A new kid
”I congratulate you with the beginning of new school year and want to introduce your new classmate. I hope you’ll help her to find feet in new school.”
She was slim long black haired girl of low stature with incredibly beautiful black eyes in her swarthy face. She was actually bonny, and boys in the classroom began to wink to each other incurring girls’ displeasure.
The teacher asked her to tell something about herself. It turned out her name was Atyara, she had moved from Southern Africa, where her parents had researched culture and life of the Indians. Now they arrived in Toronto to study up and then enter a university.
The class giggled: it was three years before prom, it was too early to think over universities.
In a week during the first history lesson a teacher looking through the class register mentioned the new surname in the list: “Abalina… Please, rise you hand. It’s nice to meet you”. And then he humorously said: “You’ve pushed aside the reigning beauties of the class in the list, I hope you’ll be on top in studies as well”. Nobody took notice of Christine’ narrowed eyes, a tall blonde, who sat at the first desk. She quickly reverted her eyes and whispered something to her deskmate Jane who looked like Christine’s full sister. Girls fairly disliked teacher’s joke.
School weekdays came one after another. Atyara kept aloof, talked to all classmates in the same way, and made no friends with. Boys made overtures to her, but she kept them at arm's length, have betaken herself to studies. She got high grades, but never swelled with importance, and always helped to classmates when they asked for.
Only Christine and Jane were pippish: calm and good Atyara was kind-hearted person, not only boys with their flirtation, but even girls felt drawn to her. Formerly the class’ life had been centered on beauties-blondes, that time the “goody-goody” tried to come into their positions. Christine had tried to lead girls on to boycott a new kid, but she found no support. Then she decided to act more cunning.
“One needs to know his enemy by sight”, she said to Jane. “I’ll strike up a friendship with her, get hold what she is all about and call the bluff of that smarty pants. I'll make her squirm yet!”
Christine lived in the same house as Atty as girls had begun to call her. Everybody was bowled over when they began to go to school together and spend plenty of time together. Christine even abandoned her BFF.
Outcome took place in a month, during school autumn ball. Atyara who went in for dances, rehearsed flamenco. Everybody waited edgily for that act. During the last repetition in costumes Atyara fell and turned ankle - a heel had been broken. She missed the autumn ball - she had been in her bed with her bad leg. It was Christine who shone at the ball.
In two weeks Atyara got well and came to school. She behaved as nothing had happened, and blamed nobody for what had happened. However, she became less interested in friendship with Christine, the latter had returned to her fried Jane. In a short time this story fell into oblivion, new cares were on the eve - the New Year. Christine again shone at the New Year’s ball. Atyara couldn’t dance, her leg was still ached.
But Christine didn’t come to school after New Year holidays. It was said she had changed school, moved to another city, in a word - disappeared. Her friend Jane couldn’t sit still, but she didn’t manage to get to know where Christine disappeared.
Little by little Jane forgot Christine and forged friendship with Atyara who had found legs in the class long ago, but didn’t make friends with anyone.
Once Jane called at Atyara’s place to take homework. Atyara was not at home. Jane was met by a little fay old woman dressed in a flashy dress. She invited the girl to enter. “You’re my Tary’s friend”, she twittered. “But she’s absent, she has gone to a store. Pass into her room, you may wait for her there.”
Jane went to Atyara’s room and looked around. There all the signs are that Atyara was enthusiastic about the Indians. Atyara’s grandma entered the room after Jane. Jane took a chance to get a better look at the oldie. She was not old, but ancient. The dress she had on was the same as in the pictures with the Indians that hung on the walls. It became clear why Atyara had so exotic appearance - her grandma was real Indian. The granny sat Jane in chair and brought a cup of tea. It was sweet-scented, made of some herbs.
Suddenly Jane cast a look at strange articles on the Atyara’s table. It was human small heads as big as oranges. They were as real ones, but small, dry and very frightful. Her eyes popped out. The granny followed her look and suddenly burst out laughing. She took one head and came to Jane.
“It’s a tzantza. A souvenir from South America. A mascot that protects my little girl. The Indians dried their prostrate enemies’ heads in a special way, thus, to make their power pass to winners and protect its owner. The mother of my Tari was a granddaughter of an Indian shaman of one high-mountain tribe. She was seduced by a young fair-skinned researcher, who had studied the Indian’s life. They married and a beautiful girl was born. My Tari. A nice story, isn’t it? But then that scoundrel left his wife and child for a young nurse. Tari’s mother broke down and committed suicide. The girl had been on holiday and known nothing. I took her to Toronto. She shouldn’t be among the Indians. Tari is a child of civilization. She has still believed that her parents carry out researches in Ecuador.”
With these words the oldie took one of heads, dark with long black hair.
“It’s Teva - Tari’s mother. She looks at her daughter and is gratified by her success”, then she took the second, fairer, short-haired. “It’s her wanton daddy. He had to pay back and protect his own child”. The old woman put the heads back on support on the table.
“And there’s my babe’s enemy who wished her ill and hurt my girl,” the oldie turned and showed to Jane the third head, fair-skinned with long blond hair.
“You won’t break my grandchild’s heart, will you?..”