In middle school during my one year of “real” school, I attended a small Christian academy. Sixth grade is a ruthless year since everyone is bursting with hormones. Girls desperately desire to be women in the physical sense while boys are just beginning to really notice the girls around them. Sadly, these boys do not really catch up with the girls even in height until high school. I noticed this since I was the second tallest girl in my classroom. I mean it was great if I wanted to glare down a boy, but goo-goo eyes really had no effect since he’d have to look up at me. It kind of kills a guy’s macho manliness especially when they fight so hard for that reputation.
One day in my science class, I’m listening to the teacher intently from the first row. As much as I liked being near to the teacher, I hated the fact that I missed the shenanigans in the back of the classroom. Suddenly, in the deep realms of my intestines, I felt an ominous rumbling. Desperation pumped through my veins.
The unthinkable happened.
I farted in class.
The fart resounded like a gong as it exploded from my body. I froze as the horrid silence that follows such an embarrassment sizzled through the room. Humiliated, I waited tentatively for rejection by my classmates. The titters slowly took over the room as people recovered from their shock.
“Who farted?!” the class clown exclaimed.
I shrunk in my seat. Then, survival mode kicked in. My chin came up and I turned around in my seat surveying my classmate with a pretend confused shock in my eyes. The teacher had momentarily quieted in response to my mountainous fart.
My stomach squirmed as my nose made note of the toxic fumes that had escaped my body. Alarmed, I felt horrible for the boy sitting behind me. Secretly, I think he kind of liked me. Of course, I doubted he’d like me after being caught in my cloud of fart.
Surely, everyone knew the fart was mine. If the others didn’t, the boy behind me knew. Slowly, my body heat rose as my worry heightened. My classmates would find out the perpetrator soon and I would never live it down.
“It was Mark! Mark farted!!” The class clown declared.
My breath caught. The blame fell onto the boy sitting behind me. Simultaneously, relief and guilt spilled through my tense muscles.
The teacher called the class back to order and we turned back to the lesson. My brain apologized a million times to Mark, but my lips stayed sealed.
Mark never told.
When I think of that moment, I wish I could thank Mark for taking the blame for the fart heard around the classroom. He knew who farted, but he didn’t share it with my class. My humiliation never occurred. My guilt has subsided to be replaced by a huge gratitude.