Violet was a cool blond with mob connections at my Montessori nursery school.
She had a closet busting at the seams with floaty skirts and a teddy bear with curves in all the right places.
Everyone knew she was Jimmy’s girl but I’d seen her go home with Arthur more than once. Arthur wore red braces and stripy strides and I think she liked his style.
The last thing I needed was to share my puzzles with a Broad. But something about Violet made me clumsy.
Most days I got to cool off at cookie time. That day I had to get out of the joint. I felt like running a long way from town, only Ma had already paid the term’s school fees.
So I took a lung-full of air in the yard instead. And there she was standing next to the plastic slide, holding the magic bubbles.
‘How do you use those?’ I asked.
‘You just put your lips together and blow,’ she said.
There was a big job going down involving Father’s Day cards and I knew she was up to her neck in it. Miss Unju tried to cover for her but something didn’t fit right and I had to find out what.
‘Where’s Violet?’ I asked Jimmy.
‘I don’t know,’ said Jimmy.
‘Where’s Violet?’ I asked Miss Henrietta.
‘She’s got a cold,’ said Miss Henrietta.
Didn’t want to make waves before Parent’s Evening so I left it alone.
And that’s when things got complicated.
I was seeing a lot of this piece called Ella. Me and her went way back. She liked to talk and I had the feeling she might sing like a canary, under heat. But she had a cute way of swinging her bag and played ball like a guy.
Not long after, a hip young kid called Charley showed up. I got a hunch she knew my name when she spelt it out in building blocks.
I might have tried to spell hers back if these two cats weren’t standing in my way.
Leo was tall and strong- a real tough guy. I asked after his baby sister once and he said he didn’t like the tone in my voice.
Then there was Basile- smooth and French, with cashmere cardigans and shiny white shoes. He only had to open his mouth and she put down the glue.
I was out of my league. There was no way she’d want to do the egg and spoon with a dead-beat like me, on Sports Day.
I was starting to think my head might explode when this feisty brunette, Kitty, asked me if I like vanilla ice-cream. She opened her brown eyes big but she learned to play me real smart. She’d ask me for tea one day and turn her head at the sandpit the next. I was like a boy up close at a baseball game, not knowing which way to turn.
I got to feeling inside-out. I couldn’t figure who dug me, who didn’t, who’d throw me a punch if I tried.
And I couldn’t get it out of my head that maybe they just wanted a ride on my scooter.
An exchange in the powder room put me straight.
I walked in on Violet fixing Kitty with a glare hotter than July. Miss Jessica looked close to breaking it up.
‘You snooze, you lose,’ said Kitty.
‘Maybe I was waiting on the right moment,’ Violet replied.
‘Well it came and went, baby. He’s mine.’
I was all ready to step forward and tell them not to sweat it. There was enough of me to share around. Things were bound to shake down in The Fall when we all switched classes anyway.
‘Fine. You can play with the giraffe for now. But I want him back,’ Violet snapped and flounced off.
Guess I’ve been awake too many nights and over-heating. Maybe I’ll grab some coloring books and take five by the seaside.
Then I’ll be about ready to come back and start over with a clear head.
Tougher, wiser and with a pocket full of candy.