Winter had come and everyone was coming down with sniffles and colds.
“Atisho, Atisho!” Someone sneezed yet again and to Nani Jaan’s dismay there was no more tissue to be found.
Finally retrieving a toilet roll from her bathroom, Nani Jaan apologetically handed it over to the child that had sneezed.
“This calls for nice, steaming hot bowls of soup,” Nani Jaan declared.
Once the soup was ready, Nani Jaan called for the children to gather around saying, “I’ve got the perfect story! A funny story to raise everyone’s gloomy spirits.”
“Mrs Delany, I think you need to stop brushing me off and finally do something. This is the 4th time I’m seeing Tommy with toilet paper. I’ve reported to you the first time when he came out with a huge wad fluttering from his waistband but you told me I’m over-reacting. But this is the fourth time I’m seeing him with signs toilet paper on him.”
Emily Kale pleaded internally for the head of department to take her seriously.
Her heart sank when Mrs Delany spoke, smiling condescendingly, “Yes Emily, I understand that you are a little stressed about this but every child has their peculiarities. Maybe Tommy just likes toilet paper? Have you considered that?”
“You’re not listening to me, Mrs Delany! Each time that Tommy had toilet paper with him was after he’d been to the toilet. I have a bad feeling that he’s… Maybe..,” Emily bit her lip, “taking the toilet paper from the toilets?”
Mrs Delany’s head snapped up, “Don’t be absurd, Emily. Next thing you know, you’ll be contemplating whether Tommy gets menstrual periods!! It’s as absurd a suggestion as stealing toilet paper. Maybe he had running stomach or something. But it’s probably just something as trivial as sloppy toilet habits. I get that it’s only your second month here but paranoia is not a trait we encourage in our teachers. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have lots of work to do.”
Emily stared at the HOD’s retreating back, her cheeks burning. Familiar feelings of frustration and inadequacy hit hard. Why did the HOD look down on her so much. She hated being the new teacher! Almost as much as she hated being brushed off.
Something was definitely going on with Tommy and she was going to get to the bottom of this. She’d never heard of any kid having toilet paper fetishes. Something was definitely going on here. She was certain of it. Even if no one believed her.