Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Losing the Twins

May, 2009

As we neared our performance date, every rehearsal was vital. We continued to meet once a week, on Wednesday afternoons, and every time I called roll call there were missing members.

Rachel, Lyndon and I lined the group up for warm-ups and I did a quick head-count. Wait a second....

"Where's Polly? Where's Ethan?" I looked to their classroom door to see if they were making a late exit.

"Oh sure, there they go, Ms. Ryane, over there." Luis pointed across the field.

I spun around to see Polly and her brother, Ethan, walking away with a woman toward the parking lot.

"Rachel, please take over the warm-ups!" I took off after the threesome.

"Hey!" I called out, but they kept walking.

"Hey, Polly! Ethan!"

They halted, turned around and blinked as if waking from naps.

"Oh hi, Ms. Ryane," Polly said.

"Where are you going?" I asked with obvious panic in my voice.

"We're going with her," Polly pointed to the woman standing next to them.

"I'm sorry, ma'am, but where are these kids going?"

She smiled nicely.

"They're going to my house. I'm looking after them today."

"Yeah, well...I don't think so. Not right now. These two are in The Shakespeare Club and they have rehearsal right now. They'll be available in two hours."

Here's the crazy thing: She apologized, said she'd make sure to call their dad and the kids followed me back to Room 39.

"Who was that, Polly?" I asked as we walked away.

"I don't know...some lady...we're supposed to go to her house after school sometimes."


This is just how it is on most days. Gathering these children together can be as slippery a proposition as scooping baby fish out of a stream.

Dear Dad,

Methink thy brother Sabastein is gone down in tis sea. Drown tis Sabastein, water filled thy lungs. Thy hope tis is not true, but the possiblites to high and I think only thy capin and me survived. Doom thy feel and hope he is still alive if not I might as well die. This news I hope you don't belive as much as I do.

—Polly, 5th grade

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