Bandit just doesn`t understand...
“Anyone got a problem?” Ray ask the class in a calm voice, but there was something hidden behind it, something I couldn’t quite place. Anger maybe?
“Oh, no! No problem!” The dark haired teacher flashed us all a big smile, one I couldn’t help but feel was a little over eager and fake. She turns her attention to the class now, smile still in place.
“There is no problem, is there class?” it didn’t really sound like a question, more of an order. The children that were all around the same age as me all shock their heads, even the one boy who had been glaring. Even though everyone was smiling now, I still couldn’t shake the feelings of confusion and discomfort I had. I know it sounds stupid, but I really wasn’t comfortable in this room, I would even go as far to say that I was maybe even a little scared.
The teacher clears her throat and introduces herself as Miss. Williams. I knew already that I didn’t like her, which was unusual for me as I often liked everybody I met. Daddy squeezes my hand, uneasy smile on his face. I can tell he doesn’t like it here either.
“This must be Bailey?” Miss. Williams asks, bending down so she is level with me. My eyes narrow slightly.
“Bandit.” Frank speaks for the first time since getting out of the car. The teacher holds up her hands in apology, and smiles at me.
“Bandit. What a…unusual name.” Daddy`s grip on my hand grows tighter. What was wrong with my name? I liked it, sure it wasn`t too common, but I liked being different. Daddy always told me that it was better to stand out than to fit in with everyone else and be a sheep.
Alicia and Mikey cough, drawing the attention away from my name.
“So, Miss. Williams, is there anywhere for Bandit to sit?” Alicia asks, pointing at the crowded tables taking up the majority of the stuffy room.
She points at a spare sit, telling me I was to sit there. I gulp and look up at everyone, hoping someone would say didn’t have to.
Alicia pulls me in for a quick hug, then Mikey and Ray do as well, all three wishing me luck and hoping I have a good day. I frown but say nothing, knowing their decisions were final. I was going to stay here whether I liked it or not. I didn’t.
“Have a good day, Bandit.” Frank kisses me on the top of my head, then glances up at daddy who does the same. Both have a very pained look on their faces as they leave the room.
Back at Mikey`s house
How could I do that? How could I leave her their like that? I knew she had to learn, but in a place like that I-
“Gee,” I felt something wrap around my waist. “She`ll be okay.” Frankie smiles at me, though I can tell he, like me has his doubts.
“It`s us they have the..Problem with.” He looks down at the floor. I nodded-he was right. That didn’t make me feel any better, in fact it made me feel worse. If Bandit was picked on in that place, it would be my fault. I was her dad, I was supposed to protect her, not be the reason for bad stuff to happen to her.
“Nothing will happen, She`ll have made a ton of friends already.” Alicia smiles warmly at me, no hint of the uncertainty me and frank had. I knew I should believe her, after all, what was a few kids gonna do? But I already had a sinking feeling in my gut…
The tense atmosphere had not fully left yet, but this silence at the table I was sitting at was killing me.
“Hi, I`m Bandit.” I smile at a blonde haired girl with glasses and pigtails, introducing myself.
The girl nods once then looks around nervously, as though not wanting to have been seen acknowledging me.
Frowning and feeling even more confused and slightly hurt turn to a girl with short brown hair and blue eyes. “Hi, I`m Bandit.” I smile again, but his one doesn’t even smile back or nod. She just stares through me as though I wasn’t there.
I didn’t get it, what had I done? It was my first day here, I had barley spoken and people already didn’t like me. What was their problem?
I turn around to face the front of the class, where the teacher was standing in front of a whiteboard, the timetable for the day written on it.
“So who wants to read aloud to the class?” she asks, looking around the room. No one raised their hand.
Not bragging, but I have always been a good, confident reader so I raise my hand, desperate to sow them all that I was a good kid I stead of whatever they thought of me.
“No one?” Miss. Williams asks, staring through me like the girl had. Thinking she hadn’t seen my hand, I wave it in the air. Nothing. “What a pity, no one wants to read.”
Just as I was about to say something, the bell rings, signalling a break. It was probably just as well, I didn’t want to get into trouble for being rude. It seemed that the teacher, along with the other kids didn’t like me already.
I exit the class room quickly, not wanting to spend another second in it.
“What a freak.” Someone mutters from across the tarmac playground which was covered in bright drawings and there was a shed I presumed held toys at the end of it.
“I hear her mama dumped her with her dad `cause she didn’t want her.” I freeze, I hadn’t seen my mama for ages. I didn’t want to either. She had been horrible to daddy, Frankie, me and everyone else.
I want to get away from whoever is speaking, but at the same time want to hear more, needing to hear more. Twisted, I know.
“Well I heard that her dad is an even bigger freak that she is. And it was on the news that he`s getting married.” I hear one girl say “so.” And more laughter.
“To another man.”
“Someone in the band.” More “ews” and laughter.
I lower my head, hair covering my eyes, hiding the tears threatening to fall. Why was everyone being so mean? What was so wrong? My daddy and Frankie loved each other-I knew they did. I also knew that they didn’t love my mummy and Jamia. Why were these kids acting like this? I was the same age as them, and I wasn’t. I was happy for daddy and Frankie.
“My mama and daddy say it’s disgusting and wrong. And that they`ll burn in Hell.” There was more laughing and agreement, the tears slipped down my check silently.
“Hey, isn’t that her?!” the group that had been talking turn to face me, not looking at all sorry or ashamed at being heard.
“You’re weird and your family is too!” the pigtailed girl from earlier jeers at me and I lose it.
“Take it back!” I run towards her and lunge, fist aiming for her face, wanting her to hurt. Everyone had always told me fighting was bad, that it didn’t solve anything, but right now I didn’t care. No one insulted my family and got away with it.
“BANDIT WAY!” a grumpy looking, grey haired teacher rushes over, positively fuming. I can’t remember being as scared in school ever. Not even when Ember and me chucked a paper airplane at a teachers head. In our defence though, Frankie had dared us to do it, claiming he had done the same when he was young.