Entre Nous

My schedule at the Elementary school told me to spend the period in the lunchroom with one of the special-ed students. I wasn’t sure what that meant. Did she need help paying? Help carrying her lunch? What exactly should I do there- hover over the table and make sure she eats all her vegetables? I decided I would just sit at the table with her and a passel of other little girls she sat with. We amiably chatted about the contents of her lunch bag while I worried to myself that what I was really suppose to be doing was aimlessly walking up and down the aisles keeping order like the other teachers in the room. Eventual a teacher came over and told me that she was surprised the little girl had let me sit at the table with her. I squinted my eyes ever so slightly in paranoia, I couldn’t tell if there was a hidden message like: what are doing sitting at the table with the kids? I shrugged, shook my head slightly and said, “hm.” It was too late for me to get up now, so I just sat out the period at the table.
My stomach crackled in anticipation of my own lunch. There was a moment when I was sure the clock was broken. Finally it was announced that the kids were going to be dismissed for recess. I got up and guessed it was probably appropriate for me to wait until the girl I was in charge of was on her way. I stood near enough to her so that it might be apparent that I doing…something.
Another little girl with wide set blue eyes, long blond hair and a rounded belly eased her way over to me and just stood near me for a spell. I looked at her wonderingly. She looked at the floor. She shuffled closer. It became clear to me that I was not imagining it, she was definitely making a move into my sphere; we stood apart from the rest of the line. She looked at my shirt and said something to me, but I could not understand her. I asked her what she said,
“Je t’aime,” she answered. ” it’s French.”
Hm, I thought to myself, ” you speak French?”  I asked her.
“No, but I want to.”
I slowly nodded my head, “Moi aussi.” I told her as they filed out.

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2 responses to “Entre Nous

  1. I like this story. It is so sweet.
    But did you get in trouble or find out what you were actually supposed to be doing…or do they pay you to stalk the special ed kids?…seems strange

    • Dear Awesome Sauce,
      Quite the contrary, they are always thanking me as if I’m doing an enormous favor for everyone. It’s quite out of proportion (especially as they pay me) and it just confuses me.

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