2. Flawless Facade

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

As soon as I entered the grade five classroom, all the children turned to look at me in confusion. Unbothered, I leisurely walked over to the teacher’s desk and plopped myself atop the desk. I calmly began untying my niqaab trying to act as if their stares didn’t unnerve me. Hearing a gasp I looked up.

“Basheera! Your face!” A few of the girls blurted out in distress.

I gave this class of adorable kids a mischievous smile and a wink saying “Don’t worry it’s just lipstick. We are going to play a prank on Muallimah. Here’s the plan, everyone is going to act as though there is nothing wrong. Act like I’m supposed to be in the class and like there is nothing wrong with my face. Let’s see how Muallimah reacts. Now quickly act busy.”

Hearing Muallimah’s footsteps drawing closer I flipped open my book and began acting like I was engrossed in my studies.

Muallimah walked into the class and started greeting, “Assalaamu…” and then she caught sight of me and all the folders she held in her arms came crashing down.

I gave Muallimah a sheepish grin and all the little children burst into giggles slapping their hands over their mouths trying to muffle their laughter.

I jumped of the desk and apologised as I began helping her pick everything up. I picked up the last sheet of paper and before I could hand it back the word China caught my eye.

“China?” I questioned before I could stop myself.

“I’m assigning to them pen-pals. I wanted to make this term’s assessment interesting so I’ve tried to get pen pals from all different parts of the world. I’ll mark them on it before they post it. This way they’ll be doing work and hopefully having fun at the same time. Only, I seem to have a dilemma now; I have thirty-one pen pals but only thirty students.”

“Then the Chinese one is mine,” I pleaded hugging the page towards me. China is one country that has always fascinated me.

Muallimah laughed “Ok, you can have it. Stop acting like that piece of paper is your husband and you better not scar that poor innocent child that is going to get your letter.”

I threw my arms around Muallimah. “You’re the best! My favouritest Muallimah in the whole world! Now why couldn’t you have been my English teacher? Scar her?! I’m going to make her a legend!”

Muallimah simply shook her head and said, “Enough of your flattery and self-conceit.  Now aren’t you writing a paper in ten minutes?”

“Oh no!” I exclaimed glancing at my watch in shock before grabbing my book and beginning to run.

Muallimah screamed behind me “Oh yes. This seems like karma for scaring the daylights out of me. Enjoy writing your entire paper with that lipstick on!”


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