When I was in school, a teacher once told us that every human had at least 5 strengths that the other 50,000 people did not have. Before puberty, my list had gone:

  1. Singing
  2.  Drawing
  3.  Badminton
  4.  Stamina
  5.  Creativity

Now, at age of 30, it went along the lines of:

  1. Cooking
  2.  Sewing back buttons
  3.  Good employee
  4.  Good immunity
  5.  Doable father

First and second I learned when I started to live alone after getting my job at an MNC. Local. Huh. There is nothing local about an MNC. But it was located close to where I went to college, which is not close to where my parents lived.

A good employee is only one of the five I have a trophy to show for. And it is the one that means the least. Everyone in the office got one on rotation. I got one when it was my turn. It might be there to boost morals; our company’s HR is weird like that. How something that we know we’re supposed to boost morale boosts our morale is beyond me. So, I might not be a good employee, but hey, I’m desperate here. Need to get to more strengths on my list.

Good immunity, because most of my sick leaves are taken when my daughter is down with something.

Doable father is longer and harder to explain, but one of the reasons is that I’m currently driving to my daughter’s school for an impromptu parent-teacher meeting after taking off half a day. It’s never happened before. I am a bit worried.

I could hear shouting even before I reached the staffroom, “… and so what? That biatch slapped my son first.”

There must have been a reply because she shouted again, “I am raising my son to be a man. He is not going to take any abuse from any itty-bitty girl. He takes slaps now…”

I was close enough to hear a calm and firm voice cut her off, “Mrs. Haven, I understand your concern for your child. But I am not going to revoke the punishment laid upon him. He is at fault as well. He incited violence even if he was not the guy to throw the first slap; he has been after Kimberly for days, taunting her even when I and many other teachers have been telling him to stop doing that.”

I had reached the staffroom at this point to see my daughter’s mathematics teacher standing in front of the woman whom I presume was the one shouting. She greeted me with a nod

“Mr. Vercelli.”

“May I ask where my daughter is?” I asked, a bit impatient. If my deductions are correct, the Kimberley being talked of here is my baby girl. Goodness, I hope she is okay.

“She’ll be here in a moment. She had minor injuries from the incident I was just discussing with Mrs. Haven, here. Till then, please take a seat.”

Lady in question looked at me as if she wanted to hit me. But, from what I’ve heard of and from her so far, she probably thought the same way about everything.

Ignoring the attempt she was making to get a rise out of me, I did as the teacher asked and took a seat.

A few minutes later, Berry came in.

Behind her trailed a boy with a bruise on his cheek.

There wasn’t much to say to the teacher after that, so I just thanked her and took my baby back with me. We didn’t speak the entire car ride.

Berry because she was probably anticipating a scolding, and me because I didn’t know what to say.

I chastise her behaviour and she won’t learn to fight for what she thinks is right.

I don’t scold her, and she would stop considering others’ opinions and how their opinions might not always be the same as hers.

Such an average parent, aren’t I?

Hello, everyone! If you liked this Short Story, do check out the related posts. Comment and like if you would like to read more similar works from the author. And don’t forget to share this on your social media channels.

Mili is pen name of Ankita Maurya. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and economics and is currently pursuing her master’s. She is one of those obnoxious people who prefer to be behind the camera than in front of it.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artme.craftyou/

Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCm3hgqLlG_0VoetD_iR2dMQ

Email: artmecraftyou@gmail.com

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