She had followed me around all week, either 1)literally or with her eyes. Melissa was one of the brightest children in my first grade. She always watched and listened very carefully to my teaching, but this was different. I felt like she was trying to catch me doing something 2)secretive.
I had enough problems of my own without worrying over Melissa's 3)atypical behavior. It was only early afternoon and already I felt really tired. And my lower back hurt. I guess I should expect that, I thought. After all, I am seven months pregnant.
I was surprised that none of my pupils had asked me about my pregnancy. It was May now, and most of the children had reached the age of six. Many six-year-olds knew the signs. Someone in a friend’s first grade had asked his 4)portly 5)principal, “Are you pregnant” “and the poor man had been so shocked that he went 6)on a diet! But no one had asked me.
The bell rang. Good, it was 7)recess and soon I’d have a few minutes to put my feet up and rest. But what was Melissa doing” She didn’t leave the room with the others. She was at my “teacher 8)closet,”a very 9)sacred place. All the children knew they could never open the doors to this closet unless specifically requested to do so by me. The only 10)glimpse any of them ever got of the inside was when I asked someone to bring out the 11)scissors or the 12)crayons.
But now Melissa was 13)rummaging around in my closet. She had opened the doors without permission and was actually moving things around, 14)albeit carefully, to see what was behind them. I couldn’t believe it! Not this child. This pupil never disobeyed the rules. What could be motivating such strange behavior”
“Melissa,”I asked. “Why are you looking in my closet”?
Melissa turned and looked at me. Tears started to run down her cheeks.
Tears of guilt, I thought at first. But I was wrong. No apology 15)ventured forth from the little girl’s mouth. Instead I heard a tiny, frustrated voice.
“Mrs. Peppler, where do you hide it” I heard my mother tell my father that you were 16)carrying a baby, and I watch you all the time, but I never see you carry it. I thought maybe you hid it in your closet.”
I stood, 17)dumbfounded, wondering if I should be the one to answer this child’s first question about 18)the birds and the bees. Melissa walked over to me, put her arms around my big 19)tummy, and looked up at me.
“Where is it, Mrs. Peppler” Where’s the baby Am I close”