This day had been a hard one.
This was evident in the slump of her narrow shoulders, evident in the way she lifted her feet as if each trainer contained a leaden weight, evident in her carefully kept neutral expression. It was an expression which hid all the rejection, disillusionment and anger of the day. This was an expression which brought the shutters down, shielding her from the worst in her world. This was the expression which expressed none of her pain.
Behind this expression, there was a voice shouting very bad words at the wrong doers of the day. There was a mind, so rapier sharp in hind-sight, which rattled off wittily cutting reposts to the smart-arse comments of the day. There was a physique, so superior and finely honed, that it was the envy of all. There was a soul, so loving and warm, that it was welcomed and nurtured in universal appreciation of its specialness. Yet this expression conveyed a blankness indicative of a non-thinking, non-feeling being.
As I watched her descend the bus steps, I knew that the day’s happenings would unfold as an unhappy catalogue of miscreants and mean-mindedness. Later, when she had processed her day and was ready to spit it out. I longed to rush up to her and enfold her in the love and protection of my arms. Instead, I casually threw out, ‘how was your day Hon?’ The desultory reply came back as I knew it would, ‘good’.
It had been a tough day in grade 5.