(Click here to read Sapphire VII )
The following Monday, A thoughtful Sapphire walked towards her classroom.
The weekend had gone by so quickly and she couldn’t help but wonder how her day would be especially with Jane’s presence.
It was a fact that things were going to be awkward between them. She sincerely hoped Jane would just ignore her.
She hissed. Like it was that easy.
She hastened a bit as she thought about the fact that Jane hadn’t boarded the school bus that morning. She was concerned but at least it had saved her the embarrassing long minutes that could have transpired between them inside the school bus.
She walked past the Nursery Section of the School and the sight of the little children got her smiling. She would soon be having a sibling. Their family doctor had confirmed it during the weekend. She really hoped it would be a girl.
She entered her class, greeted her teacher and settled into her seat.
Few minutes later, the school bell rang indicating the beginning of classes.
Mrs. Smith had just finished welcoming her students to the new week when Jane walked in sheepishly. She looked unwell.
The whole class couldn’t help but stare at her questionably. She murmured her greeting to anyone who cared to listen and walked past the teaching platform to her seat.
“Miss Jane.” Mrs. Smith called.
With no expression of any emotion, she walked back towards her teacher.
“Good morning Mrs. Smith.” Jane stared at her teacher now having an uncomfortable look on her face.
“Are you alright?” The woman asked in concern.
“Yes…” She replied with a croaky voice.
“Care to tell me why you resumed class late?” Mrs. Smith looked at her with raised eyebrow.
“I had a rough night but I will be fine.” She replied softly.
“Alright. Go and settle down.” The woman dismissed her with her left hand.
Jane nodded in acknowledgement before moving towards the front seat which she shared with Sapphire.
As she got to the seat and was struggling to remove her backpack, she stole a look at Sapphire.
Coincidentally, Sapphire looked up at that moment.
“Hi.” Jane muttered before sitting down. Sapphire nodded in response.
There was an awkward silence for some seconds. None spoke to each other again as Mrs. Smith soon started the class.
While they did their class works, their eyes met at consecutive times but neither of them said a word.
What both girls were oblivious to was the fact that Mrs Smith was watching them thoughtfully and wondering what was off about them.
“Sapphire;” Mrs Smith called as she started the correction of the exercise she had told her students to do.
“Yes Ma.” The girl stood up in response.
“Please read the first question to us and provide the answer.” Mrs. Smith said with a sharp gaze.
Sapphire lifted up her book and did as she was told. As she answered the question, she could feel Jane’s boring stare beside her.
From the corner of her eyes, Sapphire watched as Jane grabbed a water bottle from her backpack as if trying not to get caught and drank from it quietly.
She frowned. Jane rarely brought water to school.
“Thank you Sapphire.” Mrs. Smith smiled as Sapphire sat down. “If you know you got the answer to that question wrong, write the correct one which I will be writing on the board now.” She turned her back to her students as greater percentage of the students picked their pens to write.
Sapphire also did the same when suddenly she heard Jane gasp beside her.
She stopped to look at the girl.
Jane was clutching at her stomach, her face turning white.
Sapphire frowned. She just couldn’t ignore her.
“Are you alright?” She whispered in concern.
Jane shook her head as she gripped her stomach tighter.
“My stomach hurts.” She whispered with muffled voice.
Sapphire didn’t have time to react as Mrs. Smith chose that moment to notice her. “Sapphire, I have been wondering why you girls have ignored each other since morning but I can see I was wrong as you are now having side discussions. Care to give the class a gist?”
The class snarled in amusement.
Sapphire shook her head apologetically. “Its just Jane is in pains.” A hush fell over the class.
“Oh!” Mrs. Smith dropped her teaching note and marker on her table and rushed towards the girls.
Jane was already in tears.
“This is not good. Let me get her to the School Clinic.” She pulled the girl up and guided her out of the classroom.
As they were about stepping out, Jane stopped. Sapphire looked up at towards that direction and wondered what was happening.
“Sapphire;” Jane called before she eventually turned to have a better view of her face.
What was Jane doing? She looked on without muttering a word.
“I’m sorry.” The other girl said quietly.
Sapphire stood up as the rest of the class watched on.
Tearfully, she moved towards Jane and their teacher and pulled the girl in for a hug. At that, Jane started sniffling.
“I forgive you.” Sapphire whispered to her ears.
“Sapphire, I know. But I’m not apologizing for the past.” She whispered back.
Really? Sapphire sighed. Would Jane ever change?
“I’m apologizing for the future.”
Sapphire stiffened against the girl.
“We need to get going.” Mrs. Smith said pulling the girls apart.
Worried, Sapphire looked at Jane. What did she mean by that?
The other girl smiled at her dejectedly and turned to Mrs. Smith.
Sapphire could only watch as the teacher helped Jane out of the class.
For seconds she stood at that spot lost in thought. What was wrong with Jane exactly? Why had she apologized that way and what was it about that smile that gave her a creepy feeling? Something wasn’t right.
Five minutes later, she was pacing the front of their class when Mrs. Smith rushed back in and told the whole class Jane’s stomach was not in anyway relieving her. The teacher grabbed the girl’s backpack and said her mother was around to take her to the hospital.
Sapphire stood still as she figured that with Jane’s mother being present in the school already; the situation was definitely pretty serious. She muttered a silent prayer for Jane as Mrs. Smith walked past her in a dash.
The woman stopped and regarded her with a smile. “I understand you are feeling sorry for your friend. She’ll be back to school in no time. You guys can sort things out later.”
Sapphire smiled back gratefully and Mrs. Smith left.
Sapphire couldn’t help but shiver at the thought that Mrs. Smith could be wrong this time.
Would she ever see Jane again?
She bit her lips thoughtfully. Where that thought had cropped from she had no idea.
It had been two weeks and no one had since seen or heard from Jane.
Sapphire never stopped bringing the girl to God in prayer. She had even called the number Jane used to call their landline few weeks before but nobody answered the phone.
Twice, she had begged her mother to take her to Jane’s home and her mother had agreed.
The house was literally empty when they got there, save for the security man. Even though they pleaded with him, he had refuse to give them any update about the girl’s wellbeing.
Sapphire sighed. Was Jane doing well?
The school bell rang, jolting her back. School was closed for that day.
She packed her notebooks from her locker into her backpack and stood up to leave her class.
Suddenly, a sharp pain lunged at her lower abdomen and she gasped in pain.
In a flash, she was back on her seat.
What was wrong with her?
Sitting down for some seconds, she felt relief surge through her body.
She breathed heavily as she wondered what was it about the pain that gave her an uneasy feeling. That was the fifth time such would happen that day.
She relaxed as she remembered she hadn’t carried her lunch box.
She bent down to grab it when another pain lunged again.
This time, she cried out.
Mrs. Smith who was also preparing to leave the class looked up at her. “Are you OK?”
“My stomach has been hurting me since daybreak.” She grumbled.
The older woman frowned thoughtfully. “Oh dear, please get treated when you get home.”
“I will do that. Thank you Ma.” Sapphire nodded as she packed her things and moved to go.
Mrs. Smith’s next words stopped her. “But that’s strange.”
“What is?” Sapphire looked back at her.
Mrs. Smith pouted. “Two weeks ago, it was Jane. What is happening to you girls?”
Sapphire scowled. What was Mrs. Smith implying?
“I thought Jane said she had stomach pain? The area where I am having discomfort is kind of my lower abdomen.”
Her teacher’s frown deepened; “Well, it turned out it was her lower abdomen.”
Sapphire’s eyes widened at those words.
Whatever was happening, she had no idea.
Jane’s words and actions from two weeks came flooding her mind.
“Lord Jesus, please take control.” She prayed silently.
She didn’t have time to think for long as she hurried off remembering she had to catch the school bus back home.
Watch out for Sapphire IX