“Are you kidding me?” Steve looked at the paper his daughter, Jess, shoved at him before darting upstairs. She glanced back over her shoulder to glare at him.
“You agreed with Mom about this horrible school! Didn’t you even think of checking it out a bit more?” Just before she disappeared from view, he could hear her wail, “This is going to be the worst year EVER!”
Steve shook his head at the drama of teenagers and returned to scanning the school supply list. He and Jess’ mom, Nora, had agreed she would take care of the school supplies since she’d insisted on majority custody through the week. He’d met his part of the bargain by doing the clothes shopping two weekends ago. All the usual suspects were showing up: pencils, paper, binders, calculator…his gaze continued down the list and stopped. Was that what he thought it was? He gave his head a shake, eyes closed tightly, and then looked at the surprising item.
Yup, still there.
“Jess! Come here please.” He stood at the base of the stairs waiting for his sullen daughter to emerge from her sanctuary.
“Why do I need to buy you a pregnancy test? And we’re supposed to get a full exam done? What kind of exam?”
Jess scrunched her face into that “Are-you-an-idiot” teenage look. Steve just stared back at her, dumbfounded and she dropped her defensive posture.
“You seriously didn’t know? Mom didn’t tell you?” The incredulous tone was evident.
“Your mom informed me that this was the perfect school for you academically. I never got the details about the culture and rules for students. So what is the deal with a pregnancy test?”
“It’s a Catholic school, Dad. One with high, unrealistic expectations. Like chastity and/or abstinence. So the exam is to prove girls are still virgins and the test is in case the teacher suspects anything. If you have a positive test you are expelled.” Her usually sweet angelic face twisted into a sarcastic sneer. “Heaven forbid they educate some girl who has sullied their bodies with something dirty like SEX.”
Steve felt his jaw fall open in shock. How could a school insist on something like that as criteria of enrolment. “Dear Lord-“
His head snapped up towards the top of the stairs at Jess’ snort of amusement. “I think the prayer might be a little late.”
For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, SAM gave me this prompt: It’s back-to-school time. You are reading over your child’s school supply list, and there, between the filler paper and three ring binder, was something quite unexpected. What was it?.
I gave Eric Storch this prompt: You could see the man with the uncombed brown hair and the wrinkled khakis at the same street corner every day for two years. At 1 o’clock on Monday, he ate a peanut butter sandwich, at 2 o’clock Tuesday he had a doughnut, and the rest of the week he had a vegetable of one kind or another at exactly 3:15. It never seemed like he ate enough to sustain himself, which may be why he hasn’t been seen for over a month.