On Saturday night, I was really worried about C. Later, I thought perhaps I had blown it out of proportion and she was struggling, but the main fear was really my own and my attachment issues. Not so.

I came back to the staffroom on Monday at lunchtime and Maths Ma’am told me I was wanted at the high school. Well, I knew something had happened. I knew she had done something. I called around until I got ahold of live person. She had snuck out of the hostel at 10 pm to meet a boy. So I went.

She had asked me for a recharge at 9:20 or so. Maybe that’s why she asked me, but she told me when I got to the school that he had called her. I don’t really know. She did not have her lying voice on at that particular moment. I don’t know. And when I asked her later who she had been calling at night, she maintained it was the older boy who is her friend and not a love interest. And it’s possible. It’s possible she reached to everyone. Me, the older boy, the boyfriend she claims she doesn’t like. It’s possible she just ran through every possible source of soothing she could think of. I don’t know. The fact is, though, that I kind of knew what she was doing, and I have to wonder if I had responded differently if things might have turned out differently.

Anyway, it’s a serious matter. She is not expelled, but she will have to live with the shame of it. She will have to live with her classmates and her relatives and the townspeople thinking she is a slut.

It was a really difficult afternoon. I spent, I guess 2 or 3 hours at her school, mostly waiting and talking to C and a lot of it she was crying. Not sobbing hysterically, but crying. After an hour or more of deliberation, the discipline committee delivered their judgment. I talked to C a little bit after that and then left. I got back to my school around the time the students were leaving. VP Ma’am wanted me to go with her up to the government offices, so we went. I thought this would help me, but it made it worse. For a long time. And so I was already upset and she did pretty much everything I think a person can do to upset someone else and then I went home around 6:30 and tried to calm down.

She said C was worthless again and again. That was the main thing. I cannot understand how someone can say that about a child, first of all, someone who is still growing and developing and changing, or how an adult can believe that that child’s life and self has no hope and no potential. I really don’t. But I also don’t know how she could say that to me. It felt like a relentless attack for hours.

Then she went on to catastrophize, that at year end, if C doesn’t have “real” passing grades, no one will throw in a point or two to get her to Class 10. Well, the fact is, it’s April and exams are in December. Many things could happen between now and then. I don’t know why she would want me to start worrying about December and worry about it in the most negative light possible on top of that. She said if something like this happens again, her parents will blame me. Certainly they will. But it might not happen again. Also, I don’t think very kindly of them either. At this particular moment, I would like to kill them personally with my bare hands. I think that would be really satisfying. I don’t know why they have abused C—and this is clearly coming out of baby trauma—but they have. This is how kids become like this. C has alluded to some things to me or others, but it is also just the way a child turns out like this. You give them an attachment disorder and problems regulating emotions through severe abuse or neglect at a young age. If they don’t like me, so be it. At least I tried, and the fact that I tried might make a difference in C’s future even if the immediate outcome is disaster. The disaster might be inevitable. It might be my care was the only good part of it. The thing is, too, I can just leave. I care about their opinion only insomuch as they control my access to C. If I am going to lose access anyway, they can just really fuck off.

She went on to tell me they are also talking smack about C in the principal’s office, that I should have adopted a different child who would behave better. Thanks. I am glad to know I have so much love and support on my side. That’s really inspiring.

I left her, and she told me not to worry. It struck me as intensely ironic. You have told me every fearful problem you can imagine and now I am not to worry.

Remind me not to talk to her about C again. It makes things quite a lot worse.