Trash Mother

Si­mone’s bal­let class

Milk Magazine (English) - - CONTENTS - Text: Honorine Cros­nier – Il­lus­tra­tion: Si­mone

Si­mone’s been hav­ing bal­let lessons since Septem­ber in a class where she’s been bul­lied by a few lit­tle pests. One Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Mar­garet, Si­mone’s babysit­ter came back from the bal­let les­son re­ally up­set. “We have a sit­u­a­tion.” She told me that my daugh­ter was a sit­ting duck for the whole class and had pho­tos to prove it. Si­mone had been com­plain­ing about not be­ing able to make friends for weeks, but, aware of her melo­dra­matic tem­per­a­ment and ten­dency to play the vic­tim, I hadn’t paid much at­ten­tion. But that day, Mar­garet had taken pho­tos on her phone. My eyes grew wider as she showed me pic­tures of Si­mone stand­ing apart from the group, with­out any­body to hold her hand, all alone en di­ag­o­nale, al­ways the out­sider look­ing sad in her lit­tle pink tutu. Si­mone then told me what I didn’t want to hear: all the chil­dren in her bal­let class made fun of her: she was the laugh­ing stock.

I felt as if my heart was go­ing to shat­ter into a thou­sand pieces. Ini­tially, I tried ex­plain­ing to Si­mone that it didn’t mat­ter, that she shouldn’t care what oth­ers thought about her, that if she liked bal­let as much as she said she did, then she should ig­nore all the teas­ing, that those girls were mean and nasty and that she had loads of other friends at school, etc, etc. She lis­tened very care­fully to me and then went off with Mar­garet to have her bath. That’s when I stretched out on my bed and, think­ing about what Si­mone had been go­ing through for months, I be­gan to cry. I dare not even say what I imag­ined do­ing to those lit­tle pests at that mo­ment. Tor­ture, cig­a­rette burns, kid­nap­ping… noth­ing seemed enough to sat­isfy my de­sire for vengeance.

But since I’m a cow­ard, I phoned my sis­ter Féli­cie, who, no more ca­pa­ble than I am of deal­ing with this sort of in­for­ma­tion, very calmly ad­vised me to “do them all in”, be­fore telling me that she’d take care of it her­self if I didn’t feel up to it. Not want­ing to see a sor­did story about crazy sis­ters make the head­lines, I de­cided to wait a few days be­fore tak­ing my re­venge my­self.

The fol­low­ing Wed­nes­day, I’d slept well, built up my strength again and, after an hour’s ex­er­cise, was ready to do bat­tle with this band of lit­tle b…easts. I took Si­mone to her bal­let class, glow­ered at all the other pupils and posted my­self be­hind the win­dow to de­cide who I was go­ing to give hell to first.

It didn’t take me long to spot two of them: Li­son and Char­lotte. A blonde and a brunette with not a hair out of place, clad in tu­tus that must have cost the earth. Very pleased with them­selves, they pushed Si­mone away ev­ery time she tried to go any­where near them. One even pulled a face when Si­mone prac­tised her en­trechats, while the other pointed her fin­ger at her and burst out laugh­ing. Thirty min­utes later, I was so heart­bro­ken, I had to stop my­self from rush­ing into the room to step in and take ac­tion. But what I did in­stead was worse. I went into the chang­ing room and found their lit­tle back­packs. I squashed their af­ter­noon snacks, emp­tied their car­tons of ap­ple juice, hid their hats in other lock­ers and scat­tered their things un­der the benches.

When the class was over, look­ing non­cha­lant, I sim­ply took Si­mone by the hand, strolled down the cor­ri­dor and re­turned home. That evening, I called her fa­ther to tell him about my “lit­tle raid”. As he’s used to my shenani­gans, he didn’t say any­thing, just laughed grudg­ingly. We then signed Si­mone up for mod­ern jazz lessons next door. She seems much hap­pier th­ese days.

The fol­low­ing morn­ing, I took Si­mone to school and in the play­ground, Alexa, one of her class­mates, made fun of her coat. I waited un­til she had hung hers up and, when ev­ery­one had gone, grabbed it off her peg and threw it into the lost-and-found box. De­cid­edly, it just wasn’t our week.

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