It was impossible not
to observe the students who came through because my office was located
directly in the middle of the space. Each child was as different as
varieties of flower can be. Some were like daisies, fresh and clean, others
were like blooms on a prickly pear, strong and bright.
Joshua was like a
daisy. He always looked so well groomed. There was never a careless look to
his hair. It always seemed that he had just been to the barber shop. The boy
wore light-colored shirts that had a more expensive cut to them. It made him
stand out as if his mother was somewhere on campus seeing after his
clothing. When he walked, it was with a determined stride as if he was in a
hurry to get to a destination. Sometimes he would turn to look toward the
office and wave his hand in a small way as a greeting to me. The nurses
enjoyed him because he always had a friendly, pleasant way.
This morning he was as
usual striding through the treatment room but he had a different attitude.
It was more as if he was glaring at everyone. Instead of talking to the
nurses he walked right past them back to where the head nurse kept her
desk. The hospital was a big old building and from where they were the
words the two were having, could not be understood. There were loud voices
and no one could deny it; there was an argument.
Joshua soon came
stomping back through and this time he didn't bother to look left or right.
In an uncharacteristic way he slammed the door behind him and was gone.
“What is going on with
him?” I asked my friend.
“She got his slides
mixed up with someone who has a social disease. He is very unhappy.”
I made no comment but
I was thinking there was some sort of justice in this. If better records had
been kept, it wouldn't have happened. This was one time, too, there should
not have been a slip up since those records had to go to the state.
Joshua left the school
and I just assumed he wouldn't return. However, in a few days we had a
scathing letter from Joshua's father's lawyer. He threatened legal
retaliation. In a short time, Joshua and his father were back. Again there
were loud voices but this time the boy had his father backing him.
It must have been
settled though because after that nothing more was heard. No mention was
made of the incident and we went back to our normal routine.
When Joshua came
through again, he stopped to peek into my office which was unusual. He had
never done that before. I waited to see if he had something to say to me
because I had no idea how I would respond. We were, after all, very close in
age. Sure enough he did speak out.
“And You. You wouldn't
even look up from your typewriter!” Joshua's good natured ways were back. I
had to chuckle while dropping my head and covering my face with my hands
while I silently laughed.