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The principals office

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Helena and Elizabeth were at the office working on a new formula for a mascara when Helena’s phone rang. 

 

“It’s the school,” she announced confused, picking up the phone, “Helena Rubenstein speaking.” Elizabeth stared at her wife as she spoke on the phone, not being able to read her expressions.

 

“We will be there soon. Thank you,” Helena said sternly, hanging up the phone. 

 

“What’s the matter? Is Anna okay?” Elizabeth asked as she packed up her purse as quickly as Helena had.

 

“She punched some kid in the nose.” 

 

—— 

 

Sitting in the principal's office with their 5 year old is not something neither Helena nor Elizabeth had expected to be doing this early in the year. They most definitely did not expect it under the circumstances that they were there. The small girl sat between her mothers, and looked down at her shoes, too afraid to look them in their eyes. Annalise may have only been 5, but she was a very smart young lady. She knew she could never tell her mothers why she had punched the other child, because they would get upset and feel bad.  She hated when her mothers felt bad. 

 

“Annalise, would you like to explain to me and your mothers why you decided to punch Joy in the nose?” Principal Hammond asked. Annalise kept her head down, shaking it. 

 

“Do you know what happened, Principal?” Elizabeth asked gently. 

 

“I don’t. Nor does the teacher. They were out at recess and the next thing the teacher hears is Joy crying with a bloody nose because Annalise had punched her,” Hammond explained reading over the teacher’s report that she was given. 

 

“I want to know what happened. My daughter does not go around punching people,” Helena spoke, a harsh tone lacing her words, her polish accent only adding to it. 

 

“We tried to ask her what happened, she won’t talk. Mrs.Rubenstein, Mrs.Arden, I apologize but we cannot tolerate this behavior. She is suspended for 3 days,” And with that, Elizabeth, Helena, and Annalise stood up, leaving the office and the school. When in the car, Annalise kept quiet, waiting on the dreadful fussing that was going to come her way. Luckily the car ride home was silent, but she was sat down in front of her mothers when they arrived back home. 

 

Nie wierzę ci (I can’t believe you). We send you to school to learn , Anna. Not to use other children as kickboxing equipment!” Helena raised her voice slightly and Anna immediately started crying. She had never seen her mommy that upset before. She had seen Elizabeth throw tantrums all the time, but Helena was always the calm one, never losing her cool, at least not around her. Helena saw her daughter crying and instantly softened pulling the tiny girl into her lap, hugging her tightly while trying not to cry. 

 

“Anna, Mommy didn’t mean to make you cry. Mommy’s so sorry,” Helena cooed, rocking Annalise back and forth, the tears that were brimming her eyes, falling down her face. 

 

“Baby girl, why don’t you just tell us what happened?” Elizabeth asked, rubbing Annalise’s back trying to soothe her. Anna buried her face deeper in Helena’s neck, shaking her head. 

 

“Why not? Jeśli nie zamierzasz powiedzieć, dlaczego to zrobiłeś, powiedz nam, dlaczego nam nie powiesz (If you're not going to say why you did it, please tell us why you don't tell us),” Helena told her, running her fingers through Annalise’s dark hair. 

 

“I want to go to school. You won’t let me go if i tell you.” Helena was now more worried than ever, shooting Elizabeth a glance that Elizabeth too had spread across her face. 

 

“No we won’t. You will still go to school if you tell us, right Helena?” Elizabeth knew that Helena was looking for a reason to pull her out of school, but they could both see how happy going to school made Annalise. 

 

“Right. Just tell us, Anna.” 

 

“She was making fun of me for having two moms. I told her to stop it and she pushed me. So I punched her in the nose,” Annalise explained, still avoiding her mothers’ gaze. Helena and Elizabeth’s hearts sank, realizing that she had gone through what they dreaded the most. 

 

“Listen, Anna, you’re not in trouble baby. At least not with us. She pushed you, so you defended yourself,” Helena started, lifting the tiny head to look into her crystal blue eyes. She wiped Anna’s tears and kissed her forehead, hugging her tightly. 

 

“Come see Mama for a minute,” Elizabeth said, picking Annalise up from Helena’s lap, and taking the 5 year old on her own. 

 

“People are always going to think it’s weird for you to have two moms, but it’s important for you to know that it’s okay to have two moms. We don’t love you any less than all the other kids’ moms and dads. Mommy and I love each other and we wanted to have a baby, so we did,” Elizabeth explained, Annalise seeming to understand everything she was saying. Elizabeth kissed the small forehead, squeezing her tightly as Helena did. 

 

“How about you go take a nap, and later on when you come back to the office with us, we’ll stop for ice cream on the way,” Helena offered, taking her hand and leading her down the hallway, Elizabeth following them.  They put Annalise in her bed, taking off her shoes and giving her tuggy. 

 

“Mommy and Mama love you so much,” Helena whispered as her and Elizabeth were leaving the room. 

 

——- 

 

“What are we going to do?” Helena muttered, her and Elizabeth curled up on the couch, as Annalise was napping. 

 

“We go to the school and explain what happened. I would suggest moving schools, but she’s going to get teased everywhere she goes. Either that or because of who we are she’s going to get treated differently,” Elizabeth explained rubbing circles on the shorter woman’s back. 

 

“Whatever we do is going to be hard for her, and I hate that. Lizzie, she’s just a baby,” Helena wanted to cry. She felt awful even though she knew she had done nothing wrong. 

 

“She’s a strong little girl, Helena. She gets it from her mothers. She’s smart and sensible. She can handle anything we throw her way, as long as we help her through it,” Elizabeth reassured her. 

 

“I love you so much,” Helena told her, kissing at her lips.

 

“I love you too.”