As I came into class that day, I never expected my day to end with tears.
Like most tutors, I looked at my students and said that I loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because I do have a favorite. A truth I try my best to hide.
Each time I come to her home for private classes, I would actually take delight in marking her papers. Her handwriting is neat. Her room is always scented. It was so comfortable, I never wanted to leave when the class ends.
She has such good manners and brimming smile. She is a joy to be around.
That particular day, she didn’t smile when I walked in her room. I knew there was something bothering her when she did all the mathematical sums incorrectly. I didn’t say anything as I marked a big X on the workbooks.
Then, I just sat there and looked into her eyes, softly I said, “Dear, what is wrong?”
Her tender voice broke and echoed in the still room, “Is cancer contagious?”
I was caught unguarded. “No, why do you ask?” I managed to will myself to speak. She then explained that her grandmother had died of cancer years ago and her father is diagnosed with cancer.
The room got colder as her voice ate the room.
I sat there, motionless. This is where, her tears erupted like a volcano. I did what my body could do, I hugged her.
After an eternal moment, I sat her up and comforted her. Intently, I found out that she was worried that the blister on her lips were an infestation of cancer and she would die next after her father !
For a nine year old, the news was too much for her to handle. I completely understand her fear.
We didn’t do anything after that. We just talked. I explained what is cancer and I could see her bright smile once more.
At the end of 2 hours, I went back to my car. In it, I cried. I don’t know why, I just cried.