Later that afternoon, Brielle and the girls went to Thomasville Middle School, where Olivia would attend the sixth grade. Brielle thanked her lucky stars that it wasn’t nearly as complicated getting Olivia registered as it had been with Jane, and they didn’t see any of the wrong parents there. However, Olivia nervously looked around to see that there were three female teachers huddled in the corner of the office and one of the teachers, whose name sticker read, “Hello, my name is Mrs. Fisher,” leaned over toward the teacher whose sticker read, “Hello, my name is Mrs. Holloway,” and whispered loudly.
“Is that the woman who posted that video about the Sheriff’s department?”
Hearing this, Olivia recoiled and moved closer to her mother while continuing to stare suspiciously at the gossiping teachers.
“And what is that little girl’s problem?” Mrs. Holloway whispered in an indignant tone, “Does she think we’re going to bite her or something?”
Responses to The Damning Video
Olivia tapped her mother on the arm. Brielle finished the paperwork and handed it to one of the school secretaries. She then looked down at Olivia.
“What is it, sweetie?” she asked.
“Mom let’s hurry up and get out of here. I just want to go home,” Olivia said, “I don’t feel well.”
“What, you don’t want to meet your teachers?” Brielle asked gently.
“Not today. I’ll met them Tuesday,” Olivia replied.
“Okay, we don’t have to meet them today,” Brielle assured her middle daughter before turning to the school secretary.
The school secretary typed the information into the computer, then handed Brielle Olivia’s class schedule.
“Olivia’s homeroom teacher will be Mrs. Fisher for Math and Science. She’ll then have Mrs. Holloway for English and Spelling and Mr. Houlihan for Reading and Comprehension. She’ll have Mrs. March for P.E. last period.”
Olivia’s face dropped and her stomach sank as she looked back over to the gossiping and laughing teachers, two of whose classes she’d have to take.
The Girls Notice the Unwelcome Stares and Gossip
That evening, there was a big family dinner at Grandma Bennett’s house and all the family was there. Brielle placed Baby Kennedy, now eight months old, in a highchair before sitting down with a jar of baby food. Grandma Bennett, Marcelle, Melissa, Amy, and Julie worked together to prepare the food and set the table.
“I made crab patties. There’s plenty for everyone and you should try them. They’re delicious!” Brielle informed them.
“Did you say, crab patties, Bri? Crab’s awful expensive, isn’t it?” Grandma Bennett replied.
“Crab isn’t cheap but for special occasions like this, it’s worth the price,” Brielle said as she held the tiny spoon of baby food to Kennedy’s mouth and Kennedy took the bite.
Grandma Bennett gave Brielle a funny look before turning around and continuing to prepare a pan of strawberry tarts for the oven.
Later, over dinner, as the family ate at the table, Grandma Bennett smiled at Jane and Olivia, who sat by their mother. Baby Kennedy, dressed in a yellow onesie with a print of pink roses, lay sleeping in her play pin in the living room after having been well fed. A brown teddy bear sat, propped in the corner of the play pin and a half-filled bottle of milk lay beside the sleeping baby. Her pacifier dropped from her mouth onto the bedding with a soft thump. The baby continued to make faint suckling efforts as she continued to snooze peacefully.
A Family Dinner
Brielle got up, walked over to the play pin, and gently pulled the thick, pink banket over Kennedy until only her head and shoulders were visible. She then softly tousled the thick thatch of pretty golden hair on the baby’s little head before quietly creeping back to the table and sitting down to finish her meal.
“Well, are you girls excited about school starting on Tuesday?” Grandma Bennett asked cheerfully.
Heariing the question, Brielle gave Grandma Bennett a cautious look. Jane looked up from her plate, half-heartedly shrugged and, in a bland tone, “Yeah, I guess,” Olivia just sat there with a long face and slowly shook her head.
Grandma Bennett looked at Brielle.
“Such long faces! What’s wrong with them, Brielle?” She asked, concerned.
“They’re probably sad that the summer is coming to an end,” Brielle answered, not wanting to reveal the real reason for the girls’ negative responses,“Most kids dread going back to school after a long summer break of getting to sleep in, stay home, and do pretty much what they want.”
Dreading the Coming School Year
“You have no idea,” Jane said in a dreadful tone before taking a bite of hash brown potatoes, “My teacher, Mrs. Dumas? I don’t have a good feeling about her, Mom. Do you remember how she barked at us when we came in to meet her?”
“Maybe she’d had a bad day, Jane,” Brielle said, trying to stay positive.
“What about the whispers we heard at Jane’s school? And the teachers at my school were talking about the video you posted about the cops, Mom. I overheard them,” Olivia reminded, “What if they decide to get back at me for your posting that video?”