“Oh, Hopey, what’s the matter?” Caroline asked the little girl who was weeping in the corner of the playground.
As a first grade teacher, Caroline had a child crying on her at least three times a week, but never with this much anguish in their little faces, and rarely ever during lunchtime.
The little girl just looked at Caroline with big brown eyes, and threw her arms around the teacher, before starting to sob into Caroline’s neck.
“Shh, shh, it’s going to be alright, Hope,” Caroline soothed, stroking her brown curls down.
As the little girl’s heartbreaking sobs subsided, and breathing return to normal, Caroline pulled away from the girl a little to look into her eyes again.
“Do you want to tell me what’s up?” Caroline asked.
“Eva was teasing me about not having a mum,” Hope choked out.
Caroline knew Hope’s family situation was less than normal. The little girl was picked up from school by a different family member every day of the week. From what Caroline had gathered, Hope lived with her father, two uncles, an aunt and an aunt by marriage, but her mom had passed away during childbirth.
“What was she saying, sweetie?” Caroline asked. Bullying was not tolerated at the school, so Caroline needed to nut out the problem to see whether it was a one time thing, or whether it was recurring.
“She said my mummy doesn’t love me, and that’s why I don’t have one. But my mummy’s actually dead.”
It was breaking Caroline’s heart watching the poor little girl confront the fact her mother was dead. Eva was from the third grade, so Caroline would have to talk to Bonnie, who was her teacher, about having a talk with her students regarding bullying, and picking on the younger students.
“I’m so sorry that’s happened, sweetie.”
Just then the bell rang signalling the end of lunchtime.
“How about you stay out here for a little bit, Hope. You can finish your lunch and maybe come in when you feel a little better. Does that sound okay?”
Hope nodded sadly and took a few calming breaths.
“I’ll just be in the classroom if you need anything, okay?”
Hope nodded again, and leant against the nearest tree, and began eating her lunch.
“Cassie, would you be able to take the class for ten minutes,” Caroline asked her teacher’s aid. “I just need to make a phone call.”
Cassie agreed, and Caroline went into the office, picking up the phone and dialling Hope’s home phone number.
“Whoever you are better have a good reason to bother me,” a gruff male voice said irritably on the other end of the line.
“Hello, is that Mr Klaus Mikaelson?” Caroline asked politely.
Caroline was back out in the gardens reading and doodling a bit, but this time she wasn’t alone. She had brought her younger sibling, Eden, because they haven’t really spent much time together. Eden was always on jobs or doing paperwork, so it was nice to just be able to talk with them.
Eden was skinny but muscular, and had a fairly girlish figure. Their hair was a darker brown, like Carolines, but shorter, and their eyes were violet instead of yellow. They were also a good few inches taller than their sister.
The pair were talking about random things, small laughs leaving them occasionally. They were obviously having a nice day.