IX.

Her mother makes most of her dresses, and the rest are secondhand. A classmate asks her a question. She doesn’t understand. It could be a matter of language. It could be a matter of culture. “What?” she replies. He repeats his question. “What?” she asks. He changes his question: “Are you deaf?” She doesn’t know what ‘deaf’ means. “What?” she says. Of course, she is bullied. Many children are not familiar with the concept of mercy.