Simon

Mum cut herself again.

It’s the third time this week. But this seems to happen every time when she is not cooking. It happens. It happens that you cut yourself whilst cutting cabbage, fruits or meats.

I like watching mum cook dinner, because she smiles at me, although not always.  Sometimes she tells me to go watch cartoons, and I would go up to my room instead to play with Simon. For some reason it bothers mum that I don’t like cartoons and that I spend most of the time in my room.

She just made me stay downstairs, because I said I was going to talk to Simon about what I did in school. She is not happy with me right now.

What can I do, if she believes everything the principle says? I was just defending myself for the first time.

She has bags under her eyes, but she still looks pretty to me.

“Kevin?”

“Yes, mum?”

“Are you hungry? Do you want to help prepare dinner?”

 

She is going to prepare some soup! She puts a stool in front of the sink, so I’m tall enough to rinse the cabbage for her.

“How old is Simon?” she asks.

“My age.”

“What does he want from you?”

“He just wants to play, mum.”

After I have finished, she puts the cabbage into a pot and fills it with water. She strokes my spikey hair as the water is running. She has started putting gel in my hair every morning, saying it looks good and makes me look like the other boys in school.

“Why don’t you introduce me to Simon?” she asks.

“He is shy.”

“Do your friends know about him?”

“What friends?”

I jump off the stool and motion towards the stove. Maybe I can turn it on to cook the cabbage. I’ve seen mum do it. I press and turn the burner switch as I press the ignition at the same time, but the fire won’t start. I kick against the oven door several times.

“Kevin! Easy!”

I didn’t mean to get her upset. She looks worried now and scared. I don’t know how to ensure mum that I only want to help.

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s, ok, it’s ok. Why don’t you…”

The water in the pot is running over. For a second she forgets how to turn off the water and starts swearing.

“I’m sorry,” she says.

“It’s ok.”

A few lines of water are leaking down the cupboard onto the floor.

“I’ll introduce him to you, ok? After dinner.”

 

We are having a nice dinner in front of the TV. Goofy is driving a car. Mum keeps pointing at scenes that she finds funny, but I am not laughing.

After dinner, she says that I don’t have to wash up, instead, she sends me up to my room to tell Simon that she’s coming up to say hi.

I slowly walk up the stairs and find a mini soldier from my collection on the hallway. Mum likes the boys at my school, but she doesn’t know them like I do. She even invited Tim around one day without knowing that all he wanted was to steal Kevin’s and my mini soldiers. Kevin didn’t appreciate it and punched Tim in the face for me.

I open the door to my room and turn on the lights.

I change my baggy trousers to jeans and my superman t-shirt to a black sweater. I comb my hair straight in the mirror, as I don’t like the spikey hair. Lastly I change my slippers to my black shoes, which I wear to school.

Mum knocks on the door.

“Come in.” I say.

“Kevin?”

“No, I’m Simon.”

 

 

by Paula Deckard (c) 2004-2005

 

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