The last class of today is music with Professor Robert. He is teaching us how to play the Anthem of Joy with tambourines, rattles, snare drums, and flutes. Some of us play the instruments while the rest sing. We are preparing for the school festival next month.
Finally when the bell rings, everybody gets up and runs out of the classroom like a human stampede. Everybody yells and runs through the corridors until they reach the exit.
Wade and I get on the school bus that will take us near his house where our mommies are waiting for us. Daddy can’t pick me up because he is still at work. He will see us a little later at home.
Wade and I always sit in the front seats. We like to see out the window and watch everything moving while we are talking and laughing.
When the bus stops, we get off and go with our moms. Then my mommy and I need to take four more buses and walk for ten minutes from the last bus stop to get home. Sometimes we’re late home because of Mommy’s work. We go to other people house’s and stay there for a while. Mommy designs their gardens and sometimes plants the plants they buy. She says that by doing this she gets a little more money. Then, before going home we go to the grocery store to buy candies that almost always I finish eating on the way home.
I don’t know for sure for how long we have been on the buses, but I’m starting to get bored. I’m tired of doing this almost every day. It always takes us an eternity to get home. I would love to have the superpowers that Spider-Man has. It would be awesome to be able to swing from one building to another. And I would especially love to kick Kevin’s stinky ass, so he does not mess with me again.
This would have been a good day if it was not for Kevin. I hate that he bothers me. He makes me feel sad. All I want now is to get home. That’s the only place I feel protected.
“Is there still a long way home?”
“We have two more buses,” Mommy answers.
I take a deep breath and lean my head on my arm while I watch the cars out the window.
“Is everything all right? You’ve been very quiet all the way,” Mommy asks.
“Uh-huh,” I answer, while I keep looking out the window. “I’m just tired.”
“Did you practice again for the school festival?”
“Yeah. We practiced again.”
“I can’t wait to see my little boy performing the Anthem of Joy in front of everyone. I’m sure you’ll do it perfectly well!” Mommy says excitedly. She sighs and then says: “I’m very proud of you.”
“Mommy?” I ask, looking at her.
“Why can’t we take a taxi to school every day?”
“Did you have problems again with the car on the way to school?” she asks, raising her eyebrows.
“No,” I answer, shaking my head. “I just think we could get there faster than in Daddy’s car.”
Mommy puts her hand on my cheek and looks at me tenderly. “We can’t do that, honey. It would be expensive.”
“Why can’t the school bus pick me up from home?”
“Because our house is too far from its route.”
“But… what about if I went with Wade on the bus in the morning?”
“I thought you liked your dad taking you to school,” Mommy says, a bit surprised.
“I just want to try something different,” I mumble, looking down.
“Well, we can make a change if you want. But you’ll have to wake up earlier so we can get to the bus stop on time.”
I keep my head down, remembering what had happened in the morning. I don’t want anyone to make fun of Daddy’s car again.
“Jaeden?” Mommy asks.
She puts her hand under my chin and tilts my face towards her.
“Did something happen to you at school?”
I shake my head.
Mommy remains silent for a few moments. She keeps staring at me. “Did something happen with Kevin?”
“No,” I answer after a few seconds.
Nobody says anything for a little bit. We just look into each other’s eyes.
“Okay, I believe you,” she finally says. “But promise that you will tell us if something bad happens to you at school?”
Mommy puts her arm around my shoulders and pulls me closer to her. She kisses the top of my head. “I love you,” she says softly.
“I love you too, Mommy.”