I don’t know if the weight of my shock showed on my face, but there definitely was a pregnant pause after that. My shock was for two reasons:
- Shock at learning a kid I actually know (this is the first one for me) has cancer
- Shock at seeing how stoic Z was when he said that his brother has cancer. I don’t know if he is aware of how bad that illness can be. Or if he was just acting strong. I was trying to see if he was teary-eyed or if he needed a hug. Or maybe, I just wanted to give him a hug. A hug for him and his brother.
Then last Sunday, after the mandatory Sunday school mass, while I and the kids were on our way out of church, my student Y suddenly turned around and told me, “My uncle raped me.” Again, I was shocked and searched my student’s face. Y looks like a very emotionally healthy kid. Always cheerful, always lively. She doesn’t look like the sexually abused little girls I see in Law and Order. So, I was trying to see if she made it up and was just pulling my leg.
“Does your mom know,” I asked.
And Y said, “Yes.”
“Do you want to talk about it,” I mumbled.
“No,” she said.
“You sure,” I followed up.
“Yes,” and she flashed a sweet smile.
“You ok,” I just had to ask.
“Yes.” And she ran away.
Now, I was thinking ...
I want to send a card to B and a card to his parents as well. But then again, doing so feels a little awkward. Some people just don’t want to be reminded of the situation they are in. The cards might, instead of cheering them up, pull them down again.
And Y? Should I talk to her mom about it? But what if Y was just making it up? If Y wasn’t lying about this, can she be lying about telling her mom? What if Y’s mom doesn’t know? Shouldn’t her mom know? Was Y actually asking me to tell her mom?
Questions, questions. Questions I need to answer before Sunday comes. What do you think?