Previously published in Bubblews
To make matters worse Renate had to change schools. The white teacher in the second grade classroom said the N word when she was playing “eenie meany miney mo.”
Renate was upset because she was a black girl and her mother talked with the school but still decided Renate should go to another school. So Carly was left on her own and she was quite miserable. She was only seven years old and she loved that teacher.
It was the first time that she was to see racism in action. The teacher was only 17 years old herself and probably did not think about what she was saying to a classroom full of both Black and White children. The teacher served her year but was not rehired the following year.
Now that Renate had changed schools Carly did not get to see her as as often and when she did it was mostly on the weekend. However it was never really the same for Carly she still was not able to make friends at school.
Carly would fake being sick so that she wasn’t forced to go to recess where the kids still laughed at her and called her fatty. That worked for awhile until the teacher got wise to that and made her go out to recess with the rest of the children. However, Carly just stood around and watched the other children play hoping she would not be called names or laughed at.
In the 4th grade things changed somewhat for the better. A new girl came to the school from Nova Scotia and the girl named Brenda lived at the end of Carly’s street. This was just perfect for Carly she could see her friend in school and at home whenever she wanted to.
It wasn’t too long before the friendship was on shaky grounds. Carly was a loving child and she wanted Renate, her best friend, and Brenda to be friends. She didn’t want to pick sides. She had hoped that the three of them could play together. Carly and her friends were nine years old by this time.
But things did not turn out that way. A short time after the three got together there was always an argument and Carly was the one left out in the cold. Carly stayed home and was alone most of the time. She was very miserable because her friends didn’t want to play with her. They were always off by themselves and as we all know. “Two is company and three is a crowd.”
Eventually another young girl came from Nova Scotia and was also in Carly’s class. Carly quickly made friends with Marcie. They remained friends into their teenage years.
Carly’s grandmother didn’t like having kids in the house and so Carly went to Marcie’s house to visit. In the beginning Marcie was living with her mother and then when she was about 13 years old Marcie’s mother returned to Nova Scotia and Marcie went to live with her father. Carly didn’t care too much for Marcie’s mother; just like the kids in school Marcie’s mother always called her fat and told her she should lose weight.
Carly didn’t much care for Marcie’s father either. He also called her fat. She first met him when he was living with a much older man in an old run down flat. Now Marcie’s father had a woman he was living with named Jill. They also had a baby together, Jill had her two kids from her former marriage, and Marcie’s father had an older son of his own. It was pretty crowded in that tiny house but Carly never noticed. She was just so happy to be able to have a friend she could share things with.
Yet another girl came to the school from Nova Scotia called Claudine. She first befriended Marcie but later reluctantly accepted Carly who you could say what Marcie’s sidekick. Claudine was suspicious of white girls as friends. In the part of Nova Scotia where she came from the two races were suspicious of each other and never associated. Marcie was able to convince her that Carly was okay.
Then all of a sudden Marcie announced when she was 16 that she was going home to her mother in Nova Scotia. This came as a big shock to Carly because Marcie never warned her in advance. It hurt Carly because she thought she shared everything with her best friend. Apparently this wasn’t so. Oh yes she still had Claudine but Claudine now had a boyfriend which she eventually married and nothing after that was the same. So once again Carly was alone.
However, Jill was very nice to Carly and invited her over to keep her company. At first Carly thought it was strange. Even though Jill was much younger than Marcie’s father; she was still 11 years older than Carly. Cary was just 16 and Jill was 27. Marcie’s dad must have been in his 60s.
To be continued
Source: my own creation