One Day left and I am three stories down. Today's is a continuation of Day 12
The next day Jelex was up bright and early, she wanted to give Mr Bumchin one more go. See if she could lure him out with his favourite honey on toast and then negotiate with him to come to school and meet with the other Bumchin's.
After eating her breakfast, making her lunch and waiting for her dad to be distracted by work emails, Jelex asked 'Dad, can I go on my iPad'.
'Yeah ok. Wait, is everything done? Lunch, shoes, bag?'
Little did dad know; and thankfully Jelex had made honey on toast at the same time she was making her lunch. It was these two slices of break pressed sticky side together that she had hidden up the front of her school shirt as she ducked downstairs to see if Mr Bumchin was about.
Jelex could not hide her surprise that he was standing there on the bottom verandah when she opened the door 'Oi, do I smell honey?'
'You sure do.' Jelex knew how to work him over, not much harder than dad really get him distracted and you can ask him anything.
With a mix of patience and exasperation, Jelex waited for the moment to come. The exasperation at how long and loud he was eating, honey. It was ridiculous, how was it that her father did not hear him.
'So Mr Bumchin, have you thought about what I asked? Will you come to school with me.'
Slurrrp, phhht, smack; 'mmmm Loverly.'
'Sorry Jelex, what were you saying, o' that's right school. Yeah yeah, I'll come with you how do you propose to do that?'
'Come with me.' Jelex turned and went back inside, turning momentarily to wave him in, while holding her index finger to her lips, gesturing that he needed to be quiet. Again turning, she bounded up the stairs two at a time, stopping at the top and gesturing; Stop. Mr Bumchin did just that.
'Hey dad, can I get your keys I want to check if my jumpers in the car.'
'Sure buddy, on the bench there, be quick we need to leave soon.'
Jelex ducked in and got the keys from the bench, then went back to the top of the stairs and gestured for the Bumchin to come up; grabbing him by the hand and dragging him out the front door before her father spotted him.
'Quick get in here, and lay down, don't get up until I tell you.'
The Bumchin jumped to get into the back of the car, kicking his legs madly as he failed to get a hold of anything to pull himself up and in. Jelex quickly stepped forward, grabbed a trouser leg and unceremoniously tossed him legs overhead into the back and shut the heavy door behind him. Just as her father came out.
'Quick Jelex, grab your bag, I am running late.' taking the car keys from her as she ran by to get her bag.
'C' mon buckle up. I have a meeting in fifteen, so I am just going to drop you round the corner, ok.'
'Sure dad, need to get something out of the boot though when we pull over.'
'Ok. Ok, just be quick. Let's call, mum.'
'You ok, Mr Bumchin?' Worried that she had hurt him in the urgency of getting him out of the car, and pushed in between the two parked cars before her father saw him. Poor old Bumchin had fallen down and bumped his head on the tow ball of one of the vehicles.
'All ok, my helmet saved me.'
So far, so good the plan was going well, she'd gotten him this far, now to get passed Kiss n' ride, through the main gate and past the assistant principal.
Thankfully though her father was correct, he was running particularly late, and he had dropped her off at 5 to 9, just the time when all of the kindy kids and their families were starting to race for the gates. As Mr Bumchin was about the same height as these kids, and that they travelled in packs ten or more she stuck her full brimmed hat on top of his helmet and told him to wear her backpack.
Then as casually as a super spy on a mission, she grabbed his hand and stepped in behind the kindy's pack. It was perfect, the two of them cruised past everything and everyone without a single glance or question.
Once on the inside, the schoolyard was packed. 800 odd kids in a school that used to only have 350. With a playground that had unusually shrunk as they had gotten more kids; the area being taken over by more and more demountable's.
As unpleasant as it was for the kids, running around and kicking up dirt in the dust bowl that was once a grassed area, and for the standing room only around the handball and netball courts it was great. Great because all this crowding allowed them to stand in the open unnoticed.
'Booop, Booop, Booop!'
'Mr Bumchin, what are we going to do, I have to go line up.'
'T'is all cool my Jelex, I'll go explore, meet me over there near the water trough at recess.' And with that, he was gone.
Jelex went and joined the class line, worried about her friend Mr Bumchin, she had dragged him down here and now what was she to do, how would she help him?