You slump, shrink, curl down in your seat, never stand up straight. As if an arrow might pick you off. Not an arrow, a bullet. Not a bullet, a blow. Not a blow, words. Not words, looks.

Here’s why.

You’re a freak. Four inches in one year? Your father’s colleague says he keeps looking for the stool you’re standing on. Oh, and too bad about that limp. Too bad you’re pigeon-toed.