Girl with a Pink Ribbon

She sat down at her usual lunch table and pulled her usual lunch out of her usual brown paper bag. She carefully unwrapped her plastic wrap covered sandwich, her tiny fingers bringing it to her mouth. Biting the sandwich, she glanced over at me. She quickly swallowed her small mouthful of bread, turkey, and cheese, then smiled at me. I shot her a small, pathetic attempt at a smile, and we both went back to eating our lunches.

I glanced at the table of loud, over giggly girls two tables to her left. They pointed and burst out simultaneously into a loud laughter that rang off the walls of the cafeteria. They drew imaginary ribbons in their hair with small, loopy movements of their fingers. They laughed loudly again, another sudden burst, as they pointed at her white shirt adorned with pink fake jewels. They pointed. They snickered. They teased. They didn't have the guts to tell her anything straight to her face.

If only they knew the truth about what had really happened that night at the party. It was a crime-- and she was the victim. He was the predator-- and she was the prey. He was the mastermind behind the whole deception.

But she was always just the girl with a pink ribbon in her hair.