In the glam rocking, flare wearing, long hot hippy days of the late 1970's, there was a girl in my school called Polly. She was unusually large, had an unusually long chin, and was unusually awkward. She wasn't shy, but said all the wrong things and made all the wrong faces at all the wrong times. She tried so hard to make friends, but the girls kept her on the edge, teasing her slightly and rolling their eyes whenever she came near. I wept inside for her, but there was nothing I could do. Nothing I would do anyway, for befriending the outcast is social suicide for a 10 year-old.
I saw Polly in town yesterday. I couldn't stop staring. I wanted to apologise. Same build, same chin, but gone is that tortured, needy look in her eyes. As she took her daughter's hand, she looked happy. I can only assume she has found someone who loves her, and that she can now love herself too. Either that, or she's found a really good therapist. We had a brief, gasping, oh-my-god-it's-you conversation, and I walked away. Happy too.