Two good things happened today. Sort of.

First, yesterday evening I got a text that my extension was approved at long last, and I dutifully printed out, signed, and scanned the very last piece of paper. That felt good. One more piece of certainty in my life, which I do really, really need.

Then a package came. It’s for C, and I thought it might never come. So I went and picked it up from the post office. It was a shirt and some other things. The shirt came from a long conversation I had with C in October, about never wanting thing because nothing is ever hers. Well, the shirt was completely wrong. Too small, wrong colour, wrong fabric. Oh, well. You try, I guess.

I showed it to her on the assembly ground inside a sack still and knew it was wrong. And I guess I just felt so sad. This is life with feelings it seems.

Later, I called her into the staff room. I was alone, eating my lunch. I had vague thoughts of checking notebooks or I don’t know what. I was sad and wanted to be alone. Anyway, I think it makes a difference, the kind of C I get, whether she is alone, or feels she has an audience. At least if I figure into things.

So I said I’m sorry it’s all wrong. I reminded her of the conversations, and I guess she hadn’t connected it. It’s a fault I have, actually, she remembers these things, but they don’t come immediately to mind. They do for me. I see her, and I think immediately of the last conversation we had, the last interaction. The activities in between fall away to some extent. I pick up where we left off. A conversation we had 2 months ago comes immediately to mind as soon as there is a reminder of it, but it’s not like that for her. Probably because she is still only 13. Probably also I’m far more single-minded than almost anyone else on earth and she’s, well, maybe average.

I got a smile when she remembered. I showed it to her. I said it’s completely wrong. She said, “It won’t fit.” No, it really won’t. I made her try something of mine on to see how much bigger she was than me, but at that point we were deep in the midst of C having mixed feelings about me because her whole grade was saying we were dating (a rumour I have not reminded her that she herself may have started). She wouldn’t allow me to come to her house, she wouldn’t come to mine. The whole figuring her size out thing was very difficult. Not a huge surprise, I guess, that I got it wrong. But I got a smile from her when she remembered the whole series of conversations about the shirt. That was nice.

I said, “I wanted to get something special for you, because you are special to me.” And I got this kind of flip. I don’t know what it was: a smile, and a downward tilt of her head, a laugh, and something she did with her foot. Like a skip standing in one place. Something like that. It was cute, but it also told me she got something of the intention of the shirt, even if the shirt was wrong.

Then we talked about going to the Capitol City, because I talked to the logistics guy in the morning and he said we could do the road permit stuff in the Capitol City. It didn’t need to be done ahead of time. At the moment, it doesn’t matter whether C goes to football camp for the holidays, or if she goes to her village or to stay with her evil stepdad. I only need to know if I should buy one bus ticket or two bus tickets.

I said maybe we’ll go on the 22nd. She said it was okay. She’ll go to her village from 19th = 21st. “Just for three days?” They are having a 3-day annual festival. Oh, yes. That would be a good reason to go. “When do you want to go, C? It doesn’t matter.”

The 25th.

Let’s see. She’ll ask her mom.

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