Mrs. Wilson called us to attention. “Class, everyone please take out a clean sheet of paper and write your name at the top.”
Groans rang out around me. “Spelling test,” I said to my best friend, Tommy as he opened the desk that set next to mine. He fished around and came out with an empty white sheet of notebook paper. I did the same. He looked a little funny.
“You okay?” I asked.
“I don’t feel so good.”
“You should tell Mrs. Wilson.” I said. Tommy shook his head.
“Don’t you tell her.” Tommy said. I shook my head no but wondered why.
“Why do we have to take spelling tests Mrs. Wilson?” Johnny asked.
“Yeah!” Gary echoed. “Why?”
“I turned around and smiled at Wendolyn. She smiled back and mouthed, “Today is Wednesday!” That was one of our spelling words and we had looked it up together in Mrs. Wilson’s big dictionary she kept on the shelf.
“Don’t forget,” Wendolyn had said, “There’s a ‘d’ in Wednesday!”
“Okay, boys and girls,” Mrs. Wilson said, ignoring Johnny and Gary. “Get ready. We will have our spelling test on this weeks words. I hope you are all ready.” The third grade class quieted down and Mrs. Wilson began to announce the list of words.
I wrote the words quickly. I mostly knew how to spell them from reading the story that was in the spelling book using the week’s spelling words. I liked to read. But my pencil needed sharpening.
Mrs. Wilson announced each word and then pronounced it again a few times as she circled the classroom. I saw her walk by Wendolyn and noticed her face was very red and she was grimacing. Mrs. Wilson went back to the sink. She picked up a sponge and wet it and turned to make her way back. She stopped with the sponge trying to bring it to Wendolyn’s forehead.
Poor Wendolyn threw up over the top of the sponge onto the floor. I saw Mrs. Wilson jump back. She had a look of frustration for a split second. “Maybe you should just run to the bathroom, Wendolyn.” She said rather calmly, I thought.
Wendolyn held her hand up to her mouth and nodded. Her face was bright red. Slowly she stepped out of her chair and avoiding eye contact with everyone she ran to the doorway and down the hall.
“Okay, class.” Mrs. Wilson recovered her composure. “Two more words.” And after I wrote those down she had us hand our papers up to the front of the room. Once they were in her hands I looked back at Wendolyn’s desk and noticed she must have had eggs for breakfast.
“I’ll be right back, class. Please be on your best behavior.”
Some of the kids close to Wendolyn’s desk began to gasp. I looked at Tommy and his face looked a little green. “Don’t you smell it?” He asked as he laid his head down on his desk.
“Yeah.” I said. “Try not to think about it.”
Just then Mrs. Wilson reappeared. “Boys and girls please come with me. We will have early recess.”
We followed our teacher down the hall heading out into the fresh spring air. I watched our janitor, Mr. Ramsey shuffling down the hall pushing a bucket with a mop and holding a box of absorbing stuff and dragging a broom as he went into our classroom.
Once we were out on the playground Tommy didn’t run towards the swings. “You want to go on the merry-go-round?” I asked him.
“No!” Tommy waved his hand. “I don’t feel so good. I might throw up, too.”
I laughed because I thought he was joking. But his face was too grim. “Really?”
“Yeah.” Tommy said, sitting on the grass and rubbing his head.
“Is it cause of Wendolyn?” I asked him trying to think what we should do.
“Well, I felt sick before but that didn’t help. Now I really feel awful.”
Mrs. Wilson was watching all of us by the door. “I’ll be right back.” I said to Tommy and he nodded but didn’t say anything.
I ran over to Mrs. Wilson and she looked at me, “Yes Paul?”
“Mrs. Wilson….um,” I started to talk but then I wasn’t sure. “Tommy said he might throw up, too. I think he’s pretty sick. But he didn’t want me to tell.”
“Well,” Mrs. Wilson said. “I’m glad you did. We’ll go talk to him.”
We went in our classroom and saw it was cleaned and back to normal. But Mrs. Wilson guided Tommy towards the office. “You seem awful warm, Tommy. I think you might have a fever. We’ll call your mother and have her come pick you up.”
Tommy looked back at me and smiled weakly. He didn’t look so good.
A couple days later we were sitting in school together again listening to Mrs. Wilson explain something about how rain comes from clouds. I wasn’t paying much attention even though I was interested in the clouds but my stomach was churning and my head hurt.
“You okay, Paul?” Tommy whispered when I didn’t answer. Mrs. Wilson had called on me to ask what kind of clouds were puffy and white.
“I don’t feel so good,” I whispered back. “I think I might throw up.”
“You should tell Mrs. Wilson.” Tommy told me.
“No.” I was embarrassed and worried I’d throw up in front of everyone.
Just then Tommy raised his hand and Mrs. Wilson looked at him then at me. “Yes, Tommy.”
“Paul’s sick.” Tommy said seriously. “He might throw up.” I wondered if he was getting even with me for a second.
Mrs. Wilson jumped out of her chair and before I knew it we were dashing down the hallway towards the bathroom. We made it just in time.
Mrs. Wilson wiped my mouth with a wet, brown paper towel. “Feeling a little better?” she asked me.
I tried to say yes but my voice cracked so I just nodded. Mrs. Wilson took another towel and wiped her shoe. “Sorry, Mrs. Wilson.” I muttered.
“Well, Paul!” She said. “I think now we’ll call your mother and have you lay down in the office until she gets here.”
I’d never been in the office before. There was a big black couch in there and the secretary had me lay down on it while the principal called my Mom.
“If you feel sick again, use the bathroom in here,” the secretary told me with a warm but wary smile.
I recovered quickly and the next day Tommy and I were playing catch just a few minutes before the bell rang for the start of the day.
“You boys do a good job of looking out for each other, don’t you?” Mrs. Wilson asked us with a twinkle in her eyes as she walked up to us.
“We’re best friends.” we said almost in unison.
“I can see that.” Mrs. Wilson smiled at us as the bell rang.
1 John 2.1b And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Romans 8.34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Hebrews 7.25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.