Day Twelve: Speaking of French

Monday, Monday da da da da da da.  I’ve got an oldie tune that I heard off the classic rock station stuck in my head.  I get tired of my i-Tune playlist, and be it laziness or procrastination, I haven’t loaded new music in ages.  It’s much easier to punch on an internet radio station while working on school stuff.  I listen to almost everything.  Okay, I admit country western and opera are not on my list.  I do like the classic rock station and jazz the best.  One time I clicked on a jazz station and couldn’t figure out why they kept singing in French.  About three songs in I realized the station music carried mainly French music because it was a French station.  I had no idea internet radio could pick up other countries.

Speaking of French, the other day I was doing my usual avoid-the-cafeteria-at-lunch-by-hiding-out-in-the-library  routine and Simone comes in.  She sits next to me and radiates a smile.  Can a person smile with her whole body?

“Hallo,” she says.  “Things going good for you?”

“Hi,” I return.  “Yeah, things are going pretty well.”  That awkward pause begins to grow.  That pause where there isn’t a lot to say because there isn’t much to say, and although you would like to say something, nothing really comes to mind, but you say something, anything to break the awkward pause.

“How was your weeken-“ we say together and laugh.

“You first,” Simone points to me.

“Okay.  I went to a concert with my mother.  Do you know reggae music?  You know Bob Marley and the Wailers?”  Simone nods.  “It was lot like that kind of music.”

Simone’s eyes widen. “Your mama take you to music concert?  I think that is so incredible.  My mama would never do such a thing.  I am so jealous.”

I guess a date with your mom would be considered strange at best, but to be jealous?  It makes me wonder what Simone’s mom is like.  I don’t like to get too personal with people, so I don’t ask.

“Did you get the email thing worked out?”

She nods enthusiastically, “Oui, oh yes.  You such a help. My counselor talk to librarian and it’s all okay.  I can talk to my family almost everyday now.  I email at lunches and after school.  My counselor say not to do so at class time.  It is hard not to.  I miss my family so much.”

I have never really been away from my family.  I’ve never been to camp, or excursions with groups of friends, since the opportunity has never come up.  I’ve stayed at Gran’s but that’s still considered family.  What would it be like to be a continent and an ocean away from my parents?

“Who is in your family?  I mean, do you have brothers and sisters?”

“Oh yes.  I have Giselle, she is five.  She is my sister from another father.  My papa and mama are no longer together and my mama remarry six years ago and now I have a little sister.  I miss her more than my mama some days.  That is not nice of me, is it?” she laughs.

“I don’t know.  I guess it happens, I mean, liking someone more than others in your family.  I guess I like my dad a lot more.  At least he’s gone more than my mom and so I miss him because he’s not around.”

Having actually said more than I usually say about my feelings and my family to anyone I quickly slammed the door closed to my uncomfort zone. “I’ve got to finish catching up on some homework. I get up and gather my stuff.  I must sound rude and unfriendly.  Simone doesn’t take my comment like that at all.

“Yes,” she nods. “I should too.  I will email, then work too.  Thank you again for helping me.  You are so nice.  Will you come with me to French Club sometime?  This week is French week and Tuesday we have a feast after school. We can bring a guest, and I would like to bring you.”

What do I say to that?  I don’t know French.  I don’t know Simone beyond hello pleasantries and I am afraid they will serve something creepy like escargot which I know is dressed up snails.  I say, “Sure.”  My brain and mouth don’t often agree.  My brain lost out on this one.

“Oh good!” Simone squeezes my arm.  “Come to Mme. S’s room after school.  It will be fun.”

Maybe I have a dentist appointment I forgot about tomorrow.


One response to “Day Twelve: Speaking of French

  1. Pingback: Day Twenty-Nine: The Friend List | Verasimilitude: A NaNoWriMo Novel in Progress

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