Challenged Champion III

By: Ely Lagajino

…be sure your sin will find you out. Number 32:23 (NKLV)

Our teacher, Mr. Cruz, gave us time to review our lesson. He adopted a famous dedication program over the radio to introduce the question. Our teacher called Arnel. 

“My question is heartily and lovingly dedicated to Clara, nine times one?” Arnel announced.

The whole class chuckled as Leo teased, “You make your question so easy because she is your crush”. As a rule, those who answered the question should throw the next one. Clara asked, “My question is heartily and lovingly dedicated to Lucas, nine times eight?”

He gave the wrong answer, as the girls started giggling.  Another rule was for those who could not answer the questions correctly. They should give their pen or their shoe to the teacher. They could only redeem the items by singing, or dancing, or worse by crawling under the table. Everyone joined the fun that we forgot all about our secret.

Suddenly, almost ten minutes before the end of the period, a thunderstorm hit us. Heavy rains began to pour on the roof of our schoolhouse. Everyone grew terrified, not because of the thunderstorm but because we all knew that the rain would wash out the clay on the patched whole. Girls started screaming. Happy faces turned pale. The class chanted, “rain, rain go away come again another day”

“Why are you so afraid of an ordinary thunderstorm?” our baffled teacher asked as a very strong wind blew, followed by a lightning bolt, a roaring thunder, and cracking sound at the rooftop, as the broken piece of asbestos landed right smack on the floor in front of Mr. Cruz.   Some clever boys shouted, “Sir the lightning hit the roof”. 

Almost carried away Mr. Cruz blurted, “Aha, now, I understand the silence, and the chanting”, and “somebody will have plenty of explaining to do”, as he held the newly sharpened clay-filled guava branches in his hands.

We stopped all our cover-up stories and told the truth. We all said sorry, but thoroughly scrubbed the muddy, flooded floor the rest of the day.

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