It was Wednesday. It was wet too. The skies were spitting out wetness from their huge black clouds, and Melissa was not happy about it. She’d hoped to go out with her gran, perhaps to the shops on the way home from school, and she knew that gran wouldn’t want to go if there was even a little bit of rain. Even in her mobility scooter with the rain cover.
Melissa sat through her numeracy lesson and was so sick of bus stops that she wanted to scream, but she didn’t. Then she had PE, and that was OK, but she didn’t get picked for the dodgeball team she wanted to be in, and the people on her team were all rubbish. That was annoying. And then at lunch time there wasn’t anything in the canteen that she liked. The pasta looked too dry and the baked potato looked too hard, and the chicken was far too rubbery. The salad wasn’t filling enough and the chips were too filling, and the pudding was just boring – fruit or a cookie. She didn’t know how much the school lunches cost, but whatever it was, it was too much.
I think I’m going to digress a bit in this story too. I know I’ve told you a bit about what Melissa is like and how she discovered her gran’s mobility scooter was more than a bit special, but I don’t think I’ve told you what she looks like or what she likes to do with her life, so here goes. She’s ten, but you knew that bit. She looks younger, but I think you knew that bit too. And she’s what her mum describes as ‘a bit of a bruiser’. Where the other girls in her class talk about clothes all the time, Melissa doesn’t. She’s into Japanese cartoons and making huge wall drawings of dragons and monsters. She has a few friends, but not too many. Just the right amount. Melissa and her two favourite female friends all have dark brown hair. All have long, straight, dark brown hair. Her mum sometimes calls them ‘the three witches’ but Melissa has no idea why. She’s quite tall, too, is Melissa, and is one of the oldest girls in her class. Her face is round and happy looking, but that belies her real personality. She’s usually such a misery.
So, digression ended, once again, it was Wednesday and just after a lunchtime that was uninspired for Melissa. Next came music which included far too much singing for Melissa’s liking. They were all preparing for the school show which would be taking place the following week. She wasn’t impressed. She didn’t want to sing, and she definitely didn’t want to be in the show, but like most things that happened when you were a child, she didn’t seem to have any choice in the matter.
I’m wondering if any children listening to or reading this story feel as if they have no choice about anything? Does it make you feel mad? Well, Melissa was getting madder and madder as the day went by. Music came and went and she’d already been told off by her teacher about five million times (according to Melissa) and there was only one more lesson till the end of the day. She usually loved art but today was an exception. Perhaps it was a Moody Melissa day, but she got told off about fifty million times in art, for talking, for passing notes, for giggling, for spilling paint, for not following instructions, for not listening, and, (worst of all) for calling her teacher a very rude word. Melissa’s mum had been called and had to pick her up early and go in to talk to her teacher, and the headmistress.
They asked Melissa’s mum if her child had any problems at home. They asked her if Melissa was eating well and if she was getting enough sleep. Every time, mum tried to explain that Melissa just sometimes had Moody Melissa days, but the teachers didn’t understand. They thought it was something the teachers or the school had done. But it wasn’t. It was just something that came from inside Melissa herself. Something that was as uncontrollable as her dad’s wiry hair, or the old family dog’s flatulence (that’s farting, or trumping)!
By the time Melissa and her mum were ready to leave the school, it was going dark and mum looked upset. ‘I won’t get to go on my run now,’ she said accusingly to Melissa. ‘Why did you pick today to be so Moody Melissa?’
Melissa didn’t know, and didn’t think she’d picked the day anyway. To her it was a mystery where it came from and why. She shrugged and continued walking next to her mum. But her mum didn’t seem to want her there. Her mum seemed annoyed and upset, far more than was usual when she was called into school. Melissa wanted to ask her what was up, but she knew she couldn’t, because if she did her mum would start crying. Some things were better not talked about, Melissa had learned that. Anyway, mum always hated work on Wednesdays.
They walked home in silence, and were soon overtaken by gran on her mobility scooter. She’d just been for a hair cut (and restyle) and had also been to take some money out of the bank and to visit a friend. It was great that gran was getting out a lot more, and Melissa was relieved she hadn’t taken her gran’s scooter to run away. Just imagine how much trouble that would have got her into, if she got this much trouble just for calling a teacher a slightly rude name!?
Gran waved as she passed and said a cheery ‘Hello’ as she overtook.
‘Why can’t you be more like your gran?’ asked mum. ‘She’s in so much pain, but she never does anyone harm and she’s always smiling and never calls anyone a rude word.’
Melissa looked at the pavement as she walked. ‘I don’t know’ was all she could think of to say. ‘Sorry mum, I don’t know.’
She wanted to shout at mum about how comparing people was wrong and how, of course gran was happy – she didn’t have to go to school and she had a magical mobility scooter. Melissa would be happy too, if that was her life.
By the time they got home, dinner in the slow cooker (a gooey vegetable casserole) was ready and served with a big splat into Melissa’s least favourite bowl. Vegetable casserole was her least favourite meal, and she hated couscous as well. But she was hungry and was forced therefore to eat it. Every spoonful was a spoonful of misery.
After dinner it was homework time. Melissa had a large book with pages and pages of printed questions. Once a week she had to complete four of the pages. This week the teacher wanted them all to complete six of the pages, all apart from Melissa who hadn’t done last week’s homework. She had ten pages to do! Ten pages.
She sat at the kitchen table with her book spread around her. She sharpened her pencil, broke it and sharpened it again. She brushed the shavings onto the floor then realised what she’d done, and picked them all up before mum came back in the room. She got herself a drink, over-poured it, had to mop it up, then spilled again as she brought it over to the table. Drops fell onto her homework book and she had to use her school cardigan to soak them up with before they spoiled the book. She’s been messing around for over an hour before she even made a pencil mark in her book. Things were not going well.
Mum came in. ‘Procrastinating again?’ she said.
But Melissa wasn’t procrastinating, it was just one of those things and one of those days. Before she knew it, the whole day would have disappeared. Wednesdays were always like that.