The Lies

Back in December, I found out that one of my “Katrina” kids was an orphan. She lives with foster parents. I found this out because the day before we went on vacation, one of the coaches sent a kid up to my room with a gift for her. The gift had no name or anything. The kid, who brought it, secretly told me that the coach didn’t want my Katrina kid to know who had sent it, to simply say it was from Santa. When they announced that it was time to go to homeroom class, I called her over to my desk and gave her the gift. She didn’t ask any questions, she just took the gift and sauntered on out of my room.

When I took my homeroom class into the gym to watch the Orchestra concert, the kids sat on the bleachers so I was able to converse with other teachers who were standing on the sidelines. The coach was in there. She asked me if I’d given the present to the kid and asked if she’d liked it. I told her she didn’t open it in front of me. In fact, I saw her put it in her locker after she left my class.

“She talks to me a lot. Sometimes she comes to my office and she talks and talks. She lost her parents. You know that she lives with foster parents? They have a lot of kids and there is always a lot of noise around.”

So when coach had asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she said, “Something to listen to my music on.”

“What do you mean?”

“You know Coach, one of those CD Players. The ones with the headphones.”

Fast forward to Valentine’s Day, we were sitting around after we’d read the novel. I think the kids were working on some kind of activity. Katrina kid sits right by my desk. I was sitting at my desk grading and she says, “Ms. whatcoo making for dinner?”

“Steaks I think.”

“Mmmm, I love steaks. You know, my mom defrosted some but she ain’t make ‘em. She said she was too lazy. Can you save me a steak?”

“I’ll try.”

"You know, I’m an only child. And my mom always says she ain’t got nothing for me for Valentine’s Day and when I get home she always has a surprise for me.”

Last week, on the mock writing exam, she turned in an essay that talked about her mom, dad, brother, and sister leaving Louisiana.
I’d like to believe that she was telling the coach the truth and lying to me, but it’s hard to tell.


chumitas said...

Maybe the girl sometimes becomes dillusional and wants to fantasize she still has a mother, que no?
It kinda doesn't sound right to say katrina kid.
I have met some refugees and at my university we called them, Gulf Coast Scholars. People treated them better, and or we called them katrina victims. anyway,
i know you're just trying to save time, but it just didn't feel right.
I feel so bad for them. She might have lost her parents, and home. I feel so bad that most people were african american. The reason is, african americans are descendants of people who didn't want to come to this country and 200 years later, this country still can't provide them with safe homes, and lives, they still have to work harder to have stability. Proof of that is more african americans have been left out on the cold than anyone else.

La Brown Girl said...

I used Katrina kid for lack of a better word. Some people around here refer to them as guests. To me, they're just like the rest of us, inhabitants of the city that need a little extra help.

I do think she fantasizes. I think the story she told the coach was the real one. I have issues about going to ask what's the deal with a kid unless I have problems with them. I ask them stuff but I draw the line where they want to. In any case, my heart breaks for this girl. The way she writes about New Orleans and how she longs to go back, if you scroll down, you can see I can relate.

Dark Daughta said...

Of course, there's also the reality that she may have been some sort of trauma victim before katrina. The hurricane could be one aspect of what she's actually faced. As is often the case with girl children grown to womanhood, there are multiple layers of trauma that we experience from very young up until whenever.