I did some writing at the skate rink this morning. Writing alone in a room of my own is a nice dream, but sometimes you just have to write where you are.
Anyway, I needed to add this scene to the WIP. Trouble is afoot!
Maggie Gin couldn’t keep her daughter’s concern to herself. The next day she arrived at her daughter’s school to volunteer in the office. She did this every Monday. She stuffed envelopes with fliers and forms for the students to take home to their parents. She made copies and chatted with staff. Everyone agreed she was a great help.
This Monday, Mrs. Gin sorted through the fliers, the ones for the PTA fundraiser and the book fair. The school secretary, Shonda Williams sat her desk, going through messages and writing things down. She noted Mrs. Gin kept glancing her way.
“Everything good with your daughter, Mrs. Gin?” She squinted to make out the handwriting of a message.
“Oh, yes. Of course.” Maggie opened another envelope and slid the required papers in.
“She’s adjusted to middle school really well, hasn’t she?” Shonda scribbled a word out and wrote something else.
“That’s right. And she’s gotten all As. Every year. We’re very proud.”
The secretary crumpled one message and threw it in the metal trashcan. “You must be.” She opened a desk drawer and took out her Post-it notes.
Mrs. Gin straightened the stack of envelopes for the fifth time. They slid out of place only a little, but she kept fussing about with them. “I hope she makes friends more friends. I know how difficult it can be.”
Shonda nodded absently. “Yes, it can be.” She stuck the post-it note to a letter. Then puzzled, she observed at Mrs. Gin. “But Piper has friends, doesn’t she? She’s always with the Martin girl and that Linnette Hoffman. They’ve been friends since…kindergarten? Surely, they’ll be friends forever.”
Mrs. Gin hesitated. “Surely. But…”
“But?” The secretary got a knowing expression. “I see. You might like her to find new friends?
But Deva and Linnette seem like nice enough girls.”
The phone rang. Shonda answered it, and while she was on the phone, Mrs. Gin picked up another envelope. She went through the motions of filling it with papers, but she kept an eye on the secretary. The moment the secretary placed the phone back in its cradle, she spoke. “I just don’t want her to limit herself. You know, get stuck in a clique.”
“Oh.” Shonda scanned her desk. She checked her calendar. “That’s understandable, but your girl is such a positive influence. We all know Linnette’s a bit rough around the edges, but I think Piper is someone we want Miss. Hoffman hanging around. That girl needs to see a stable family.”
“Surely she sees that with Miss. Martin, don’t you think?”
The secretary leaned back in her chair. “Martin’s a sweet girl. Her mother is…well, it’s probably for the best she never volunteers around here. Hey, why don’t I get us some coffee?”
“The thing is, I’m worried about Deva.” Mrs. Gin had warmed up to her subject and sense of doing what was right for her daughter. “And I’m not sure who to talk to about it.”
For the first time that morning, the secretary really regarded Mrs. Gin. “Oh?”
“I feel a bit silly even mentioning it, but then again it is bothering me. Though I’m sure its nothing.” She straightened the envelopes again.
“If you think something is wrong with one of our students, you probably should speak up, Mrs. Gin. Is she having problems at home? Has she said something?”
“It’s something my daughter said. You see, my daughter is worried, and if my daughter is worried, I’m worried. I can’t help it, you understand.”
“You’ll think it silly.” Mrs. Gin knew that some of the staff accused her of being overprotective and overinvolved, but they didn’t understand what it was like to almost lose a child before she was even born. Children needed protectors. It wasn’t her fault if not every child had someone to stand up for them.
“No, not at all. If it’s bothering you, then you need to tell someone,” Shonda said.
“Well, it seems Deva, the poor girl, thinks she’s a witch.”
“I know it is silly. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought maybe we should be concerned. Either she’s delusional or she’s playing a nasty trick on my child, her friend. And maybe she’s saying this to other children at school, and those kids will go home and say things to their parents, and well, you can see why I’d be worried.”
The secretary stared at her with wide eyes. “Hmm. Maybe we should talk to someone about this.”
Mrs. Gin smiled haltingly, glad someone was listening. “I only want to do what’s right.”
“Of course,” the secretary replied. “Every mother does.”
Thanks for reading.