Karen finds herself in a revery as she remembers how she had dealt with the harsh words of another child, and of how she found solace in forgiveness rather than revenge.
Scene 13: In The Multi-Purpose Room
The multi-purpose room was set up as a cafeteria. Grayish-yellow food trays, scattered by children who had left them after eating, covered the five rows of tables. Karen finished her milk and felt a chill that did not come from the cold liquid. Something was wrong, but she did not know what.
After busing her tray, she made her way to the exit and pushed the panic bar on the fire door. The heavy door opened halfway. As she squeezed through, she felt someone grab the back of her pinafore and push her to the side. She felt a hot breath on her neck as a voice shouted in her ear.
“Your mama’s a fat pig! She’s got a fat belly and walks like a penguin!”
Kitten held the door handle for balance, so she did not fall in spite of the hard push. It was the girl with the plaid dress and braids who rode her school bus, and who had torn up Karen’s papers in the classroom. Karen watched her run around the corner of the building and out of sight.
Karen looked inward to her heart and swallowed her retort. She was not going to add to the negativity by putting her energy into it. She wanted peace, not conflict.
How could she say those ugly, unkind words about my mother? Mama can’t help being overweight. She tries every day not to eat foods that make her fat! Every day she starts her morning by preparing the healthiest food for me, but making a pot of coffee for herself. She drinks it black thinking she’ll take off the pounds from the food she ate the night before. She can’t help being overweight anymore than I can help having CP. It’s her disability. I won’t tell Mama what happened, today. I won’t utter a word. This would destroy her. She has enough to cope with, taking care of me. If I say anything, she will start in eating after dinner when I’m asleep and not stop. She’ll go to bed, put on the talk radio station, and eat herself into oblivion. I don’t want that to happen, so I’ll just keep quiet and bless that little girl. I don’t want her friendship, anyway. I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone that mean.
Kitten stared into space and instead of trying to suppress her feelings, she dealt with them by sending forgiveness to the little girl and practicing healing her heart. She straightened her dress and meant to play on the climbing bars, but instead she stood quietly, alone, trying to release and come to terms with the anger that the vicious comment had brought up.
©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.