CHAPTER 2 RECITING
How did it all begin.. How did Cristal get in to all this mess..
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I guess I started noticing my parents money problems when I started getting less cookies. It sounds strange.. But the awner my mum gave me was that I was to old for cookies. A year later she told me the real deal. At the time I had been only 5 but I remember feeling 18. I started asking around the neighbourhood if i could help out . Ofcourse this didnt go really well. Until one day at school.
‘Pack up your thing, your mummy and daddy are waiting.’
“Where do I put this”
“Miss, I got glue stuck in my hair.”
“ Auch! She bit me!”
If it wasnt clear yet. I was at kindergarden.
As my teacher, Miss Gardienienir was trying hopelesly to remove bits of glue from a little boys hair. A very annoying little brat kept saying:
“Miss… why “
“Miss why are we- “
“WHAT now.” She only managed to control her anger at the second word and she didnt even quiet complete in that.
“Uhm.” Violet the very irritation little girl said.
She looked like she had been taped to her spot after my teachers outbreak. And she wasnt the only one. Some todlers just stood there looking in aw at the teacher who they respected ( as far as children can ) and they couldnt believe such a nice woman , an angel to them. Could have a certain outburst like this. The relatively older ones tried to look away and pretend to keep on cleaning up. But they were defenitly all ears.
“ehm.. Never mind..”
“I fit wasnt so important you wouldn’t have kept pushing it, ( sign) now… just tell me “
“Why are we cleaning up so early?”
O god , if only at the time I could have read my old teachers mind at the stupidity of that question. Just thinking about it actualy makes me chuckle.
“Wel Violet, I have an announcment, if you just, just clean your stuff and- o no oliver! Not again.”
Well Oliver was ehm.. quiet an interesting case, I really wonder what happend to him. But more on that later. Oliver is , if you have ever met him, the most clumsy kid ever. There are several fases of clumsyness.
To be clumsy.
To have it seem like everything happens to you. For instance you are that one guy that is like a bad luck magnet.
And then there is Oliver. He is just.. unexplainable. I dont think words could expres how i feel about him ( not in that way). Or even which emotions he brings up in me when i see him. Its not fear of him accedentaly breaking my arm, but there is fear. It snot feeling sorry for him because he tripped and broke his new toy, but there is feeling sorry for him. I guess you will need your own Oliver to know how I feel. But I personally think ( and desperaty hope ) that there is only one Oliver ( dont get me wrong , he s sweet but… wel one is enough in the world ).
I remember I was just trying to put my picture book on the top shelf and I couldnt reach, when i heard Olivers juice splash all over the floor. Well at the time it had at least given me a distraction to shove my book somewhere else and pretend like nothing happend. But now how i wished to go back to that moment. I guess in a way thats how it begun..
So I just snuck back in my seat and waited. On one hand just sitting and waiting is a really hard thing for a kid. But on the other hand children dont really know whats going on which makes time go faster…
Ugh just hearing myself think like that makes me wonder if i’m not just a natural it.
So I waited.
“Well, now uhm class.” My teacher said flusterd “o no where is it. O here it is. “
She started walking around the classroom with a big stack of papers she just pulled out of her tesk. As she passed around and making sure everyone had a handout she said:
“Its very important you give these to your parents ok? Make sure you give it to them today and make sure they read it. Yes there is a difrence. Ask them to cut out the permission slip at the bottom. And you should bring it with you tomorrow ok? Its really important. So Christopher what are you going to do as soon as you get home?”
“I will give this…”
As Christopher began to recite what she had just told us I had tried to unravel what was on the leaflet. I couldnt read anything. Not a bit of it.
So as we left class
( Dont forget about the leaflets !)
I walked over to my mother who I immediantly gave the form.
“Well now whats this? Are you going on a field trip?”
“Uhm… I dont know..” I remember not wanting to tell my mother about the fact I had no idea what was on that thing.
“O my! Joseph what is in you hair?”
I turned around to see Josephs mothers reaction. It was priceless. But at the time ofcourse I felt her despair. I mean Joseph did look like a big mess.
As i turned around to see my mother again and try and indirectly ask her what was in the form, I saw her shocked face.
“Mum he will be fine! “
“I dont think so .. this is pretty serious” My mother said still looking shocked . Only now I actualy relised that she wasnt talking about Joseph…
So the rest of the day I didnt really pay any more attention to the leaflet. I played most of the time with kids from around the block. And when it was time to eat I ate. And when it was time to sleep I slept.
But I woke up again. I dont remember the time. My parents had been fighting. Well I guess because I could hear them yelling and my mother crying. They hadnt gone to sleep yet so it couldnt have been that late. Well late for a kid. Not late for a grown up.
I couldnt really make out the words. But a few times I did think I could hear my name. I wasnt sure but.. i hadnt done anything wrong had I? Surely it was about something else. I just lay there. Thinking and listening as far as that was possible because as hard as i tried. I could barely hear anything at all. I couldnt sleep. I decided to sneak out and try to hear what they were saying.
“We should ask her”
“This isnt her decision”
“Its her life!”
“Nothing will go wrong! Its a test run! She is just 5 years old. I dont think she will understand it anyway!”
“Well there is a reason for the test run isnt there?”
“Did you read the leaflet? It isnt really a test run they are just curious to how the drug will react on children!”
“Did you read the leaflet? If anything happens they wont be liable for the consequenses!”
This was all my fault. I couldnt stand hearing them fight. And their row was my fault. If i walked over to them and ask them to not blame them selfs for anything, they would know i was listening. If i went back to bed and they would coninue fighting, it would just be… horrible, useless. I dont want them fighting. I decided to walk towards them and just.. well eh.. i will see what i do when i get there. I could take the blame but well… what did i do wrong? I quietly, or so i thought, walked towards them.
“Cristal..? Are you there?”
“Its nothing she is sleeping, dont change the subject.”
“SO NOW ITS WRONG TO ASK IF OUR DAUGHTER IS HEARING US FIGHT? DO YOU EVEN CARE ABOUT HER?”
O no what had i done… I just .. i ran back to bed. At that moment i didnt care if they had heard me or not. I tripped as i fel in to bed. I didnt even feel the pain. I burried my face into my pillow and cried. I felt awfull. A few weeks later i would know that that feeling i felt was shame. I was so busy in my thought i hadnt heard anyone come in.
“sweety? Its me… can you hear me?”
I felt like not awsering and just ignoring her and waiting for her to go away. But i wasnt mad at my mum i was mad at mysellf. I owed it to her to awser.
“Yes.. I am so sorry!”
“I dont know what you heard but nothing is your fault!”
“I want to help you! If you want i will do the test.”
“It not exactly a test honey… its..-
-“Do you want to do it? Will you do it for me and your mum?”
“Yes yes ofcourse!”
I sat up to face them. My mums eyes were puffy and red and she .. well… no offence.. looked like a mess.. My dad on the other hand looked hopefull. His eyebrows raised and his eyes sparkling. How could i disopoint such a dad? I loved him. This would help him. Them.
“ Harold! You cant just ask her this! It snot okay! She is 5 for gods sake!”
“Mummy and i are going to have a little chat. You are such a mature little, or dare i say, big girl. We will sign the form and you can give it to miss Gardinier tomorrow ok? NOw you just go get some sleep.
I remember feeling so mature. But like a child at the same time. I was helping my parents but i still felt scared..
“.. sleep tight, I love you “
“we love you to sweety.”
And they left.. I watched them go. And then I made up my mind. I felt like an adult. Had i not helped my parents and resolved the issue? They werent fighting anymore. With those content thoughts I fell asleep. Only did i not know that as soon as i closed my eyes the screaming began.. Again..
I woke up, I remember the sun shining bright. Which was weird because when i normally woke up the sun was.. well just not as bright. I remember my dad once trying to explain to me why the sun changed its course but i didnt really believe it. How was that even possible? So as stubourn as i was i just accepted what stacy had told me, that there was a giant purple unicorn that dropped poop on earth each morning. The poop radiated with light and rainbows which made the earth glow. Every child near the poop would wake up and have all the energy and happyness for a full day of learning and playing. Now at the time thatseemed like a reasonable explanation. And only recently i discoverd that there was more to the world that i thought i new.
I got out of my bed and jet again felt so mature, no one had to wake me. I could do it all by myself. I walked out of my room and into the kitchen. I was in sush a mature mood i decided to make my own breakfast today.
“O shit you have to go to school dont you?” my dad said.
“well yes but i was thinking of drivingmyself to school today.”
“Ehm.. cristal its 12:00 .. I think school has already started.. Do you still want to go?”
( Thinking about … well.. that.. Reminds me that there were nicer times, i mean . The thing most parents would have said was: you cant drive. But my dad just was .. diffrent. )
Uh oh… well ehm that didnt go as plannend. Maybe today wasnt the day i would transform into a adult. But i surely would give miss Gardinier that form.
“But daddy i still have to give that form to miss Gardinier.”
“oh yea.. right.. well you do know that mummy and daddy are really proud of you for doing that? Well look at you! All grown up! How about i drive you to school and let you toot at all the slow cars? Huh? Doesnt that sound nice?”
So about an hour later I was in my dads car tooting at other cars.
‘Where is mum?’ a question i had tried to avoid for as long as possible. When i tried to go into her room to help me pick out my clothes my dad patted me on the back and said:
‘Mummy is really sleepy right now, why dont i help you?’
( that was the main reason why i now was wearing a purple dress and a really ugly yellow vest)
‘Well poppet she isstill asleep.”
‘She never sleeps.’
‘ i think you mean to say that she doesnt usually sleep this late?’
‘o well.. yea’
‘Mummy is just really tired now okay? But i am here right? Isnt that good enought for you?’
He had said it in a harmless way but still those words hurt. I started to tear up.
‘O sweety!Ididnt mean it like that, what i meant to say is… well that you can trust me, i am in your life. I can drive you to school, we are a team remember?
I dont think at the time i really understood the meaning. That promise. We were a team. I was just wondering where my mother was.
‘Well, i just i am worried..’
I stared of in the distance, looking at other cars passing by. Counting the red ones..
My father didnt awsner that question, he never did. I somethimes wonder if he to had wonderd of in the distance. I think maybe that was my dads first wake up call. He was losing me. We had been so close but i think... Well him being an andult he could see a bigger problem. His child preffering her mother. I mean we werent really distant or something, this weekend we played catch.. But i guess he noticed that for emotion bagage, as much as a child could have, i wouldnt come to him.
I walked into my classroom. My father decided to accompy me because i was so late.
‘Hello miss Gardinier! He said in a enthousiastic voice.
He signed to me that I should sit down and play with the other children.
‘O hello Mr Maulden, where has little Cristal been?’
‘Well there was a little problem with the car it just wouldnt…..-‘
‘Hee Cristal! Pssssst! Cristal !’
It was Stacy , my rainbowpooping friend.
‘Hee! What did i miss?’
‘Well Oliver got this paint all over Miss Gardiniers bag..’
‘I cant hear you!’
‘Get. Over . Here!’Stacy said with wild arm movements
But I didnt want to, i wanted to know what my dad was going to say to miss Gardinier.
‘No come here!’ Stacy said standing up and jumping ‘its important!’ And she gave me the magic sign.
Well there was no going around the magic sign. I mean. It was Magic.
I crawled toward her. Passing other children as i went. They looked at me like a dinosour eating rasberrys.
‘You were late! You are never late!’ Adrian said.
I crawled on, time for that later. Stacy had given me the magic sign and there is no going around that.
‘So what did you want to tell me?’
‘Well these really weird Doctors were here this morning and they wanted to talk to everyone!’
‘Doctors arent weird! They help us get better when we are sick! ‘
‘But these Doctors were scary! They still want to talk to you. And they are giving a presentation to us all together this afternoon. But dont worry, I heard Chrisopher and Adrian are trying to stock up on some juice.’
‘What? A talk? What did they ask?’
‘Nothing really but they just really looked at you. You know what i mean? Like reallly look at you. Like just really look . Like in your soul.’
Stacy had gone to church last Sunday for the first time in her life and she just woulndt stop making Bible refrences.
‘Thats what i mean right!’
‘Sweety i Gotta go okay? What time do i pick you up? Like 4 or 5 o’clock?’
‘Its 3 o’clock Mr. Maulden. But if you want you could stay? School will be over in a few hours. How about a coffee and some cookies?’
‘O thank you but i must decline, see you at 3 o’clock.’
As I watched my dad walk away and occasionally blow a few kisses my way I felt i feeling. Like shame I had yet before never felt it. When some kids at my school say:
‘Yea my mum totally saw me eat the last cookie but i could just feel her looking at me so i knew it was time to go.’
I never really knew what they ment. Partly because i never ate the last cookie, ( is it really the last cookie if you ate the whole roll?) and partly because i just had never felt that way.
But now i knew what they ment’
‘Hello, Cristal isnt it?’
I turned around. I commepletly got what Stacy had meant. Scary doctors.
“well i will take that as a yes’ she said smiling ‘I am Carter Jansos and we will have a little chat today. ‘