Friday, July 26, 2019

Winnie #1

“So, you’re God?” Heather asked as she stood with Winnie on the roof of her apartment building.

“Mmm, no. I’m more like Jesus. I’m a Christ. It’s a title, like doctor,” Winnie explained.

“Cool. Can you do any magic tricks like your moms?” Heather asked and waved her hands, like a stereotypically mocking of a magician.

“I don’t really do tricks. They’re miracles.”

"Call them what you want, you could basically become a superhero.”

“I’ve been thinking about that,” Winnie nodded. “I want to help my fellow man…”

“And woman.”

“…And I think I can really help out around school, the neighborhood, and the city.”

“Sometimes I do think a lot of people around here need Jesus,” Heather chuckled. Winnie chuckled as well. “Look at this: We got a woman Jesus Christ.”

Winnie and Heather smiled at each other.

Candace Small was already six foot three as a sophomore. She had very curly brown hair and beautiful brown eyes. Hyde Park High School was her sixth school in her fourteen years alive. She left her first school in third grade when her parents divorced, her second school in fifth grade because she and her mom were evicted, her third between six and seventh grade for the same reason, her fourth in eighth grade because she and her mom moved in with her new boyfriend and Candace was now here at Hyde Park due to choices in her life that made it impossible to remain with those other kids. Candace wanted this to be a new start but wasn’t sure if she’d be able to accomplish that. Candace waited outside the counselor’s office while see talked to another student.

“Winnie,” the counselor began. “We were reluctant to make you a student liaison because those are usually reserved for juniors and seniors but your passion for wanting to help plus references from Mr. Sullivan, Ms. Fanning, and your friends made us change our minds. We’re not giving you six kids like we give to our upper classmen but just one. Her name is Candace Small, she’s new this year and she’s had a rough go of it at school. She shares most of your classes and hopefully you two will become close friends,” the counselor explained.

“I’ll do the best I can. Thank you again for this opportunity.”

“Let’s go meet Candace,” the counselor stood up and the two of them left the office and approached Candace. “Candace, this is Winnie. She’s going to be your liaison. I hope you two get along very well. Please let me know if there is any problem.”

“I think we’ll be fine,” Candace said softly and stood up. Winnie stood at only five foot two so barely came up to Candace’s shoulders. “Winnie. Like Winnie-the-Pooh?”

“It’s short for Winnette. It was my grandmother’s name but yes, like Winnie-the-Pooh,” Winnie chuckled. “Come on, let’s go to first hour. Where are you from?”

“From Chicago. I’ve been bouncing around the city my entire life,” Candace said. “What about you?”

“From here. Well, it’s hard to explain. I live with my moms now but before last year I lived my grandpa and, I guess, an aunt. I don’t think she was related to us. It’s a long story.”

“Okay,” Candace chuckled but it came out as a weird grunt or groan. “I’m kind of hoping that this’ll be my last school. I’m tired of having to start over, make new friends.”

“I bet that would be tiring. I’m sorry you’ve had to switch schools so much. A lot of students here move a lot, usually because of money. Is that why you had to move? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“No. I got into some trouble and it became difficult to learn so administration and my parents thought it best to just move me,” Candace explained.

“Well, if you get into any trouble, let me or any of my friends know. I will do what I can to help you,” Winnie offered. “This is our first hour, science. My friend, Heather, is also in this class with us. She’s cool, you’ll like her.” Winnie opened the door and she and Candace went into the science room and sat near Heather. They were quiet and just listened to the teacher lecturing.

When Heather and Savannah were in math class together, Heather noticed that Savannah was humming and smiling as she was doing her work. Most of the other students were talking to each other and doing very little work but Savannah was actually working which made the humming and smiling seem out of place.

“Are you feeling okay, Savannah?” Heather asked.

Savannah turned and looked at Heather. “What? Yeah, I’m fine. Why?”

“You’re smiling way too much to be in math class and you’re humming and aren’t playing any music.”

“I’m in a good mood. I have a crush on someone,” Savannah said, whispering on the last half.

“Another crush? I guess it is Monday,” Heather laughed.

“I know but this is different,” Savannah said and scooted closer to Heather. “I have a crush on a girl.”

Heather was actually taken aback. Savannah was very into boys although she hadn’t really dated or been with a guy. She developed crushes on numerous boys just about every week but had never pulled the trigger on going out with one. “Why a girl?”

“It’s the way she looks. And acts. She acts tough but she’s really sweet and funny,” Savannah began. “You just have to get to know her.”

Another student leaned back in their chair. “Are you talking about that new girl that’s been hanging out with Winnie?”

“What?” Savannah asked.

“No, somebody else. Why? What about the new girl?”

“I guess she’s a huge whore. She seduced a teacher at her last school and raped a boy at the one before that. It’s why she’s been to so many schools.”
Heather and Savannah looked at the student. “She’s underage. Even if she did seduce the teacher, he still raped her,” Heather said.

“But what about her raping the boy?”

“We weren’t there. We just have this gossip from, who told you?”

“Shana’s cousin goes to that girl’s last school. She’s a huge slut.”

“Hey, Winnie,” Heather sat down next to Winnie at lunch. Savannah sat on the other side. Candace was also at the table, her food was at her seat, but she was in restroom. “Have you heard any rumors about Candace?”

“Eh, one or two. Why?”

“What have you heard? Because what Savannah and I heard suggests that someone should be in jail,” Heather said.

“What?” Winnie leaned in closer to talk to Heather.

“Candace was either raped by a teacher or raped someone. Maybe both. The general description is that Candace is a huge slut,” Heather quickly explained.

Winnie nodded and looked around the cafeteria. Her anger quickly subsided and she took two deep breathes. Candace returned to the table and sat down. “Hey, Savannah. Hi…Heather, right?”

“Yep,” Heather smiled at her.

Winnie continued looking around the cafeteria and began to see students turning and looking at Candace. Some were pointing and staring and talking. Winnie tried to hear what they were saying but all the conversations ran together.

“Winnie? Are you okay?” Candace asked.

“They’re talking about you,” Winnie gritted her teeth and whispered to Candace.

Candace turned and looked around the cafeteria. She heard several key words that assured her that they were talking about her. “No, I don’t want to do this again,” Candace angrily muttered. She quickly stood up and slammed her tray down on the table. “What the hell? Why do you all have to keep talking about it?”

The cafeteria got deadly silent. Heather and Savannah sat with stunned looks on their face. “Is this happening? Is she making a speech like in TV shows?” Heather asked.

“Candace…” Winnie began but let Candace keep talking.

“Yes, I’ve had sex. I’m sure many of you have too. I’ve slept with nearly two dozen guys and that includes a four-way. I was raped by a teacher but because of idiots like you who blame the victim, I didn’t press charges. I wanted to get even so I took my anger out on someone else. I’m not proud of what I’ve done but I am not ashamed of it and how dare you all judge me before any of you even know me.”

She was crying but still holding it together. Winnie smiled and stood up. She walked over to Candace and stood next to her. “Candace is right, it is not our place to judge her or to shame her. In some way, we are all sexually active and it is fine. None of you would like to be talked about like this so why are you doing it to her?” Winnie paused, wanting to hear agreement. “It’s now all out there. You know the story. We can move on.”

The cafeteria remained silent.

“Would you like to add anything, Candace?” Winnie asked.

Candace shook her head and sat down at her food. Winnie rubbed her back and went back to her seat. The cafeteria slowly started getting louder and within a couple minutes everybody was back to talking. Winnie, Candace, Savannah and Heather continued eating, their lunch time now dwindled. The four of them ate in silence for several minutes before Heather spoke.

“Savannah’s a dyke!” she exclaimed.