I am having the worst night ever. I can not think for many reasons. One, my ball-point pen tip is clicking against my notebook loudly, two, I do not believe the news that our teacher brought today.
“We teachers have received surprising news today,” Ms. Goldman said. I noticed the tone of her voice wasn’t excited or surprised. She sounded tired and even a bit glum as if the news was banning all chairs in the school.
Everyone leaned in. Not me. The sound of her voice, the look on her face, and the slump of her shoulders made me realize it was something bad. Something really, really bad. How do I know this? It’s because Ms. Goldman usually liked news that sucked for us.
“Now, we all know about the virus outbreak,” she started. “We have been okay to go to school before, but it has gone worse. The virus is getting so contagious, that we have no choice but to shut down the school.”
Everyone exchanged looks, and there were gasps that filled the air.
A few seconds of silence later, I expected questions. There were.
“Forever? Or until the virus is gone?”
“Did the other schools plan to shut down too?”
“Do we have school online? Because once my sister had to do school online and they did it face to face with everyone else, only everyone was in their rooms and not at school.”
Ms. Goldman answered every question each student asked. The only question she ignored was Cole’s, I remember. He asked, “Is it lunchtime?” I know Ms. Goldman hates it when the boys ask the same question over and over. I said the because six of the boys think they are funnier than the clowns in the circus, and that is what makes them annoying.
“We will be packing up after lunch,” Ms. Goldman continues. “Please pack everything you need because we won’t be coming to school in a long time, I’m afraid. No textbooks. Your lunchboxes too! And please, wipe your desks after you clean up because we have to keep this place as sanitary as possible.”
She tells us more things about packing up, and about tests and grades. I listen, but I get carried away from a crow in the distance. That reminds me of a poem. Everything reminds me of a poem. It goes like this-
Then, there was a crow
Singing its beloved tones
He knew where he belonged
After he sang its morning song
I admit, I don’t really know what this means. What does it mean, he knew where he belonged after he sang its morning song? How could you know where you belong after you sing? I don’t get it.
But I went off topic here, sorry, diary.
I was so freaked out, along with everyone else when we heard the news. Sure, Catherine Stein was so excited, that fat little chipmunk that did nothing but smile, showing off her braces. She whooped with joy, even though no one knew why. Even she didn’t know why. It’s just her thing.
But I had so many questions that the teacher couldn’t answer. My friends! I didn’t have a phone yet, so I couldn’t call anyone! And people think fifth grade is the perfect year to have a phone, my mother doesn’t think so. She says seventh grade is. Also, my friend-that-is-a-boy. He isn’t my boyfriend, of course, I’m too young. But we met when I was playing soccer alone. He asked to join, and we became friends. I will miss him so much! I really want to get his Discord, which is the closest social media I have. I don’t even think it’s social media! My mom is such a sensitive freak! But my older brother Bryan says I need to listen or else I will turn into those stupid brats that want boyfriends and stay up all night to find an online date and show off their pretty skin on the beach. So I listen.
It’s 12:00 AM. I stopped writing at 11:30 PM, but I dozed off thinking about our school, how we will probably come back next year. But then I had another feeling. I had sympathy for the sixth graders. They were going to graduate this year, but because of the virus, they will probably have to figure out some kind of way to throw a graduation party. Somehow. Suddenly, not being able to go to school at all wasn’t the worst of my problems. What if next year there is a new virus or something and I won’t be able to graduate? Sad. But at least my friends are there for me.
This girl, Maria, is very sensitive. She gets agitated easily, and I was pretty curious about what her reaction was going to be from the news. Her ears were literally steaming as if she ate hot peppers for breakfast, dessert, and for snack. I thought, I bet she would run out of the classroom and cry. But I can sense her holding it in. Then she deflated—her mouth open and blurting out every single question that she can muster.
“When are we going to come back?”
“Are we still going to take tests?”
“Are we graded?”
“If we don’t come back in a long time, will we have to repeat this grade?”
“What about the sixth graders? What will happen to their graduation party?”
“What if we forget our lunchbox?”
And she asked so much more, that I couldn’t remember. So sorry, I can’t write them down.
Ms. Goldman seemed very frustrated. There were so many questions from the whole class. Poor Ms. Goldman. But we can’t help it. She is the one who gave us the news, she should have been more prepared to answer them.
I am still having trouble sleeping. My mom said once counting sheep will help. It never did. So trust me, I will make this bet. If I fall asleep counting sheep, I will offer Mom to help with all of her work tomorrow. If I don’t, ha!
One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, four sheep, five sheep…
What happened next? Oh yeah, I fell asleep.