“You’re speaking nonsense!” Estella got up from the floor and furiously pushed the kid who had last spoke. Amused at her courage to fight back, the other kids began running their mouths off even more. The girl whom Estella pushed stepped forward and shoved her in return.
“Did I say anything wrong? You’re just a mute! If we hadn’t played with you today, would you have spoken on your own? Adults hate kids who can’t speak, Little Mute!” After saying that, the girl raised her arm in fury and yelled, “How dare you push me! Not even my mommy and daddy have ever hit me.”
Estella was no match for that girl in terms of strength. Not only that, there were lots of kids watching them from the side.
Despite her anger, Estella couldn’t help but feel scared at the sight of the girl lifting her arm. In her helplessness, she glanced at Pamela. If Ms. Ward was here, she would surely come here and help me.
Unfortunately, Pamela was busy dealing with the wailing kid, and she couldn’t see what was going on since Estella was encircled by the children.
As the girl’s hand was about to fall on Estella, the latter closed her eyes out of reflex. At that moment, she missed Archie and Benny dearly. “What are you doing?”
Just as despair filled Estella, Roxanne pushed the classroom door open and strode in. She had been watching from the outside for quite a while and finally realized Estella was being bullied.
She had thought that the teacher would intervene and help Estella, but it seemed that Pamela was unaware of what was going on at all.
Seeing that Estella was about to get hit, Roxanne barged in in a panic and hurried over to the group of children. At the sudden arrival of an adult, the children were shocked.
The girl who had her arm raised stepped backward in fright. She swiftly hid her hand behind her back, glancing at Roxanne nervously. These kids were the best at pretending to be nice and obedient in front of adults.
“Miss, you’ve misunderstood. She pushed me first…” the girl mumbled with an aggrieved expression.
Roxanne was bewildered to see the girl acting so innocently. If she hadn’t witnessed the entire situation earlier, she would have been fooled.
Nevertheless, she wasn’t in the mood to scold the girl. She crouched down instead and pulled Estella into her arms.
Estella was clearly terrified, as she couldn’t stop trembling “Don’t be scared, Essie. You’re okay now,” Roxanne comforted Estella while stroking her head.
Upon hearing her voice, Estella looked up cautiously. Her face crumpled when she saw that it was Roxanne. She sniffled loudly, tears welling up in her big eyes.
Having been triggered by the children’s words earlier, Estella wrapped her arm around Roxanne’s neck and choked out, “Mommy…”
That word made Roxanne’s heart skip a beat, and she subconsciously tightened her holdi around Estella, She knew very well that she did not deserve that title, but she could more or less guess what the children had been talking about earlier from the way their mouths moved.
One of the biggest reasons they bullied Estella was that they thought she didn’t have a mother. That thought pained Roxanne. In the end, she did not refute Estella’s way of addressing her.