Silent Witness

Life through the eyes of Ariette, a Siamese cat who sees what outsiders can't.
"The bullying...the drinking...the threats...I see it all, but I can't do anything to stop it. I am Ariette. I am the silent witness."

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1. Bullying Arc I

Winona came home with tear-marks all down her face, smuding her mascara and leaving pale streaks in her foundation.  Her eyes were rimmed with red, but she forced a smile and bent down to stroke me as I rubbed myself against her legs.

"Hey," she whispered to me, "Good to see you."

Then she went into the kitchen and made herself a coffee.  Jacob and his girlfriend Anna don't finish work until nine, sometimes nine-thirty, Benny's round playing at a friend's house, and Maria's never in anyway, so she doesn't have to worry about anyone seeing her cry.  When the coffee's made, she comes through to the living room, where I have settled myself comfortably on the squishy leather couch.  I fully expect to be shoved off, but Winona sits down on the carpeted floor, leaning her back against the sofa, and sips her drink.  I clamber down into her lap.

"Mrow?"

She sighs.  "Oh, Ariette, I had the most horrible day at school.  All the others were teasing me because I had my hair in plaits, and the boys pulled them and called me Polly Pigtails.  It hurt when they pulled them, too, then the girls started getting clever about my tie, because it was 'too long'.  And then they pulled it, so I couldn't undo it, and one of the dinner-ladies had to undo it with a fork!"

She starts crying and I nudge her face with mine in an effort to cheer her up.

Don't be sad, Winona, I think to myself, Please don't be so sad.

Winona is twelve and started first year the Girls' High School a few weeks ago and she hates it there.  She comes home and cries, every day, because the other children say horrible things and make fun of how she looks.  I think Winona's beautiful; she has long dark hair, very soft and silky, pale skin, and beautiful blue-green eyes.  I don't possibly know why anyone could ever want to pick on her.

I try to tell her this.

"Mrow."

She sniffs. "Thanks, Ariette."

For a moment, I think maybe she has understood my message.  Then, she scoops me up and carries me through to my bed in the kitchen.

"It's nice just to talk to someone that can't really understand, that can't judge.  Best of all, I know you're never ever going to tell anyone."

She kissed me on top of my nose and leaves.

I do my best to sigh.

Sometimes, I wish I was good for something other than just meowing.

 

 

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