Chapter 15: Standing Together ACT II of We Love All
Ilona is bursting with excitement to tell everyone she has met the world famous Joshua.
And hugged him.
Class became one long lesson in boredom, and Ilona really wishing she possessed a smartphone, all to spread the wonderful news.
When the recess bell strikes, Ilona immediately zooms over to Clara and Susan.
“Guess who I saw at the office!” She exclaims excitedly.
“Elvis?” Clara deadpans.
“Wonder what took you so long. Thought you were trying to escape the dreaded Mr. Micheals.” Susan states.
All three girls glance over to see Mr. Micheals, busying himself with some markings, and all are sure he did not overhear.
“No silly,” Ilona now whispers, suddenly feeling as if being subtle might be best, “I met Joshua.”
Right away, Clara and Susan grab Ilona and march her out of the classroom, through the hallway, and out into the schoolyard. Part of Ilona is puzzled by all this, and another part knows to trust her friends.
Once outside, Clara calls Cynthia, Collette and Madison over. Within seconds, everyone is in attendance.
“Ilona met Josh. She told us in class. We don’t think Mr. Micheals overheard.” Clara states evenly.
“Oh craaaaaaap!” Madison spits out.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” Tears start forming as the words spill and the concerned stares of her friends scare her.
“Ilona, it is alright.” Cynthia hugs her tight. “You did not know. And we should have explained this earlier.”
“Explained?” Ilona sniffs as the tears dry as quickly as they formed.
“Mr. Micheals is a jerk. We all hate him. The kids, the teachers, the principal, all hate him. He knows, but he does not care. Years ago, he was Josh’s grade five teacher, and made his life miserable.” Clara explains with a very unemotional face.
“Why? Why does he dislike Joshua?” Ilona blurts out.
A look passes between the other girls.
“We can’t tell you yet. I have to ask Josh first. He will probably say yes, but I have to respect him with this.” Clara smiles now as she gently takes Ilona’s hand and gives it a slight squeeze. “But it is very important, and I have to stress this, to never ever mention Josh in front of Mr. Micheals. He… reacts to Josh.” Clara finishes and looks away, slowly letting Ilona’s hand drop.
Ilona nods and glances at her friends. “I understand.”
Cynthia moves in front of Ilona and grasps both her hands and proceeds to swing them, very much as if they were much younger, and sings.
“When the night has come and the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid, oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me”
Ilona smiles, tears all gone, and enjoys the love of her friends.
“That song is wonderful. What is it?’ She asks.
“It’s called Stand By Me and it is by Ben E King. It’s a classic my fathers loves so much. My parents used it as their wedding song.”
“Thank you for sharing it with me. And I will be careful with mentioning Joshua from now on.” Ilona says with a calm reassurance.
A group hug follows, with the rest of recess taken up with all the girls being enthralled by the tale of when Ilona met Joshua. Laughs and giggles flow, and the coolness factor of Mrs.Travis skyrocketing with her act of kindness. Ilona is quite pleased recounting everything, and even more pleased when the detail of Clara’s lunch comes up.
“Oh thank the Tardis, I thought I was going to have eat my fingernails again.” Clara wipes her brow, getting rid of fake sweat.
“Yes, I forgot to start with that fact. Mrs. Travis has your lunch at the office,” Ilona smirks when she continues, “And Joshua says you still owe him money.”
“Lalalalala not listening!” Clara dances around while covering her ears.
Recess soon ends, and the rest of the day goes by with Ilona making a mental effort to not even think Joshua’s name anytime she is nearby Mr. Micheals. Lunch time is book time and Ilona takes up her usual position with her friends at the wall. The next recess rolls around, and the group dissects Ilona’ visit with Josh yet again, with more questions piling into her, the sillier ones being from Madison of course.
As they re-enter the school, the girls wander just inside the doors, and Clara babbling away non-stop to Collette.
“That was so cool, Josh being here today. I still have to tell the other muskrat that he was here.”
Just as he finishes, they all look up ahead and see the unthinkable.
Mr. Micheals standing directly in front of them. Someplace he has never been before, helping hustle the kids in from recess.
Ilona stiffens as she sees him and can feel the rest doing the same. Sweat forms on her brow and a gross feeling hits her hands. She does not want to even imagine what the others, who know all the dark secrets of Mr. Micheals, must be going through.
It is obvious from his face, scrunched up into a fury of anger, that he has overheard the name Joshua, could tell he had been present at the school, and that they all knew. A conspiracy of silence has kept this information from him. All this shows openly on him, and is now flooding the girls with his hatred.
Mr. Micheals moves to the side, allowing them into the hallway.
A silent goodbye of looks pass between the girls, as they split into their separate classrooms.
As Ilona takes her seat, she says a prayer in her thoughts. Because she is truly scared.
Song For This Chapter: Stand By Me by Ben E King
First serialization started on Friday, June 7th, 2013.
The song Stand By Me is copyright to Ben E King.