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Chapter 2

You know the stereotyped school nurses have whenever you come to them feeling sick or got injured and they would just say something like “here’s some ice”? Well, in my defense since I can’t exactly blame them, that’s kind of what happened. But because I don’t like the idea of my jeans getting wet due to the ice pack, I decided to wrap it in a towel, claiming this would be better. Taking a seat against the cyan blue cushions with my handheld underneath me to apply the ice to my bottom, I let out a satisfied exhale. Sure, it was awkward sitting like this, but it wasn’t like anyone was going to judge me straight to my face. I do however wish Idris was here to give me a hand, and I of course would give a helping hand back. For your information yes, I am quite upset about how he betrayed me. Sure, I underestimated myself a little with the overconfidence, but we’re best friends! We should be reading our minds by now! It didn’t make sense this was such a rare occurrence for this to have happened between each other. Calm down. Maybe he’s making his way to the nurse’s office this second? How long should I even stay here? Until the aching stops? This wasn’t something I would go home for that’s for sure. At least I was missing Arabic class. As much as I love Sister Aisha as a teacher, her class is awfully difficult for those who don’t speak Arabic natively. I know for sure the Quran class we have has taught us the “ABC's” of Arabic by making us learn the Arabic letters in order for us to read the Quran and essentially read Arabic in general but still. I’m a shy person, and I know part of it is my fault for not approaching her after class or school asking for clarification or help, but it’s not like it’s a huge issue for my mom. We just use Google translate for the homework assignments but when it comes to testing day, I’m screwed. Thankfully she rarely does tests she knows the outcomes of what the grades would be if she gave tests more frequently. I have to admit, I feel bad. There have been times since the majority of her class are nonnative Arabic speakers, she has complained about no one asking her for help on the assignments since she’s experienced the majority of the class doing poorly on her tests numerous times. She got to the point of making her tests simpler even for the Arabic students to keep it fair. Of course, starting next year, for those who end up passing the final exam she’s still required to give would be making it to the second level Arabic class which is supposedly more difficult than the first. It’s honestly something she’s stressing over internally. I could tell despite how well she’s doing at hiding her worry for her class. Deep down she knows that if she continues to simplify the tests and reduces the frequency of them, her class will do poorly on the final; that can even result in affecting her job too. I felt myself relax again, contemplating how much longer I should spend here since it doesn’t feel like I have much to do apart from holding an ice pack awkwardly for as long as I want. It doesn’t seem like Idris was coming which left me a bit disappointed. Of course, I could rescue him by heading to class so that he’d have a partner for Sister Aisha’s group activities. Yeah, maybe it’s best to head back instead of being bored sitting here with an ice pack. The clock in the room was also getting on my nerves, ticking as each second went by. Bidding farewell to the nurse by saying “Salam Alaykum” which translates to “may peace be sent to you”, I left the office with my bottom aching a lot lesser and could walk a bit better. Sure the pain was there but it wasn’t as bad anymore. Heading down the hallway again, I reluctantly speed-walked to my Arabic class, knowing I didn’t really spend much time there as I had hoped since my injury was minor. For some reason, my teacher had a habit of locking the door to her class, I think it was a habit of hers to prevent late students from sneaking it when she wasn’t looking. Ironically, I’m quite shy despite how open I am during recess, I guess it’s a matter of me just being quite free and myself without anyone staring at me. I gripped the yellow, shiny doorknob and turned it a little, feeling it halt as soon as I twisted it a little to the right. Yup, locked. I began the approach to knock on the white wooden door and then anxiously waiting. I began to prepare to see the whole class's eyes on me as soon as that door opens, exposing my skinny frame. I contemplated if I should even stand in front of the door. Maybe I should just move aside and distract myself with the Arabic homework assignments hung on the wall outside, looking through and finding mine with a smiley face drawn in red pen. I of course got them all correct because I’ve always used Google translate. How else could I do it? While my family sort of speak Arabic, they’re not Arabs. They’re South Asian and speak a hybrid of the language which is Urdu. It’s not Arabic per se, but it is similar. It’s evident by now that the one hundred’s students get on the homework’s compared to the D’s they get on tests shows her that we just use Google translate. But if she doesn’t give our homework, she would be failing as a teacher according to the school’s standards and she’s required to give it out. I turned to the door, hearing it creak open as the chatter of the students filled the room. Sister Aisha was the one to open it, letting me in as I stepped in awkwardly, trying not to make eye contact with anyone. “Okay okay, everyone. Eyes back to the board” She called out, clapping her hands after closing the door. She rushed back to the front of the board while I took my seat at my desk next to Idris. I eyed him, while he gave a look of regret. “Look I’m sorry! I thought you’d say no as well and now that I think about it it was really dumb of me to say no and if it makes you feel better my butt is numb again,” he whispered as I tried my hardest not to make a scene by busting out laughing. The small grin that peaked from my lips seemed to be enough for Idris to know he was forgiven. It was really difficult to spark my anger where I wouldn’t crack a smile. As you already know, I laugh and smile really easily. It’s a frustrating thing but according to my parent’s is a blessing since smiling is Sunnah. From what I’ve learned in my Islamic studies class, a Sunnah is a tradition the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him used to do that would give you reward for doing as well. I turned my eyes to the board, pulling my notebook out to take some notes on the Arabic words plus English translations that were written on the board. Why exactly is it so hard to pass this class, I mean really? The notes are right in my book, all I have to do is study them right? So why is it that I end up struggling so much when it comes to tests? I know I’m not one to study and Sister Aisha really isn’t the strict teacher type considering she is very approachable. I don’t know, maybe one day I’ll give it a try, or tonight I’ll see if I can actually learn what I have written in this notebook for once.

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