(The following is a work of fiction)
I walk into my third-grade classroom with my head down, my eyes purposely averting the stares of my fellow classmates. I sit down in the back, alone, as usual. My classmates began avoiding me long ago, and truthfully I am thankful for it.
The teacher comes into the room, a bright smile on her face. She’s young, and this is only her third year teaching. As she begins the lesson, she glances to me. I notice the moment of hesitation in her voice as he takes in my bruised eye, before she continues on with what she was saying before.
This isn’t the first time I have come to school bruised, and I know that at recess I’ll be pulled aside and asked what has happened. I’ll give the usual answer, “I ran into something,” or “I tripped.” But the excuse barely worked the last time, and I know that this time it will be harder to cover for Daddy.
As I suspected, I am pulled from the bench where I sit and eat, and taken to the principal’s office. When I walk in I notice the young lady sitting across from Mrs. Wilkon, easily making small talk.
The next hour goes as I suspected, with the young social worker asking me questions about my dad and what it’s like at home, with Mrs. Wilkon looking on.
By the end of it, I’m not so confident that they won’t be taking Daddy away from me this time. I consider this as I make my way home after school, retreating immediately to my bedroom upon walking in the door. That way Daddy doesn’t know I’m home, and can’t blame me for anything.
I go to school the next morning as usual, and the day after that as well. I’ve begun to relax, having not heard anything of the events a few days before. Then a week after everything has happened, I am once again called into Mrs. Wilkons office.
The social worker is there once again, and she explains to me in a calm voice that I am being moved to a foster family who lives nearby. She takes me home, and waits patiently while I pack my few belongings.
Daddy isn’t home, and she explains to me that he won’t be coming back for a very long time. I”m not very sad about it. We lost Mommy to cancer years ago, and since then Daddy hasn’t been the same. But now it’s just me, Rebecca, who’s still here.
It doesn’t take very long to get to the foster family’s house, and once we’re there I’m lead inside and introduced to my new parents and siblings. They show me the house, and finally my room, leaving me to unpack and settle in. They have a nice house, and seem like a nice family.
I don’t think I mind them too much.
It takes me a while to adjust to my new life, and especially to stop being so nervous all the time. My new family is nice, and they explained to me that they would never hit me like Daddy did if anything went wrong. I even find myself relaxing.
And I think to myself, I could get used to this.