Chapter 2

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“Please tell me whose coming to class! Please mummy!” Harry exclaimed from the passenger seat, as his mother drove him to school. He had put on his best “homeless puppy” face, and clasped his hands together in a pleading fashion. “I’m sorry, but you’re teacher made me promise not to tell you who it is.” Anne jokingly crossed her heart. Harry let out a huff, crossed his arms over his chest, and pouted as they came to a stop light. “It’s probably someone stupid because I’m in the stupid people class now.” Harry frowned, and glared out his window. “Who told you that your class is stupid?” Anne asked, as her brow furrowed. She wasn’t going to stand around and let people bully her son. “Everyone at school says so.” Harry’s frown deepened as he rested his head against the cool window. The light turned, and Anne continued driving. “How come I’m just now hearing about this?” Anne asked while turning into the school’s parking lot. Harry only shrugged, and rubbed at his still tired eyes. “Well, I’m going to talk to your teacher about this. Let’s get you inside before the bell rings.” Anne patted her son on the shoulder, and opened her door to get out of the car. They both made their way up the concrete path leading straight into the open doors of the school. As Anne walked Harry to his classroom, she saw groups of teenagers standing together in bands, whispering, and catching glimpses at Harry. “I can’t believe his mum still has to walk him to class!” “I’ve seen that kid before! I heard he used to be normal, but some bloke ran him over.” “What a retard.” Anne found it extremely difficult to keep the tears from welling up in her eyes. So this is what he has to deal with everyday. They entered Harry’s classroom to find that most of Harry’s classmates were seated in rows, facing the chalk board. “Good Morning, Harry,” Harry’s teacher called from the other said of the classroom, where she was sorting books onto a shelf. “Hi, Ms. Calder!” Harry yelled back, and waved frantically. Anne chuckled, and hushed her son, as Ms. Calder walked over to them. “How are we doing this morning, then?” Ms. Calder asked warmly. “I’m okay, but I really wanna know who’s coming to class today, but mum won’t tell me!” Harry pouted once more, as Anne found it difficult not to give him a kiss on the cheek. “Well, I doubt you’ll have to wait much longer to find out who our special visitor is.” Ms. Calder led Harry over to his desk, and he began chatting away with his classmates. “Ms. Calder,” Anne gently pulled Harry’s teacher towards the door, and out of earshot of Harry. “Oh, please call me Eleanor.” She politely inserted. “Eleanor, just this morning, Harry told me about other children calling the kids in this class “stupid”, and I was wondering if you knew anything about that.” Anne crossed her arms over her chest not out of anger, but of the sheer need fix the issue. “I have actually, and I apologize that you have to hear about this so late in the school year. We try to teach our kids to ignore hurtful words that come from the mainstream students who also attend this school. Does it always work? Absolutely not, but I understand that most of the children in this class have extremely sensitive emotions and tempers, so we are trying our best to make sure that the mainstream student leave our class alone. But I can’t guarantee that people won’t gossip, Ms. Cox.” Eleanor finished. Anne felt so powerless. Like the day Harry was diagnosed.

*Flashback*

                “Now, Post Traumatic Brain Injury Syndrome isn’t treatable. I’ve run countless tests on Harry’s motor skills, speech, and learning development, and I think he’s in this for the long haul, Ms. Cox.” Dr. Flack balanced her clipboard on her knee, while scratching a few notes onto the paper. Harry sat on the big examination table, hunched over, with his hands dangling at his sides. His head was hanging down, because he was still trying to regain the use of the muscles in his neck. Anne rushed over to him, lifted his head, and straightened out his back. “Try to hold yourself up, baby.” She whispered. Harry slightly nodded in response. “Alright, but aren’t there therapies, or some types of medication for him?” Anne asked while rubbing small circles into Harry’s back. “Absolutely, but mind you, they would be extremely intensive, and frequent. Are you sure you don’t want Harry to rest for a bit before starting?” Dr. Flack asked while crossing her legs, and giving Anne a look of uncertainty. “I just want him to be able to do some things on his own… My daughter and I have been trying really hard to make this work, but she’s going to be starting Uni in a few months, and she needs time to prepare. I really believe that Harry can make progress. Not two weeks ago, Harry couldn’t swallow, and now he’s feeding himself all on his own!” Anne gave Dr. Flack a hopeful look, which both of them understood as a sign to begin work.

*End of Flashback*

                “I understand. I mean, you can’t stop kids from being kids, I guess.” Anne sighed in defeat. “Now, I’m not saying that what those kids are saying should be acceptable, but we wouldn’t be making any progress with these kids if we let them dwell on negativity.” Eleanor gave a firm nod of the head to confirm her beliefs. “Alright, well I suppose I’ll be heading out now. Do you mind if I say goodbye to Harry?”  Anne asked unsure of whether or she would embarrass her son. “By all means!” Eleanor smiled, and gestured towards Harry with her arm. “Excuse me, kids,” Anne interrupted Harry’s conversation with his classmates. “I’m on my way out, and I wanted to say bye.” Anne hugged her son tight, and gave him a loud kiss on the cheek. “Mum! No kisses at school, remember?!” Harry exclaimed, while pushing his mother away by her shoulders. Mission: Embarrass Harry. Mission Status: Accomplished.

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