Just now

We have a holiday today. I need one, so I am really glad. Next week is something called Special Dedication Week. I don’t remember this from last year. I don’t know if we had it or not, but it promises to be a busy week.

I had houseguests last night: six exchange students from the US and Canada bunking classes for a few days. And yesterday was maybe a bit dramatic. In sixth period, I went to C’s classroom—I had told her to come to me for ten minutes at the start of class for some work with sounds, because that is basically her weakness, but she hadn’t come. When I came in, she was crying torrentially, although not as loudly as when her class teacher scolded her for staying at school too late.

She had some kind of cramp in her arm. I don’t know why it happened and I didn’t know what to do, but a girl in her class who isn’t named Xiu Li (let’s call her that) was doing something with her arm that seemed intended to help, but was causing C excruciating pain. There were students clustered around C—one of them rubbing tiger balm on her arm—some of them just trying to figure out what to do. Oddly, none of them were the girls I thought were her friends in the class. They aren’t the girls she seems to eat lunch with. Those girls were sitting on the other side of the room with books in front of them, gossiping and not studying.

I went and stood behind her, kind of easing kids out of my way as I went, and I stood there stroking her hair while she cried and Xiu Li did something I hoped might turn out to be magic. I stood there until the pain finally subsided. I guess that was 40 minutes later. Then the bell was about to ring and I had to leave.

After school, I saw C standing on the steps by her classroom. I don’t know why she was standing there. Usually she walks in the other direction to go to the assembly ground for prayer. Maybe she saw me and was waiting. I don’t know. At any rate, she looked very fragile and not at all like her usual self. She met me there and said thank you. I asked if her arm was better and then whether it was because I was calling her out of class—a question I don’t know if she understood. But it’s something I have done three times. The first time, the substitute was teaching them, and giving extra marks in IT for answering questions correctly. The second time, she got a high fever very suddenly. Anyway, she said it wasn’t. She had had a history presentation that day. I asked her that went. She didn’t know. We went our separate ways to prayer then and didn’t speak again.


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