Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What are you wearing?

"What are you wearing?"

Unfortunately, it wasn't a handsome man on the other end of the telephone with me, it was somebody's mother. Shemekia had told her that she was late coming home today because she'd been with me, helping me close up my classroom for the summer.

She hadn't. I hadn't seen her all day, in fact.

"Really?" she said. "Because she claims she was with you for four hours and you were helping her get her cell phone back."

I laughed. Four hours? I was pretty sure I'd have remembered that.

"You'd think Shemekia would remember that, too," she replied. "In fact, if she'd spent such a long time with you today, you'd think she'd even know what you were wearing. What are you wearing?"

I looked down at my outfit. A blue shirt and green skirt. White sandals.

I heard her turn to Shemekia and ask the question. "What?" I heard Shemekia's voice in the background. "How should I know what she was wearing? I wasn't paying attention."

"Okay," her mother said. "But you'd probably remember how she was wearing her hair. How did you wear your hair today, Miss Baader?"

Down, I said. Pulled back with a headband because of the heat.

"Huh," said her mother. "A girl who spent four hours with you should remember that, don't you think? I mean, if she'd been with you this whole time, she'd know. What did her hair look like Shemekia?" She didn't even give Shemekia time to answer. "You don't know? How curious. See, Shemekia thinks I was born her mother. She doesn't understand that I was once a teenager too. She doesn't understand that her mother is an investigator."

I can see that.

"I want to thank you, Miss Baader, for spending all that time with Shemekia today. It must have been so important because she remembers so much about it."

I laughed. Tell Shemekia that I'll see her in the fall. She's got me for English again next year.

"Oh, I will," she said. "And I'll see you, too. Next open school night, I'll make a point of it. Shemekia's going to know that we've got her on all sides, you and I. You have a good summer, Miss Baader."

You, too. You too.


Hillabee said...

That was so funny. I am in the library laughing hysterically. I think Shemeika's mother is golden!

Cecilia Baader said...

You should see what happened today. Read "The Investigator" for the rest of this story.