Cosette Francois Walsh

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 27, 2017

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Submitted: October 27, 2017

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Cosette Francois Walsh

August

The first day, the sharp scent of Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer drifts through the air.  The distinct sound of sharpie writing on name tags, and the pleasing sound the sticker makes when ripped off the shiny white backing. Waiting in line behind the other parents and children feels like an eternity. Eventually, my mother and I reached the front of the line.  I am anxious, and I start to catch on to the fact that my mom is going to leave me. This is a very disturbing thought at this time in my life.  I managed to enter the classroom without my mom leaving.  My hands grasped for reassurance, reaching out for the markers, posters, desks, and my mom when she would walk more than two steps away from me.  I have that trembly feeling that you get when you know that soon you will be left behind.  When the teacher begins talking to the class, all eyes are on her. My mom managed to slip away, along with the other parents.  My first day of kindergarten has started.  

Our class begins by playing the typical name games, which is one of my least favorite things to do.

“Hi, my name is Jimmy and I like blue,” says Jimmy.

“Hi, my name is Kira and I like yellow,” says Kira.

Eventually, after hearing a plethora of names and colors, it is my turn to share with our class.  While waiting, I had practiced and rehearsed my lines in my head, over and over.

“Hello, my name is Audrey and my favorite color is sparkly purple cheetah print,”  I blurted out louder than I meant to. The class just laughed, I got this deep feeling of chagrin in the pit of my stomach.  As I quietly listened to the rest of the students until the very last person spoke. I received many looks that followed with snickers.

When the teacher announces that recess has arrived, a flood of relief rushes through my body, I feel like I could burst with excitement.  The shiny beams, slides, and that cushy rubber padding beckoned for me to come.

“Go ahead,” the teacher told the class.

I run as fast as I can towards the colorful playground.  Climbing the stairs, I race down a spiral, twisting slide, continuing to play on the new and exhilarating playground equipment, it became clear that I was not aware of a rule.  This is all fun and games until I set one foot on the other side of that yellow slide, then another, and another footstep, until I was halfway up the slide.  An ear-piercing whistle sounds.  I turn around to see a frowning lady pointing at me, blowing the whistle again, and making a face that nobody could recreate.

The walk of shame.  I slowly walked over to the recess lady, dragging my feet and my head hanging so low it could have touched the ground.  I stand in front of her trembling with fear, as my shoulders sagged like a sack of potatoes.

“In Kindergarten we don’t climb up the slides!  Do you understand me?” she is nearly shouting.

“Yes,” I barely managed to squeeze out of my mouth.

“Sit on the bench until the end of recess.” The mean old lady screeched.

Reluctantly I sat down.  My eyes were watery, but I wasn’t going to cry.  Not on the first day.  But while I was thinking about not crying, tears were streaming down my face.

I glanced over my shoulder to look at all my peers playing while I was sitting.  That’s when something happened that little did I know would change my life, flip it upside down, roll it, and throw it against the walls.  A small, creepy, girl with scraggly blonde hair that probably hasn't seen a brush in days, sticks her head out behind the slide and makes eye contact!  We stare at each other for a couple seconds, then she skips over to the bench I was sitting on!  She waltzes over and plops her bottom right next to mine.

“What’s wrong?” she asks me.

“Nothing,” I lie.

“Well you are crying, and usually when someone is crying they are not ok,” she says confidently.

“I got in trouble for climbing up the slide,” I told her sheepishly.

“On your first day?!” she said trying not to be rude.

“Yeah, I guess,” I exclaimed.  I thought about this for a while, while she awkwardly shuffled on the bench to try to become comfortable, but comfortable did not exist on this hard jabbing bench.  Trust me I had already tried.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“Audrey,” I replied.

“Cool!  My name is Cosette Walsh and I want to be your friend.” Cosette spoke very quickly, with her words blending together creating a jumble that barely resembled English.  

I take my time to think about the offer, and I could tell she getting antsy waiting, so I slowly responded,” Sure.”

December

In the front of the smelly classroom, the sun still beamed through the windows.  A squirmy group of kids sits on a rainbow carpet, with squares barely big enough to fit a body.  Today is Wednesday, a day to review the basics, and then learn something new to review the next Wednesday. Our class was reviewing our shapes and colors.  Just an ordinary day.

“Ouch!” a kid shouted.

“What happened?” the teacher asked alarmed.

The little boy revealed a bloody yellow tooth.

“Ewwww!” many of the little girls screeched, just to act girly for the boys because we had played that game since the first day of preschool.

Just to make it clear he stood up and walked into the middle of the circle, and pointed to the spot in his mouth where his tooth was supposed to be located.  

“Well congratulations, you lost your first tooth!” our teacher exclaimed excitingly because she could turn this into a lesson very easily.  Immediately after the boy lost his tooth, many kids found it a good opportunity to stick their grimy hands in there mouth to try and find a wiggly tooth.  It was going time.

All of us dug our hands in our mouth and grabbed at our teeth.  Another kid pulled one out. By the end of that three min, the teacher allowed this nonsense, four of my classmates had yanked the teeth out of their mouths.

While this was all fun and games for everybody else in the room.  This hit home for me because I have not lost one tooth, and I have never had a loose tooth. And I didn’t want to loose a tooth. It must hurt a lot, I thought. And my friends only added to the pain of this situation.  Now you might think why would you want your teeth to fall out at school, but the rumors have been confirmed that when you lost your tooth and went to the nurse, you got to pick a prize from the secret prize basket.  After taking your amazing prize, then the nurse hands you a tiny plastic treasure box to slide your tooth in to keep it safe.

As a whiny kid, I asked to use the restroom because I could tell the dam was about to break, which soon would lead to a flood of tears.  The teacher dismissed me.  Cosette saw me run to the bathroom and she could tell by the twisted look on my face that I was holding back tears.  She followed me, and we stood in the bathroom while I cried.  She hugged me and asked for the reason of my tears.  

Trembling I answered,“I’ve never lost a tooth before, not even have I had a wiggly tooth.”

“That’s what you’re upset about?” Cosette asked in a polite way.

“Yeah, I guess,” I answered realizing how stupid this matter was.

“I bet a lot of people have not lost their teeth yet,” Cosette told me.

“That’s probably true,” I sniffed.

“Are you ok to go back?” she asked me in a small voice.

I wiped the tears from my face, blew my nose into some toilet paper, and made my way into the classroom, with Cosey by my side.  Even though there were not any visible tears on my face, it could easily be inferred that I had been crying.  My puffy red eyes and quick sniffs were no secret.  Almost everybody stared at me while I walked back to my carpet square.  I was ok though after Cosey talked some sense into me and I realized how silly the situation really was, I was fine.  As I always was when Cosette Walsh was there.

May

Nothing is different about today, regular school routine, recess was amusing, and my lunch was the regular PB and J.  School finished in a heartbeat, my mom waiting outside the doors in the same spot, as usual, I could tell something was wrong.  Something about the way she was sitting and her facial expression gave it all away.

“How was your day honey?” my Mom asked me as usual.

“It was good, and I got to play with my favorite doll today,” I answered carefully.

 We walk back to the car, even though I’m young I can tell something is wrong.  This will not be an ordinary day.

“What’s wrong?” I chirp hoping that the enthusiasm is contagious.

“I’ll tell you in the car,” my mom looks down to me and gives me the sad smile.

The suspense eats at me as we continue to walk, I knew that smile.  I had only seen it once before, and that smile followed with very bad news.  I try to focus on my footsteps and my breathing, to distract myself from the news I was about to receive.  I find myself longing to be in the car to hear the news, but when we reach the car, I long to still be walking.  Mom opens the door so she can strap me into the car.  I gently sit in my booster seat.  My mom plops into the driver's seat and begins to take off.

“You know Cosette,” my mom asks me.

“Yes, I know who Cosette is,” I’m starting to get worried because obviously, I know who Cosette is.

“The school year is almost over Audrey,” my mom tells me.

I’m frustrated and confused, why is she telling me things that I already know?  I take a moment to consider what I say next, “I know that I’ll be going into first grade with Cosette.”

“Honey, that’s the thing, Cosette is being held back a year,” my mom explained.

“What are you talking about, what does that mean?” I’m so confused and thoughts swirl around my head like a tornado.

“Cosey will be in kindergarten again, and you’ll go to first grade, so you won’t be in the same grade as Cosette.  Which means you probably won't see her as often,” she explains to me slowly picking her words very carefully so she doesn’t upset me, but that time has passed.

I burst into tears, it’s hard to breathe, it is almost as if someone is squeezing my heart.  This can’t be happening.  My first true friend…

 

 


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