Part 3 of The Guru…
Written by M.J.C
Friday market was bustling with energy, activity, and lots of goodies being sold and purchased. The after school fundraiser was held each Friday when school let out and was overseen by a different class/grade each Friday. The fundraiser was held after school to allow more diverse foods and sweets – things not allowed during school hours when food brought to the school was more restrictive.
This Friday’s Market was being overseen by Mrs. B’s class and the friends were after school volunteers on this day because they really, really wanted to help raise the most money so that Of Earth and Vine could maybe get enough money to replace the stolen presents.
“Leah, how many cookies have you sold and how much money have you made?” Zoey asked excitedly.
“I’m almost sold out! I only have six more to sell, and once those are sold I will help you sell your colorful popsicles!” Leah replied with equal excitement.
“Dunya, what about you?” Zoey asked. How much natural lemonade made with organic lemons from the school and sweetened with watermelon juice from our school garden do you have left?”
“Zoey! Do you have to say all that just to ask a simple question, girl?!?” Dunya exclaimed.
“Yes, I do. How much left?” Zoey replied
“I have about a gallon. Or a quart. Or maybe a litre. I don’t know! I have about eight cups left I think.”
Zoey laughed at Dunya’s frustration and watched Dunya make herself another cup of natural lemonade made with organic lemons from the school and sweetened with watermelon juice from our school garden.”
Just then Leah saw Mrs. B, aka, The Guru, walk by.
“Hello girls. What wonderful treats you have today. I’m so happy you are all helping. It is so important to fully participate. You make me proud. And hungry. I’d like a sweet treat, too. What would you recommend?”
The friends all answered at once: “Cookies, Popsicles, and a cup of natural lemonade made with organic lemons from the school and sweetened with watermelon juice from our school garden.”
“Oh my. It all sounds so delicious. I will have one of each please and thank you,” Mrs. B said with a smile.
The girls moved quickly to get their favorite teacher her sweets.
“Leah-” Mrs. B said with just the mildest hint of concern in her voice.
All the girls stood at attention because Mrs. B. had trained them to always be at attention when she spoke, but also because at this age, they were all very nosy.
Mrs. B. went on… “Leah, I see that your sign is starting to fall. Perhaps it needs some of your unique attention, yes?”
“What do you think would be a good solution?” Mrs. B. asked in that teacher way that was a bit sing-song, accusatory, and expectant. And with a slight smile because teachers knew you knew and they also knew how unsettled students were in these moments. It really was a little known perk of teaching.
“Umm… tape?” Leah said/asked.
“Are you asking me or telling me? Mrs. B. replied with that time-honored, Hall of Fame type of teacher response and inquiry.
“Telling you?” Leah responded, with a Hall of Fame Student Response that is Still a Question.
“Well, yes,” Mrs. B. finally responding and conceding this time and only this time.
“I still have a little tape from yesterday that you gave us. We used it, too, by the way! Leah finished proudly.
“LEAH!” Zoey and Dunya said loudly at the same time.
“Don’t tell her!” The friends responded again. And again at the same time.
Mrs. B. watched and listened in that teacher way where they catalog a conversation such as this and then pull it out at the best time, sometimes days or weeks, or years later.
“It’s okay girls. I won’t ask how you used the tape. Their teacher said, seemingly uninterested.“
“That tape though is too weak for what we need it for today. So how about…” and she trailed off as she bent down and started digging into her overly large teacher bag.
“There. Here it is.” Mrs. B. said, standing up.
She handed Leah a large roll of Duct Tape.
“This tape is super strong and can be used for about any tough situation you can get yourself into, or need to get out of.”
Leah and the friends listened intensely while staring up to their teacher. Something was passing between them but the girls were uncertain of what, exactly it was.
“Here you go, now the sign will stay up.” Mrs. B. said as she finished hanging the sign and using the Duct Tape to secure it in place.
“Good-bye, see you later!” Mrs. B. said, as she walked away.
The girls stood quiet for a moment.
“Look what I found!” It was Beanie. She had been quietly selling felt balls that she had been making since kindergarten. She was holding up a pair of glasses.
“You found more glasses, Beanie? Zoey yelled back. So what?”
“Not just more glasses, Zo-zo. These are the same glasses. I turned the other ones into the office when my mom picked up from 4th R. But here they are again. So whoever owns these glasses was also in the storage shed. And that means that maybe that person knows about the Of Earth and Vines gifts and prizes!”
The friends were quiet.
“Let me see the glasses, Beanie,” Leah asked.
Beanie handed the glasses over to Leah.
Leah looked at the glasses, then she tried them on. The she looked closer, but this time she wiggled the left arm just a little to see if it moved ever so slightly. The left arm moved just a little. Leah knew for sure then.
“I knew it! Leah excitedly exclaimed. These are my Dad’s glasses. He was in the storage shed and he was here. I can’t believe I didn’t see him!”
“Come on, we are done, so let’s call him and see what is going on,” Leah said as she started putting her things away and cleaning her area.
Leah sent her dad a text (that’s really what she meant when she said “call”).
Leah, with her friends looking over her shoulder got her phone and sent the message:
Leah: “Why did you go to the Storage Shed?”
Leah’s Dad replies: Wut?
Leah: Stop playing! Why did you go to the STORAGE SHED???????
Dad: I’m at work.
Dad: How did you know I was in there?
Leah: Ah ha! So you DID go?
Leah: Tell me. Tell meeeeeeeeeeee!!!
Dad: Did you know that a close up picture of an eyeball looks very much like a picture of the universe? Could it mean that the universe is IN us?
Leah: OMG. Just answer my question!
Dad: Oh okay.
Dad: Have you ever thought about the fact that our brains – the brain, named itself?
Leah: Daddyyyyyy!! Stop it! You’re evading the question!
Dad: Lol. You get so mad. Just admit how funny I am and I will answer your question.
Leah: You’re not funny.
Dad: Close enough. Now, what do you want to know?
Leah: Why were you in the Storage Shed?
Leah: Mr. M, this is Zoey. Also, uhm, can I come over for a sleepover?
Dad: Yeah, sure.
Leah: This is Dunya. Me too. Tell my mom.
Dad: Okay, are you all done?
Leah: Yes! (this is me, Leah)
Dad: I was there to retrieve the gifts for Of Earth and Vine. I am on the planning committee, duh.
Leah: What?! You never told me that!
Dad: Uhm, yes I did. You just didn’t listen because you were on your phone. I left my glasses in there but someone found them and turned them in to the office.
Leah: Daddy, WE found them. WE were looking in the Storage shed for clues and found your glasses but ignored them.
Leah: This is Beanie again. We also found them at Friday Market. So you were here, too?
Dad: Yes. I saw you all but I stayed at the other end where the quinoa balls were. I bought and ate three!
Leah: Yuck. Okay, well, the gifts were stolen. And we are trying to find them. Please tell me you are not a thief. I will not come visit you in jail!
Dad: Stolen? No, you little detectives have it all wrong. Didn’t your teacher tell you? I have all the gifts because I am transporting them to the Event, duh! The event is tomorrow and the school needed a hand transporting everything, so I volunteered.
Dad: Yes, and I was hoping to surprise you so that’s why I didn’t say anything. You should have just asked.
Leah: We thought…. There was a big case to solve. And our Guru even gave us tape!
Leah: Why did she give us tape then?
Dad: Because she noticed my glasses were loose and said she’d send tape home with you so I could tighten them by using the tape.
Leah: This is Dunya: Boy, are you crazy?!?!
Dad: Uhm. Well, sure. You all should have just asked questions. Most mysteries are solved by asking questions, didn’t you know that?
Leah: But, why did she give us Duct tape out here then? Can you explain that Mr. Smarty-pants?
Dad: Could it be because your sign was falling and she came to help? Yes, it could be.
Leah: So the Event IS going to happen?
Dad: Of course! And we’re going and there’s a father-daughter dance contest and I entered us! We will do all the popular dances and impress your friends!
The next day, the Of Earth and Vine event went on with all the gifts, all the fun, and one extra long father-daughter dance that lasted so long, Leah thought.
All the friends had fun and they laughed and laughed about the huge misunderstanding that led them to try to solve a mystery. They had solved it, just not in the way they anticipated.
And they now also had a practically brand new roll of Duct Tape.