‐is the answer 63,” I tentatively asked the teacher.

“Correct! The teacher bellowed. Glad to see someone else is paying attention,” she mumbled, eyeing the boys at the front making paper airplanes. I couldn’t wait until break time, where I could properly introduce myself to Anne; she seemed lovely. At long last, with the harsh shrill ring of the break bell excused our class.

I stood up and chased after Anne as she was already at the door, but Anne seemed to have other plans. She walked slowly past the rose bush, past the food bins, and through a broken rickety gate I had never seen before. She was silent, and unaware of my presence, the only noise her undone shoelaces scraping the hard‐grey tarmac. A pungent stench wafted through the air, but both Anne and I paid it no mind.

‘’ Where are you going?’’ I whispered. I shouldn’t have, as I finally caught her attention.

‘’ What are you doing?!’’ Anne yelled, the light breeze sending paper bags rustling down the street, the only thing to break our silence.

‘’I was just,” I stumbled, “I wanted to play.”
“With me?” Anne spoke, her voice barely above a whisper, “D‐don’t you know?”

The wind had picked up by this point, and had sent Anne’s coat whipping left, right, left, right. Then it caught my eye. A yellow star on her dress. Small, but noticeable.

Oh no.
Anne was a‐
She was‐
Mother had told me to steer clear of all of them. And I hadn’t. I had to leave.

Without a word, I picked up my satchel and I ran. Past the food bins, past the rose bush, past the classroom. I didn’t look back, but I felt Anne’s sad eyes burning through my coat. I wiped a tear, but I kept running, running, running…

Present day

I shake my head. I’m back. What on earth was that? And who was Anne? That isn’t important though. What is important was that I feared Anne because she was wearing a star. I didn’t even know what that star was, but I still ran. Anne deserves an apology. And so does everybody else who was brave enough to wear that star.

I stand up from the bench I found myself on and began to march once more. I’m marching for the same reason, but my priorities have changed. I’m now marching for every single person who bore the star. They deserve justice. And what time to give it to them like the present?


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