Commentary and Philosophy Fiction posted May 22, 2020


Adolescent language. New girl, new school!

Twenty

by Huguette M. Forest-Coultry

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.
The name should have been easy to say, to remember. But, Touwantinna just wasn't cutting it... in this new country, new province, new suburb, new school! What the hell? Was her accent that insurmountable? Was it because she was different? Or just that as a newbie here, she was the one picked to be ragged on?

And here she was, masked like everybody else, social distancing and trying to follow the rules! Okay, she did have a slight... very slight, speech impediment but her linguistics guy back in Zimbabwe said she was doing great. It sucked big time that here, it was like she was an alien.

And it sure as shit didn't help establishing relationships that she should be graduating with this class when "Graduation," was going to be a Virtual Reality Show this year. No one-on-ones for projects or anything else for that matter this final term. No prom, no convocation, no big parties. "No, no, no!" seemed to be "the" word these days.

Pretty hard to make new friends when you had to be six feet apart! Which meant in the "Dining Hall," (Yeah, that's what they called it!) you had to yell across tables to be heard.

And the classroom with Mrs. Tegger in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) was insane. She daren't walk too close to the students and her voice sounded like it was coming through a long and large culvert! Not the best solution for someone with novice English skills.

"Twenty, please give me the answer to this calculus question?" asked Mrs. Tegger. Every single student cracked up. Except her...

"Twenty, hey Twenty, give us the answer!"

Yo, Twenty, see you at lunch! Sit near my table. You n' me, we'll talk."

Hey girl, Twenty suits you!" I think it was Jessica saying that. I kinda like her.

And so, tonight I've decided that 'Twenty' ain't bad. Better than some names I could have been called.

And yes, Bobbie did sit near her at lunch. He had a lot of questions and he even called out to others to listen and hear her story.

It was the first time that she had used the words "refugee and refugee family," and finally it felt ok to share.

Yeah. Twenty she'd be, from tomorrow onward. She'd rock it!

Mom and Pops had laughed about it at dinner and brother said, "Think I'll call you 'T,' how about that?"

She had to admit...she liked that. She liked that a lot!


Twenty Short Story Contest contest entry


TWENTY, just a word, or is it?
Pandemic, relationships, refugee status, speech problems, new country, city, school, peers, fitting in, family support...all of it is included in this little drama. It brought me to a philosophical discussion with a few friends this morning. Hope you enjoy this entry.
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© Copyright 2020. Huguette M. Forest-Coultry All rights reserved.
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