Pieces of the Child

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Chapter 97: Raymond Times Two
(by NativeRose, added on 20 November 2007 07:36 PM)

Raymond's first day of school was the following Monday. He raced into the classroom, appearing quite comfortable in this new situation.
"It's Raymond!" Scott shouted excitedly.
"Who?" Shane and Sierra asked in unison.
Kennan and Nequenta both squealed excitedly when they heard Raymond's voice.
"I remember you," the newest edition to the class addressed Kennan. "the one who played wheelchair basketball with us!"
"Hey, don't forget me!" The command was shouted, and everyone else fell silent. "I'm here, too!" The unfamiliar, high-pitched, clearly feminine voice continued. Anela and Janell quickly finished transferring Kennan into the stander.
"I got this, Anela," Janell said softly, knowing the teacher would have to handle the quickly escalating situation. As Janell strapped Kennan into the stander, she finally saw the cause of the early-morning turmoil. It was a girl who must have been Raymond's sister; the resemblance was remarkable! However, it was immediately apparent that this was as far as the similarity spread. Raymond had a quiet, gentle disposition, but the girl looked angry and spoke in a beligerent manner.
"Tell me your name," Anela said quietly, kneeling in front of the girl.
"Robyn!" she said.
"And are you helping Raymond get to class today?"
"No! They said I have to be in this class, too!" she said indignantly.
"Okay, you cit at this desk next to--"
"I'm Rosalyn. What's your name?"
"I said...it's Robyn!"
"Oh, sorry...want to color with me?" Anna saw the thunderous expression on Robyn's face. She quickly stepped toward the girls before another conflict could begin. She put her hand on Rosalyn's shoulder and said, "Miss Anela is ready to start class."
"Well, as you can see, we have two new students in class today."
Kennan waved his hand excitedly, and when Miss Anela called on him, he typed furiously, "That's Raymond! He won the basketball game on Saturday! Raymond is nice."
Anela wondered where this spitfire of a girl had come from; she wasn't at the park on Saturday. She wished she had known what she was dealing with. Hopefully, Robyn's chart, medical history, brother and the therapists could fill in the missing details.
She got her class started with their journals. Each Monday, the students spent the first half hour writing in their journals, and today was no exception. Jenna's fingers moved too quickly over ker Braille keyboard, and Anela knew she would find countless contraction errors in the girl's entry. She heard Isaac's pen from across the room, and she was certain the aides would tell her his writing was illegible. Sierra and Shane sat next to each other recording events of their weekend and, as usual, when they were finished, they exchanged journals and read the other's account. Jane and Anna noticed with some amusement, that Bethany and Scott were doing the same thing. Rosalyn drew in hers, and the pictures often represented how she was feeling on that particular day. Andrew, Jordan, Adam and Brandon were given permission to write a novel together during this time. Apparently, Jordan had been given or asked for the task of writing the manuscript, as they put their tale together. Andrea looked around the room, as if knowing she would find her inspiration there, but she hadn't started writing yet. It always took her awhile to get started. Kennan was writing using his puff-and-sip device, and Nequenta did the same with hers. As she watched them, they made a collective effort to get something out of Kennan's backpack. Kennan couldn't unzip it entirely, so when Nequenta saw what was happening, she used her left index finger and thumb to hold the backpack so it wouldn't continually move as Kennan tried to unzip it. There was always a notebook in his backpack so the staff and parents could write down any concerns and questions. Kennan removed the book and pointed at Raymond.
"What?" Raymond whispered. Kennan used a finger to push it across his tray the confused boy. Unfortunately, the book landed on the floor instead and shattered the silence in the classroom. Sierra saw the trouble and rushed over to pick up the book.
"Thanks," Raymond said to her, then turned to address Kennan. "but why did you give this to me?"
"Write." Kennan's computer said.
"Oh, this isn't a journal; it's your book. I think your mommy and Miss Anela might want you to keep that. I'll get a journal later." Raymond said, deeply touched by Kennan's generosity. Sierra put the book in Kennan's backpack and started to close it. When Nequenta heard the zipper, she assumed it was Kennan and that he would have the same trouble as before. Thus, she held the backpack with her thumb and forefinger again so it could be zipped.
"Thanks," Sierra whispered, and walked back to her desk.
Anela saw that all of her students were engaged in activity, and based on what she had just seen in the corner with kennan, Nequenta, Sierra and Raymond, everything would be fine for awhile. For the most part, her students were amazing at problem-solving, and they all understood the importance of teamwork. They saw what they had that some others lacked and served each other using their own abilities. That was, in large part, what held this group together. Anela had some time to look at Robyn's chart. Maybe it would give her some insight into the disturbance earlier that morning.

Janell's assumption had been right: Raymond and Robyn Aimes were twins. Robyn was dyslexic, and that was where her anger came from. Raymond had cerebral palsy. He was the second child to be born, and his oxygen supply was interrupted during the birth process. He seemed such a good-natured and gentle child. Perhaps Robyn's outburst this morning was a cover for fear, insecurity...something like that. she would have to watch things closely to see what happened with Robyn, and maybe then she would know how to help.

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