Doing What Was Needed
It wasn’t until Cindy decided to follow her daughter’s school friend that she realized what she was getting into. Despite feeling bad about it, she went ahead with it. Her fate would be sealed if she was caught.
Motherly responsibilities compelled her to observe what was happening. After she stuck her nose where it didn’t belong, everyone would be in tears.
She Had To Do Something
The moment Cindy’s daughter approached her and told her about her friend, she was alarmed. How could a child go to school without a packed lunch?
Taking an interest in the child’s welfare became her priority. Ultimately, she would be way over her head due to her choices.
Looking For Answers
She didn’t want to expose anyone. That is what happened when she became concerned about a child’s well-being. Why was her clothing always ragged, and she never ate lunch?
How could any mother let her child go without lunch or clothes? There was a lot she needed to uncover.
When Cindy’s nosiness made the secret of the child public, hundreds of people would put the child’s family on trial.
It was hard to believe what was happening behind closed doors, and Cindy had never imagined how much controversy it would create.
Your Average Mother
As far as mothers go, Cindy May was just like any other. Her only priority was her relationship with her 10-year-old daughter, Emma. Her goal was to make sure Emma had the best possible care whenever possible. In order to achieve that, she needed to be enrolled in the best school she could find.
When her daughter started asking for more lunch every single day, she noticed something strange. Did she really eat so much?
It Was Strange
An appetite like Emma’s should not have been expected from a 10-year-old. Is there a reason she wanted more lunch than she usually received from her mother?
She packed the same things every time. Her treats included a peanut butter sandwich, an apple, and a juice box, all of which are essential for a young girl. Is there a reason she wanted to double that?
She Made The Right Call
It’s rare for a mother to be wrong about her instincts, and Cindy felt that something was amiss. At home, her daughter made excuses and didn’t have a big appetite.
Rather than snooping around, she decided to directly ask her daughter about it. However, she was not prepared for the answer.
“Hi, sweetie, why are you asking for more lunch?” In a sweet voice, Cindy asked her daughter. Looking at her shoes, Emma mumbled, “For a friend.”
“A friend? Who, darling?” Emma gave her mother a name that would change everything.
It was here that Cindy learned about Jessica, her daughter’s friend. Her questions now outnumbered her answers. What made her daughter want to give lunch to her friend
After thinking about it, Cindy became worried. A worst-case scenario immediately emerged in her mind. Despite this, she didn’t realize how bad the situation was.
The Worst Case Scenario
Cindy was first concerned about her daughter’s safety. Did Jessica bully her into giving her extra lunches every day?
Her experience with bullying like this was not new to her. When students took lunch from their classmates as a show of power, she decided to investigate. Her first mistake was making that decision.
Looking Out For Her
Cindy had it all figured out. She wanted to see what Jessica looked like. She’d be able to get a better idea of what was going on once she saw that.
So the next time she dropped her daughter off, she paid careful attention to what was going on. She watched out of her window after Emma left her car. That’s when she saw Emma hugging a girl her age. But she couldn’t believe who it was.
That Was Jessica?
Cindy watched as her daughter hugged a girl smaller than her and handed her the extra lunch she’d packed. Clearly, that was Jessica, but it was really hard to believe because of one glaring detail.
It seemed impossible that the girl could be bullying her daughter. She smiled at Emma when she gave her the lunch. That’s when she noticed her clothing.
Jessica’s clothing was the first thing that caught Cindy’s eye. Compared to her daughter’s freshly laundered and brightly colored clothing, Jessica had a tatty-looking grey shirt on and wild, unbrushed hair.
Cindy couldn’t believe it. The girl was a strong contrast to her daughter. How could her mother let her go out like that? But once Cindy found out the truth, she’d be in tears.
Asking Her Daughter About It
Cindy thought about Jessica for the rest of the day. She was concerned about her. Once she picked up Emma from school, she asked her about her new friend.
She wanted to know more about Jessica, and Emma would be the perfect person to tell her. But the truth would be far from comforting.
Didn’t Have A Bedroom
After asking Emma about her friend, Cindy learned some concerning things about her. As a mother, these details would leave a shiver down her spine.
The most concerning thing was the last thing that she told her about Jessica. “She told me she doesn’t have a bedroom.”
Deciding To Check Her Out
Cindy was concerned about Emma’s friend, so she decided to do something a little drastic. She would see where the girl went after school. She knew it was a bad idea, but what other way would she find out the truth? She tailed the young girl as she walked home from school. Luckily, Emma had taken part in extracurricular swimming, so she had the perfect opportunity.
She drove slowly down the road as she watched the girl make her way home. It seemed her mother didn’t pick her up from school, and Cindy wondered why. But the truth was worse than she imagined.
Going To A Scrapyard
Cindy followed the child two blocks from the school until she walked into a scrapyard. The electronic gate opened when she approached and closed after her. Cindy was now more confused than ever.
Dozens of thoughts flooded through Cindy’s mind. Did her father own or work at the scrapyard, and she’d go there after school?
Couldn’t Get Any Further
Cindy couldn’t get any further with her investigation after the girl went into the scrapyard because it was private property. She’d have to head back home and think of a plan.
She picked up Emma, and the two went home. But Cindy was kept awake with an uneasy feeling.
Things Got Worse
Cindy’s uneasiness wasn’t helped when the following week later. She noticed that suddenly Jessica wasn’t waiting for Emma when she dropped her off anymore.
Her concern grew, and she felt obligated to ask her daughter what had happened to her friend. But the answer made her pick up the phone.
Late Every Day
Cindy asked her daughter about Jessica once again. “Why haven’t I seen her waiting for you at the school gate anymore?”
Emma seemed a little sad in her reply, “Jessica’s been late every day this week, and she always seems so tired.”
Picking Up The Phone
Cindy couldn’t believe what she was hearing. This was the last straw, something was going on, and she wouldn’t sit idly by.
She didn’t like getting involved in other people’s business, but she wanted to look out for the young girl. She decided to pick up the phone and dial a number.
Calling The School
Cindy didn’t know what else to do. She decided to call the school and tell them her concerns. She explained the young girl’s clothing, where she went after school, and her tardiness.
The school representative agreed that Jessica’s home life seemed strange. But after Cindy mentioned that she said she didn’t have a bedroom, they decided to take action.
The school launched an investigation. They called up their Resource Officer and prompted him to talk to Jessica.
But that’s when things would get out of control, and Cindy would feel bad for bringing attention to Jessica’s unique situation.
Not Allowed To Say
The School Resource Officer was sent to try and figure out more about Jessica’s home life. He called the child out of the classroom and knelt down to talk to her.
He asked her about where she lived and how her situation was at home. But Jessica simply replied with, “I’m not allowed to say.”
Going For The Truth
Soon parents heard the rumors about Jessica and were whipped into a frenzy. They posted about it online, and it seemed that the entire internet was on a witch hunt.
They demanded to know what was going on with the little girl. Was she safe? Or was she in danger?
Having A Meeting
The school needed to quell the unrest that was caused by the knowledge of Jessica’s situation. They called in Jessica’s parents to have a meeting with them.
But there was one problem when they assumed that her parents would be happy to attend a trial like that.
The school wouldn’t be able to call both parents into a hearing. That was because of a very tragic fact. Jessica’s father passed away when she was four years old.
The only person that looked after Jessica was her single mother. But the whole truth was a lot sadder.
Spilling The Truth
Finally, Jessica’s mother appeared before the principal to tell them what was going on. She admitted to being a bad mother, but it wasn’t entirely in her control.
She explained why Jessica walked to a scrapyard every day after school. It was where they lived. But it was not what they thought.
Living In A Bus
Her mother further explained. The situation was hard to believe. She and Jessica were allowed on the property by the owner of the scrapyard. He took pity on them when they had nowhere else to go.
It started when her car was totaled. The scrapyard owner noticed that they had all of their possessions in the car. He realized that they were living out of it and felt bad. He generously told them that they could stay in the scrapyard – inside an old school bus.
All of the parents, faculty, and internet people sympathized with Mary, Jessica’s mother. She had fallen on hard times after her husband had passed away. But things wouldn’t stay that way for long now that everyone knew the truth.
The community all came together and started a huge campaign for the two of them. Jessica got new clothing, and they were even given enough money to start paying rent at a small apartment so that Mary could get back on her feet. Cindy was glad that her motherly intuition had paid off in a big way.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.