The school didn’t hear her, but her parents did

17 novembre 2009



My name is not important. I’m a girl, I’m four.

I’m a four year old girl.

I have long blond hair, fair skin and blue eyes. I’m a princess, I’m queen, I’m a star. I’m really tall for my age, and most people think I’m older, like, 5. That’s old.

My best friend, PrincessZoulou, is the same age I am. We’re the same age, we’re the same height, we both have blue eyes. PrincessZoulou and I are like twin sisters, except that she has short dark hair. We share everything, our toys, our dreams, our songs, and our lipstick.

We started school last year, we were in the same class.

Last year, I was a three year old girl, I was a three year old princess with dreams and friends.

Last year, I met R. He was a boy, the same age as I although even much taller. I don’t really talk to boys, so I didn’t l talk to him. One day, R pushed me from the slides. I fell hard and had dark bruises on my side. It hurt.

I thought it was a joke, I thought it would stop.

It didn’t.

He also pushed and bruised PrincessZoulou, so that made two of us. There was us, and there was the rest of the playground. They watched, in sympathy, but they did nothing. Relentlessly, PrincessZoulou told our teacher, our headmistress, her parents. They punished, they panicked, they growled courteously but firmly. A shield was finally built around us, I was safe.

This year, it’s different. PrincessZoulous is not in my class. And PrincessZoulou is not a victim. Not anymore.

The first week of school, R tried to strangle her. We were at recess, we were all playing. We were all princesses and kings and superheroes, and R tried to strangle my best friend. He put his hand around her neck and he squeezed. She choked, she struggled. She broke free, she broke away and she ran. And the playground watched and did nothing. And the adults there saw nothing. But she told, she accused, she showed the marks. Late that night, her mother cried and swore and used forbidden words. 

The school didn’t hear her, but her parents did. They came to the school, they were angry but they spoke low, they were calm but they were strong.

This year, PrincessZoulou’s mother told her she was allowed to fight back. She had to fight back, she had to hit back. It was a necessity, it was an order. And so she did, again and again (she had a lot of practice with her brothers), and she won.

But no one told me.

This year, PrincessZoulou hit R in the eye and held her ground. This year, there was only one victim left. There was only me left. As the words failed me, as the boy held me in pain, I developed exema, asthma. I stopped being hungry for food or adventures or life, this year my eyes are sad and I get myself sick enough to avoid school.

Today, things are different. Today, PrincessZoulou looked at me in the eyes. « you have to tell your parents« , she said, « you must« . 

And I did. 

Finally, the words came free, and the tears, and the admission that I wasn’t as clumsy as I’d said, that I lied. I never fell down the chair on myself, I never tripped on my shoelaces, these bruises aren’t mine. And today, my parents told me I wasn’t guilty, and I was allright being myself. And I went to sleep, at last, in peace, and as I slept, my mother cried and swore and used forbidden words. 

The school didn’t hear me, but my parents did.

Tonight, my parents called PrincessZoulou’s parents. My best friend kept my secrets, she never told her parents. Well, she never outright told them anything, but they knew enough. They knew enough, and they know enough what to do and who to call. Tonight there were long talks, long phone calls, and hard decisions made by adults. I am unaware of them. I am safe, I am in peace, I am asleep.

Tomorrow, I don’t know if R will be back at school. For the past 14 months, the headmistress has asked his parents to have him consult a special doctor, but they never listened. « Nothing is wrong with our son » they said, « these girls are sissies« .

« Nothing is wrong with our son« , they said, « and nothing is wrong at home. Mind your own business. »

Well, I don’t know what « sissies » means, and I don’t know if R’s older sister and mother are or aren’t this word. I know that R must be hurting somewhere. He must be, or he wouldn’t turn his pain on others. He must, or he wouldn’t know how to exactly hurt me. 

He’s only four years old, as I.

Tomorrow, I will go back to school, and I will learn. Not about pain, not about being a victim. Tomorrow, I will go to school with PrincessZoulou and we will learn school stuff, we will play, we will talk, we will share our lipstick regardless of H1N1.


We will be strong.

(PS : MrsZoulou is very proud of her girl and loves her very much)


2 commentaires

  1. I am proud of both little girls – how very scary. I hope the little boy gets the treatment he so clearly needs. I am glad that Princess Zoulou and her friend are both safe now. I feel badly, very badly, for the boy and his family. What a tough road they have ahead. But your daughter and her friend have already proven to the world how strong they are!

  2. It’s « following it’s course ». We’re now hoping the adults can provide a constructive and positive solution. It’ll take time and it’s far from over. But at least it’s in the open and there’s communication.

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