NUTTY & NICE
Drawn To You
Her mom Elena Soto now had become friends with the store lady whose name was Ivy Jennings.
Ivy Jennings was a clothier and her knowledge of different types of fabrics is what made her so good at her job, she could tell what type you wanted by sight and even describe it to someone. This also helped with Mrs. Sotos business, but her most valued skill was fashion design.
Mrs. Soto used to Visit Mrs. Jennings and they would spend hours together discussing fashion and design. Even though her mother Mrs. Soto wasn interested in designing and sewing like her, she did enjoy talking about fashion with her and getting to know each other better, she thought she would never stop being surprised by how much she learned from a single conversation, and even more surprises.
Mrs. Soto used to Visit Mrs. Jennings and her store every day. She would always ask for new dresses or dresses from the other women who visit her shop. She also took her time to look through the fabric that the other woman has just picked out which colors she should wear.
They were almost like two girls who were just friends at school, meeting each other outside of school, and becoming close chatting about anything and everyone, including fashion, the teachers, and their kids.
Two ladies were busy conversing among themselves about everything and meanwhile Mrs. Elenas phone rang from somewhere inside her coat.
”Am I speaking to Mrs. Soto? ”, the woman on the other side of the call said.
It sounded like a young woman, but Mrs. Soto had no idea who could have called her at that time.
”Yes ”, she answered after hesitating for a while, wondering if whoever was talking wanted some kind of money or something.
”May I ask who are you? ”
”I am calling from Bayshore School, we want to meet you in person ”, the woman said, her voice sounding very calm and polite, unlike what it sounded like on the phone.
Mrs. Soto hesitated a bit but the womans voice seemed nothing serious to worry about.
That confused her, so she decided to just go with the flow and let whatever would happen.
”After all, why not? ”, Mrs. Soto nodded.
”We will be waiting for you ”
The woman hung the call before Mrs. Soto could even reply.
Mrs. Soto stood there, puzzled, as she tried to think what could have been going through the persons mind to call her so urgently.
She had never thought that any problem will occur at Bennys school when things appeared so well with her daughters behavior these days, but then again she stood up and started hurrying to the door.
”Is everything fine? ”, Mrs. Jennings said looking at her pale face.
”Everything is fine, nothing to worry about ”, Mrs. Soto assured her while heading towards the exit.
”I will see you later ”.
As soon as she left the shop, Mrs. Soto looked quite anxious and ran to the bus station.
”Something wrong? ”, Mrs. Jennings mumbled to herself as she saw her walk past the glass door.
”Take care ”
Mrs. Jennings went back to doing what she was doing.
It was a nice day, it had been raining since morning and now it wasn anymore but the sky looked gloomy with clouds covering the bright blue skies and the risen sun.
She walked as fast as she could, ignoring the stinging and aches that plagued her body as she made it to safety at the bus stop.
The bus came after a moment, and she quickly got on, ignoring the pain that shot through her limbs like jolts of electricity. She sat next to the window, letting the cool breeze ruffle her hair gently as she stared out at nothing and waited for it to get to the school where her daughter studies.
”I don know what Benny had done this time ”, she thought bitterly as she watched the passing scenery change from a barren landscape to a bustling city.
She said, watching as the trees passed by outside the window.
”I can never understand how her head is unable to focus on the studies. ”
Her mind wandered back to the past few days. It started normal enough, with a morning routine.
”Benny is behaving quite abnormal these days, too good to be true ”
”She would wake up, brush her teeth, follow what she says and always run to school trying to avoid conversation with her ”
Mrs. Soto remembers how she as a mom used to say anything to her, Benny becomes stubborn and behaves unruly toward Mrs. Soto.
After fifteen minutes, the bus reached the school and dropped her off just a little bit away from where they were waiting for her. It seemed too far, but then again, she had run all this way so who was she to complain? Her hands were shaking slightly and her heart was thumping loudly in her chest. She knew she looked like a wreck but she didn care.
Mrs. Soto ran to the principals office where she met the same woman whom she talked to on the phone a few minutes ago.
”Hello Mrs. Soto, its good to see you again. Im Mrs. Gloria and we spoke on the phone a couple of minutes ago. ”
The woman said in her sweet but professional tone.
”Yes mam it is indeed so nice seeing you here! ”, Mrs. Soto replied while shaking hands with Mrs. Gloria, who smiled warmly.
”Lets head to my office ”
The office was empty, the door closing softly behind him. Mrs. Sotos eyes wandered over to the file cabinet across the room, her gaze following along as she took a seat at one of the chairs in front of it.
She was still waiting for the teacher to say what happened and why she was called to visit school.
The teacher walked to the cabinet and started searching for something inside; her movements were slow and deliberate as she searched through files.
Mrs. Soto had been watching her with a curious expression and when she turned back to face her, the woman smiled sympathetically.
She pulled out one and opened it, the first word on the page making a slight smile creep up the corners of her lips. She turned it so that the light from the desk lamp hit it, letting the words slowly sink into her mind.
They walked into Mrs. Glorias office together and sat in a pair of chairs in front of a desk.
The teacher paused a moment before continuing,
e not going to like some things Im about to tell you. ”
”Now do you want to know about your daughter, Benny Soto? We had a call about your daughter ”, Mrs. Gloria said while trying to read Sotos expressionless face.
”Im sorry I don mean to rush you but its been quite some time since the last time your husband was here and this time situation is a bit sensitive. ”
Mrs. Gloria handed out an envelope from a box that was covered with a clear plastic covering, ”The school wanted to call you when they got Bennys report of the exams she attended and inform you that your daughter has been absent for the last 3 days. ”
”My… daughter…? ” Mrs. Soto asked confused.
”Your daughter, Benny. She came here during lunchtime just for the sports classes ”, Mrs. Gloria explained.
”Don you know this, Mam? ”
Mrs. Soto shouted surprised by the statement she heard from the class teacher.
”Please open the envelope and theres more to bring your attention to ”
Bennys mom now seemed in shock as she opened the envelope. Her hands were shaking when the teacher hands the paper which was the report card.
She glanced at the name, her heart dropping into her stomach. A lump formed in her throat as she stared at the name.
”Benny Soto, ” She read aloud, the sound ringing throughout the air as she continued. It seemed to be a mantra, repeating it like a broken record.
”It was a report card of Bennys performance ”
”She had got an F in mathematics and ranked lowest in the class ”
”Your husband assured us that Benny will prove herself one day ”
Mrs. Gloria said as she stared at Mrs. Sotos face and thought she didn know about this.
”I didn know about this ”
”Well now she is and shes going to be expelled as well. ”
Mrs. Gloria replied bluntly, knowing that this is only Bennys fault.
”Oh yes! She said something about a new sports class for students to do after school, I told her to ask you if you have any interest in coaching to improve your grades ”, Mrs. Gloria said.
”I don want you to coach anything to me, Benny said. ”
”That girl is also going to be expelled for fighting with another student ”
Bennys mom was speechless after seeing her daughters report card and how she had been behaving in school.
”I wasn Knowing about this ”, Bennys mom replied sadly to the class teacher.
The teacher seemed harsh in telling her daughters performance in school.
”Mam, I know you are struggling but we had no option but to expel your kid ”
The teachers words kept ringing in Mrs. Sotos mind and she remembers that she every day visits for game practice.
”Thank you for letting me know ”
Mrs. Soto shook her head, ”Its not your fault. You did everything you could. ”
She stood up from the chair, and was deeply depressed as well as angered and stood up grabbing the paper
Her face remained stoic until Mrs. Soto walked down the hallway towards her and saw just how upset she looked.
Mrs. Soto walked out of the teachers office and headed to the playground trying to look for her daughter.
The playground was almost empty only a few girls were seen practicing their sports.
Her daughter seemed so happy as she threw ball after ball in the air, but there was something different that day, and not for the better. Her mothers expressions turned more furious with each throw, her eyes full of anger. She was lied to by her daughter she loved after her husband died… And now look at her, throwing around balls without care for the people surrounding her.
With every ball she threw, her mom gripped the report card hard, tearing it with her nails.
The pieces fell on the floor, creating a small pile under her feet, she didn bother to pick them up. She had too many things going inside her mind right now. So many things that she couldn control. Anger, sadness, disappointment… All of these negative emotions were consuming her.
She saw, that Benny was busy practicing throwing the ball to another side of the court.
Benny was smiling and giggling as she threw the ball with all the might she could muster.
Emily saw Mrs. Soto staring at Benny from far and got scared about why she is here at this hour and was standing like a statue.
”Your mom is here ”, Emily whispered to Bennys ears.
Benny turns around and looked at her mother who looked like she just received bad news. She ran toward her mom who was standing before the stands.
”Mom! Mom! ” She cried and hugged her mother.
Her mother didn respond, the more she hugged the angrier she felt inside. It wasn like her mother had any interest in talking to her or even looking at her as she walked past her. The anger slowly faded into disappointment as she saw how sad her mom looked.
Mr. McCoy had seen Benny running to the stands and as he sipped the water saw Emilys face turn pale.
”Where is she going? ”, Mr. McCoy asked Emily and he seemed confused about the strange reaction.
”Mr. McCoy, Bennys mom is here, look ”
”I must meet her, Emily ”
He hurried to the stands as fast as he could in fear that things might become worse if he doesn clarify the situation.
”Don go Mr. McCoy if you don want to listen to harsh words from her mom, I think she is angry ”
Mr. McCoy seemed concerned to see this, he took a deep breath ”If I am wrong, I will leave, no matter what happens ”
He walked following Benny and kept his head low all along the way throwing the baseball cap on the ground.
He stopped when he arrived, his hands fidgeting as he looked everywhere except Benny who was still avoiding looking at him.
Mr. McCoy saw Bennys mom having an angry expression on her face.
”What happened, mom? ”
Mrs. Soto couldn believe that her only child failed a class and would probably be dropped off the class. But then again, it isn the first time they did this. She thought bitterly.
”I need to talk to you. Benny ”
Bennys mom screamed in front of everyone.
”What did you do this time? ”
”Mom…I uhh ”
She saw her report card in her moms hand and her eyes widened with horror.
”Oh, shit…I am done ”
Benny thought as her moms expression didn change even though she kept hugging her trying to convince her but now nothing is changing.
Now everyone seemed scared of her mom, Mr. McCoy was also scared so he tried to get her attention.
”Mrs. Soto, if you don mind, don scream at Benny, she is a good player in our school ”, Mr. McCoy tried to calm her mom.
”Yes mom, the teacher is right, I won Inter school championship again ”
Benny grabbed her moms hand and looked at her face trying to read moms mind.
Mrs. Soto pulled away her hand from Bennys grip.
”Mom, I don want to study and I want to play for nationals ”, Benny replied slowly.
The coach tried to intervene in this matter but Bennys mom refused to listen.
”Mr. McCoy why are you spoiling her career with your stupid advice ”
”You are a young man, Mr. McCoy right ”
”You have your career settled, what is she going to do with her life? ”
”I understand, Mam but.. ”
Mr. McCoy had nothing to say instead he also got scared of how to convince her mom.
”Really, do you know Bennys family condition? Do you know what I do daily for paying our expenses? Huh… ”, Mrs. Sotos words were piercing.
”But Mam, Benny is a good girl and she is good…. ”
Mr. McCoy swallowed his words and forgot what he wanted to say when he came here. He felt like he was also getting scolded by her mom and was standing with his head down looking at his shoes.
”Good…..in failing in academics ”, Mrs. Soto argued.
”What? ”, Mr. McCoy was shocked and looked up at hearing this news.
”Yes…I and her dad had dreamed of sending her to a good university ”
”Now she is just playing…playing with her life ”
”I didn know about this ”, Mr. McCoy said.
”I have no time to argue with you, Mr. McCoy ”
”Benny come with me. ”
”I am sorry…Mam ”
Mrs. Soto grabbed Bennys arm and dragged her out of the ground.
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