Solace ~ h.s.

If he weren't there... I don't know what would have happened.

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21. ⪻ 21 ⪼

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No sooner did we reach the doors of the school did more chaos arise.

“Is that the child that hurt my baby?” A mysterious man and woman are charging towards us, with angry looks upon their faces. In a matter of seconds, I’ve pulled Edward behind me and out of sight from the delusional adults.

I don’t care if these were the parents of the child Edward hit, they have no right screaming at him and making a move to invade our personal space.

“Mr and Mrs. Grant -” Kate begins, stepping in between the mother who has stepped way too close to me Edward. The woman takes another step forward and Harry seems to have the same thought I did when i moved Edward. Next thing I know, I’m standing slightly behind Harry.

“No! Is this the child?”

“Excuse us.” Grabbing ahold of Edward’s hand and Harry’s, I begin to try and move around the parents, wanting nothing more than to curl up on my couch.

“So, you’re the ones who raised such a violent child, huh? What kind of parents are you?” Mrs. Grant accuses all whilst her husband stands back with a potent look on his face. I doesn’t faze me that she thinks we’re Edward’s parents, because at the moment we do kind of look like his parents.

“Hey, back off.” Harry warns as the woman takes another step closer to me and Edward. Harry’s protective side comes out when he’s pulled Edward and I nearly completely behind his body.

“I will not back off, your child here assaulted our child.” For some reason I nearly snap, shoving myself in front of Harry whilst leaving Edward to grab ahold of the back of Harry’s belt loop.

“Listen lady, you need to back up. I apologize on behalf of my brother, and I assure you when he returns to school your child will receive a sincere letter of apology.” She nearly gasps as my words, almost as if she wasn’t expecting me to challenge her in someway.

“Headmaster Clark can’t possibly be allowing him to return to school!” Kate, places her hand lightly on my shoulder, giving it a slight comforting pat. She turns her attention to the deranged parents and shushes them lightly.

“Mr. and Mrs. Grant, let’s go meet with Headmaster Clark and have a talk, shall we?” The parents look reluctant to go along towards the headmaster’s office, but with a bit of coaxing Kate finally gets them out of our sight; an audible sigh resonating throughout the hall.

“My apologies for her outburst.” Kate mutters, watching the entrance where they disappeared through. “I’ll see you on Wednesday, Edward.” I turn to where Kate is waving to Edward, who now resides in the arms of Harry. He apparently scooped him up when things got more heated between that mother and I.

“Thank you.” I say before taking off towards the doors of the school.

Things are silent between the three of us as we make our way to Harry’s car and settle ourselves in. Matter of a fact, none of us say anything until we’re about a minute into our trip to the house. Surprisingly, Edward is the first to speak, his small voice resonating from the back of the car.

“Are you mad?” He questions, peering up at me from his seat. I sigh heavily, glancing back at him and catching Harry watching us out of the corner of his eye.

“Yes, I’m a little mad.” I calmly tell him.

I can’t very well lie to him, now can I?

“Why?”

“Why? Edward, you assaulted a boy in your class. You can’t just go ‘round punching people when you’re upset or something, it’s not right.” I fall back into my seat, rubbing my temples where I feel a headache coming on. “This is all my fault.”

“No, hey,” Harry starts, taking his hand off the gear shifter to give my knee a pat, “Edward made his own choices, not the best choices, but they were his own. Right buddy?” Harry wonders, peaking back at Edward through the rearview mirror. I turn to see Edward gazing out the window sadly, giving his shoulders a little shrug.”Come on, bud, we all make mistakes, it’s alright.”

“Harry, it’s not alright.”

“No, it’s not alright that he fought someone, but it will be alright.” Again, Harry’s hand lands on my knee, rubbing the spot over my trousers to try and soothe me.

“It wasn’t your fault, Annie.” Edward pipes up from the back, reaching forward to try and grab my arm. In an effort to get him to sit back, I reach my hand backwards and intertwine my fingers with his. I don’t want him to think I’m entirely mad at him.

“Why did you hit him?” I ask cautiously.

“He made me mad.” The boy says, playing with my fingers lightly.

“How so?”

“He said something.”

“What’d he say?” I press on, wondering why Edward was beating around the bush so heavily. I’m almost nervous to know what exactly this child said to him.

“He knew about mummy and daddy and said they died because they didn’t love me anymore.” My jaw drops as I spin around harshly in my chair.

“Do they just give everyone’s life story away in that school? How did he bloody know about that!” I’m not really questioning anyone in particular, just letting the words flow freely from my mouth. “Hell no. No.” I say angrily, moving to look at Harry, who is silent with surprise.He may be silent, but I can tell he’s angry too, just by the way his hands grip the steering wheel tightly, turning his knuckles white. “Turn this is car around, Harry.”

“No.” He surprises me by saying. I would have thought surely he’d be on the same page as me.

“Harry, that child needs to be taught a lesson. How dare he say that to anyone. You know, I bet he learned such a thing from that mother of his.”

“Belle,” after a couple deep breaths Harry speaks, “you’re not acting any better than that woman and for that reason, and many others, I’m not going to turn around.”

“I’m sorry.” I mutter, though I’m still seething on the inside. I turn back around in my seat, gazing at Edward who looks a little bit shocked by my outburst. “Edward, you have to know that what he said was in no way true. Mummy and daddy loved you very much, they still do.”

“I know.”

The vehicle falls silent as we all gather our thoughts on the issue. Personally, I think that other boy should be punished too. I’m not a headmaster, but if I was I’d suspend the other child too.

“You know I can’t let you go unpunished, right?”

“Yes.” Edward mutters bitterly, as if he didn’t think he’d actually get into trouble.

“No tablet for a week and you can only watch telly when I say.” Surprisingly, he doesn’t start to complain or cry or pout, he just nods his head sadly. His eyes fall out to the window as he mutters an okay.

I’m not one for really knowing how to punish someone, clearly. I’ve done a lot of research on the matter of being someone’s guardian, but punishments haven’t come up yet. Is taking a tablet away from a child really be a punishment? Should a five year old even be allowed to use a tablet?

“Crap.” I mumble to myself.

Part of me forgot all about the fact that I was now going to have to find somewhere to put Edward tomorrow because of his suspension. I can’t very well leave him home alone and I can’t really take him to work with me, unless I was to get fired right away.

“What?” Harry asks, keeping his voice a little low so that Edward isn’t too inclined to listen on.

Sure enough, he’s in the back reading the same book he was earlier.

“What am I going to do with him tomorrow? I have to work and I fear that if I take another day off…” I decide not to tell Harry about the being partially yelled at today, “well, it just won’t look good on my part, and neither would bringing a child into work with me.”

“I wish I could help, but I’ve got work tomorrow and you know my job, I’ve no idea when I’ll be free.” Harry says, even though it’s in no way his responsibility to step in. “Can’t you take a personal day or a sick day?” I shake my head, just imagining what Ms. VanCarlton would say if I called in fake sick or something. She’d probably have my head.

“Do you know if Niall is working?” I wonder, fishing my brain for all the people that know Edward and could possibly help. There’s not a long list of people.

“He is.”

“Shoot.”

“I guess,” I begin with a heavy exhale through my parted lips, “I’ll just take him to work with me.”

And hope that I’m not making the worst mistake of my entire professional life.

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