Fun With Fiction

A recent piece:

“You’re changing schools because you need to get ahead.”  Mother lifts her coffee cup and drinks.

I am not sure what I am supposed to get ahead of, exactly, but I do not question her.

She looks at me and tilts her head to the side. She reads my expression even though I have tried to  conceal my confusion.

“You can’t fall behind, you know?”

I do not know, but I nod anyway. What I do understand is that she is firm about me changing schools. I have learned not to question Mother, especially while she is on her first cup of coffee.

“You’ll like it. There will be lots of kids there. Smart kids like you. And a nice teacher. More important things to learn. It will be fun. It will be a good place for you.”

I am not convinced, but I notice Mother is reaching here; coming up with arguments on the spot. I hear it in her tone; she is less sure of herself than she wants me to know. That is why she keeps talking.

I am curious how getting ahead and falling behind mean something similar in her mind. I am not a fan of paradoxes. But I need to let this go for now.

The important part of this conversation is that Mother is right, and I need to fall in line. Remember what happened when I tried to question her?

I can sort though my questions later, in the quiet of my mind. Right now, I know what I need to do.

I smile and watch her pour another coffee. “I understand. The new school will be fun.”

Mother smiles. “That’s my good girl.”

I have done well. Maybe this school will be fun. Maybe there will be other smart kids like me and a nice teacher. And maybe, just maybe the new school will help me get ahead or at the very least, not fall behind.

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