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Stomach Bug in my Knee

I raised my hand in class as a young elementary student and asked if I could go to the nurse's office...

When asked what for, I complained of a stomach ache that was inhibiting my learning.

Once my request was granted, I slowly walked to the nurse's quarters, as I tried to develop symptoms of the sickness I claimed to have caught a few moments earlier.

I entered the nurse's office, was greeted and said that my stomach was bothering me.  She graciously let me rest on one of the beds to see if it would get any better, which I was sincerely appreciative of...

Not because of the concern for my health, but because this bought me a few more moments of quiet time to think up a story that will ultimately make or break my claim.

I laid on the bed, staring at the ceiling with my hands on my stomach, contemplating whether or not I should just throw in the towel or continue on this risky and dishonest path.

At that naive age, I felt that I dug the hole too deep and had to commit, so I kept thinking.

After a few more check ins from her, and some scripted responses on my part, I figured I should just come clean and tell her...


Not 'come clean' as in tell her that I was not sick...

'Come clean' as in tell her the reason why I was "sick"...

Or better yet, the reason that I had created.

Now for the sake of the story, I am going to save my reasoning for a sudden stomach ache for later in the post, but just so you know, she smiled and said, "Let's call your dad, and maybe you can explain this to him..."

Believing I had gotten through step one of my quest back home, I obliged and laid back down to work on my lines again.

About 15 minutes later, my dad came in and I heard his voice speaking with the nurse.

The nurse then summoned me, and I came out.

I moved slowly, never removing my hands from my stomach and clearly blowing my cover, when the nurse politely and ever so sweetly asked me, "Richie, can you tell your dad why your stomach is hurting?"

Mentally prepared, and proud as can be, I looked up to my dad with the saddest, most convincing eyes and repeated my sentiments from before...

"Well this weekend, I was playing outside and I fell on my knee where I had a scar, and I think the pain from my knee went to my stomach..."

A calm confusion went over the room, and the nurse laughed quietly as my dad just sighed and said "Okay...let's go".

I proudly marched to my classroom, informed my contemporaries and the teacher of my departure, grabbed my belongings and jetted out of the school.

Once I got in the car, I realized that I was far from off the hook...

I endured a healthy lecture from my dad that almost made me wish that I had never got a 'stomach bug' in the first place.

I will never know why I wanted to leave school that day so badly.

What I will always remember though is the paranoia in the nurse's office, the awkwardness in the car, and the embarrassment at home when I was told to rest, bored out of my mind, and missing playground at school because I was 'sick'.

I learn some very valuable lessons that day...

Scars don't turn into stomach aches, and all lies have an expiration date.

Until next time,

Long Live The People

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