I stand there dressed only in my regulation school knickers. I am shivering and ashamed as, although I am eleven years old, I still have no breasts. The lady doctor, who does have breasts and lots more wobbly bits besides, looms over me, peering in my throat, my eyes, my ears and writing things on her notepad. I am weighed and measured. She writes some more. She doesn't like me - I feel it in my ever-sensitive bladder. Does she know I still wet the bed? I am terrified she will find out. Finally she tells me I can put my clothes back on. She is writing again now on a fresh piece of paper. I want to know what she is writing. Am I deformed? Have I some terrible disease? Is there something wrong with my bladder? Will I need an operation? The fear builds. I don't like this woman - she has power. She tears off the sheet of paper, seals it quickly and hands it to me. Give that to your mother, she says without looking up. I sense I am dismissed.
On my way home I open the envelope. It isn't difficult as the sticky bit hasn't stuck very well. I read the letter. There's no mention of my bladder or lack of breasts. She has written: Your child is underweight and under-nourished, please ensure she drinks plenty of milk. I re-seal the letter and stuff it in my blazer pocket. Already I'm feeling the familiar ache in my bladder. Please God, I think, let me make it home before I wet myself.
The next day my mother tells me she has had a telephone call from the school doctor. She goes to the kitchen to boil my milk, pours it into a glass and hands it to me. The skin is already forming on top. In my mind my mother and the lady doctor merge into one. I hate milk, I hate my mother and I hate doctors. Looking at the milk I start to retch.