Ryleigh continues to feel under pressure from her Mum, whilst Scarlett is still completely oblivious. Meanwhile, Scarlett redeems more than a few coupons at the Fall Festival….
Ryleigh stared down at the page in front of her. The numbers made no sense. Who cared about fractions and long division. It’s not like I’m ever going to use it she thought to herself miserably. When most children had trouble with their homework they asked their parents for help and with a Mother as a High School teacher, Ryleigh knew most of the kids in her class assumed she got help at home. But the reality was, this was Tuesday’s homework, it was Friday and Ryleigh had got up at 5:30 in the morning to work on it without her Mum knowing. I could have asked Mum, Ryleigh thought, But she would have been too tired and would have just said no. That or yelled at me for not doing it. Ryleigh couldn’t win. Having a teacher for a Mum was nothing like it was cracked up to be.
An hour later and Ryleigh had finished her homework. Crossing her fingers, she hoped it was alright. Knowing anything less than full marks wouldn’t please her Mum. Ryleigh felt under pressure to maintain her grades. Anything less than an A+ and her Mum would be asking questions. Thankfully though Scarlett now taught at the high school so that relieved some of the pressure Ryleigh felt. It had been awful when Scarlett worked at the same school Ryleigh attended. The threat of “I’ll speak to your Mum at lunchtime” lingered over Ryleigh constantly.
Scarlett hurried out the door that morning barely giving Ryleigh a second glance but she did promise to meet Ryleigh in the library after school.
After school that day, true to her word Ryleigh found Scarlett already in the community library. This was their usual meeting spot. Ryleigh wasn’t much of a reader. Maybe if I hang around in one long enough I will suddenly love books. Ryleigh couldn’t help but wonder if that was her Mum’s school of thought.
Saying hello to Scarlett, Ryleigh pulled up a chair and sat down at the pc next to her.
Today in School Ryleigh’s class had been given a project. They were to get involved in an activity away from the classroom, the students were to choose from a list of which activity they wanted to participate in and Ryleigh really wanted something fun. To her dismay though, when she logged on to the school website there was only one option left.
Ballet. Ballet. Crap.
“Oh no!” Ryleigh exclaimed, much louder than she intended.
Scarlett looked up from the screen next to her. “Whats the matter Darling?” She asked.
“The only school activity left is ballet” Ryleigh spat the last word in disgust. As if it were a rude word. Which to Ryleigh it was. “That’s wonderful!” Scarlett smiled. “You are such a good little dancer, you will do well!”
Ryleigh sighed. Mum would love this wouldn’t she? “Mum I don’t want to do ballet” Ryleigh said sadly. “I told you before I didn’t enjoy it”
“You will enjoy it this time,” Scarlett said with a wave of her hand. “After all, a lot of the girls in your class will be doing it” Why couldn’t she understand? Why wouldn’t she listen to her? “I don’t want to do it” Ryleigh said quietly.
“You have to do it,” Scarlett said shrugging. “Its part of the curriculum”
“No Ryleigh. Discussion closed”
Ryleigh bit her lip, trying not to cry. Her Mum could be so mean! She would do go to stupid ballet but only because she didn’t have a choice, but that didn’t mean she would have to enjoy it because her Mum said so.
“The Fall Festival is soon” Scarlett said brightly changing the subject. “Mmm” Ryleigh mumbled, her thoughts were elsewhere.
“Why don’t we go after school one day?” Scarlett continued brightly ignoring her Daughters indifference. “It will be fun!” Ryleigh agreed. With a bit of luck I’ll break a leg and not have to go to ballet She couldn’t help but think.
The day of the festival dawned and Ryleigh and Scarlett both had the day off from school. As promised, Scarlett and Ryleigh attended the festival. Ryleigh was feeling better. There had been no mention of ballet and classes hadn’t started yet. Ryleigh enjoyed spending time with her Mum. It made a change from school nights, when Scarlett would be too tired to do anything fun. If only it was like this always Ryleigh thought wistfully as they both took part in the apple bobbing competition. It was nice just the two of them. Scarlett hadn’t mentioned Kian again and Ryleigh didn’t want to bring it up. They didn’t need him. Things were fine just the two of them.
As the sun set and night fell the pair were still at the Fall Festival. They had a good day. After apple bobbing, pictures, going through the haunted house and getting her face painted, Ryleigh was starting to feel incredibly tired and when Scarlett suggested she go on home and she would follow her in ten minutes, Ryleigh didn’t argue. She was exhausted and she still had a little bit of homework to catch up on. Climbing into bed shortly after, Ryleigh fell asleep quickly.
Partly because Ryleigh was so tired, when she heard her Mum whisper outside her room, Ryleigh barely lifted her head from the pillow. Mum’s home she thought sleepily. Wait, what that someone else? Ryleigh opened her eyes and listened carefully. The voice came again. The voice was whispering so as not to be heard. Ryleigh strained to hear but the voice was not familiar. It was a mans voice. Ryleigh heard her Mum whisper back and her bedroom door close and Ryleigh fell asleep again once more.
At School the next day, Ryleigh wondered why all her classmates had looked as if they were guarding a secret from her. Conversations abruptly ended when she approached and there was a lot of giggling going on behind hands. At recess a kid in Ryleigh’s year strolled up to her, “Saw your Mum last night” the boy said and winked at her before walking away with his friends laughing. What was that about? Before Ryleigh could do anything else, her phone beeped inside her school bag. Pulling it out discreetly, Ryleigh looked at the screen. It was a Simstagram notification. Someone had tagged her in something.
Ryleigh wasn’t meant to have a Simstagram account. Her Mum would kill her if she knew. But all of Ryleigh’s class was on it and Ryleigh hadn’t wanted to be the odd one out. What her Mum wouldn’t know wouldn’t hurt her.
Opening up the app, a picture filled the small screen and Ryleigh let out a gasp.
Is this what Mrs Braverman calls extra credit? The post said and had tagged Ryleigh in it.
Ryleigh was horrified. This had to be yesterday at the Festival. But who was that guy? Ryleigh didn’t recognise him. Wait was he the man whispering to her Mum late last night?
Eww. Yuck. This had to be what everyone was laughing at. Laughing at Ryleigh. Because of her silly Mum. It wasn’t fair.
The day didn’t get better for Ryleigh. Classmates taunts echoed all day. “I didn’t know your Dad worked in a food stand” one classmate sneered. “Your Mum is easy” a strange boy called to Ryleigh in the lunch line. By 3pm Ryleigh was ready to cry. Her Mum was a laughing-stock and so was she. Ryleigh was meant to go to ballet class that afternoon but Ryleigh got on the school bus instead. Who cared about stupid ballet anyway? Ryleigh couldn’t face more girls giggling and talking about her behind her back.
As the bus pulled away from the School, Ryleigh was too wound up to care that her absence in ballet would be noticed and possibly reported back to her Mum at some stage.
Walking through the front door, Ryleigh was surprised to see her Mum standing at the cooker stirring something in a pot. “Hey Princess,” Scarlett said cheerfully. “Good Day at school?” Ryleigh just nodded. Her Mum seemed in a really good mood. So good in fact, she hadn’t noticed that Ryleigh was home early. At the same time though Ryleigh was still hurting from her classmate’s taunts all day and she wanted to talk to Scarlett about it. I have to. Ryleigh told herself firmly. If I had done something embarrassing and there was pictures of me everywhere Mum would say something well before she killed me for embarrassing her.
Taking her seat at the table, Ryleigh said nothing as Scarlett prattled on about the school fayre, parents night and some incident in the cafeteria that day. In fact it took Scarlett a while to notice there was something wrong with her Daughter. “Ryleigh whats wrong?” Scarlett asked gently. “Tell me about your day?”
This was it. Ryleigh hesitated. Well Mum the kids at school saw you kissing some guy and you are not only the talk of the school, you are now the subject of a thousand internet memes.
Maybe not. Honesty was always the best policy. Taking a deep breath Ryleigh spoke.
“Mum I saw this picture at school today…..”