Short Story: Little Us & The Killing Joke

The end of the primary school day’s bell rang, and I did not know what should I feel, relieved to be finally getting away from the annoying boys at school, or disgusted because I have to go back home again. I waited till everyone got out of the classroom because I don’t want to be pushed on the stairs and tremble all over repeatedly. After they were all gone, I went down with heavy steps dragging my heavy backpack. I sat down on the most isolated bench; waiting for my mother to show up and take me home. The schoolyard started to get quieter bit by bit and almost everyone was gone except for the football players, some girls practising for the upcoming lame singing competition, and another couple of siblings who were waiting for their late parents as well.

I stared at the cut in my pants revealing my bruised knee. What will my mother think of that? Ugh! I wish I did not show up in front of her like that because I did not want her to think that her son is a loser. A voice exclaimed “Is it deep? Does it hurt you much?” I looked up. It was a female classmate with a short hair, more of boy-like hair. Considering how weird I am, she is a bit weird. One day she is talkative and the next, she is as quiet as a giraffe. I replied hesitantly “Yes, it hurts. I don’t know if it’s deep.”

“You know you can push them away, physically I mean.”

“I don’t want to be indecent.”

“I can push them away for you. I always do the same for my older brother. He is sitting over there” she pointed at him. He was chatting with the football players.

Now she wants to defend me? I wondered.

“Can I ask you something?” I did not really wait for her reply and I asked: “Why is your hair that short?”

she sat next to me looking down at her lap “Humm my Mama thinks it is easier to clean that way” she struggled to speak, her throat went dry, and her voice was cracking. I did not know what to say. I never knew what to say when I had to say something, but she looked very beautiful and kind that I tried.

“You look nice! You shouldn’t believe it when they tell you that you look like a boy or that you’re ugly.”

She shrugged and said “My father and Mama fought about my hair before a lot. Like they needed one more thing to fight over. Do your parents fight a lot too?”

I nodded, and I was hoping not to regret that, but she was being honest too.

She went on “What did you eat yesterday?”

Are we now exchanging eateries’ information? I asked myself, but I told her about my mum’s delicious homemade cake and then I asked her “Why do you care what did I eat? Don’t you eat?”

“Well, I mostly give my cheese to starving cats, but other than that, I love reading.”

“I love comics. Do you read any?”

“Just Batman”

“The Killing Joke?”

She nodded with a smile on her little face.

A tall man approached the school’s gate and all the yard went even quieter. He looked like a police officer or something. She looked at the man then looked back at me unsmiling and said in a hurry “I have to go now, see you tomorrow” “See you”

She ran away, grabbed her backpack and ran towards that man with her brother and they left.

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