Johan’s unceremonious entry into the classroom, his red, angry face and the sheer opportunity of a senseless diversion ignited a wild fire of chaos among the students.
They screamed like demons out of control.
Johan marched straight up to Mr. Wong.
The students’ noise died out, slowly, as it suddenly dawned on them that Johan was here to do what a husband usually does when he finally comes face-to-face with the younger man who’s been sleeping with his wife.
In a few seconds the class had become as silent as the inside of a mind lost in the deep, blue sea of meditation.
The students stopped breathing and waited.
Johan exploded, then.
“What’s the meaning of this?” he screamed. “This is supposed to be my class but now I see another teacher in here!”
Mr. Wong blushed and whispered quickly, “Please, we go to my office and I explain to you!”
“Explain what?” Johan cried. “You want to explain to me how you lied to me?”
“Please Johan, be…”
“Fuck you!” Johan cried, raising the middle fingers of both hands at Mr. Wong.
Then he started to march quickly out of the classroom.
Before he could get to the door, the students started screaming at the top of their voices. Some of the naughty boys were showing their middle fingers to each other, chorusing, “Fuck you! Fuck you!”
How fast they learn! Mr. Wong thought as he ran outside, and caught up with Johan before the foreigner could reach the school gate.
“Listen,” he said trying to catch his breath. “We go and sit down somewhere. I tell you everything.”
“No,” Johan replied. “I’m not interested in sitting down with you or talking with you because you lied to me once, you’ll lie again.”
“Not again,” Mr. Wong said, pulling Johan’s sleeve. “I tell you truth.”
“And what about my job?”
“Er…I explain to you, I tell you main reason we replace teacher in that class.”
Johan wanted to scream at Wong when he heard the word replace but something was happening inside his head; not really happening but growing. It was like that magic seed that is planted anywhere, even in thorny ground but still manages to germinate and sprout and grow. Like how a crying child suddenly stops crying because he wishes to know whether that ruffling sound in his mom’s bag is really being caused by the paper used to wrap candy, Johan’s bitterness found itself being pushed to the background by a sudden upsurge of curiosity which grew taller than any tree instantly blossoming from a magic seed.
“OK, tell me everything but let’s do it right here. I’m not sitting down anywhere,” he said.
Mr. Wong, fearing that Johan might change his mind, immediately dived into a long monologue in which he told Johan that the students had been complaining about his methods of teaching and about the words he uses in the classroom all the time.
“They say you all time reading from textbooks…instead of to making them speak English with you,” Mr. Wong said, counting off his fingers. “They also say you…you always call them stupid… you even go far…use bad words in class when they read or write something mistake.”
“Why couldn’t they t fucking complain to me? They always made me feel that everything was going so damn great!”
Mr. Wong blushed.
“This our politeness; we no complain about foreigner to his face, is rude to do that.”
“This is crazy! I did my best with the freakin’students. Do you know how noisy they get? Some of them don’t even understand English!”
Mr. Wong smiled thinly, nodded quickly, as if to say that he knew how noisy they could be. Then he went on speaking.
“They say you discussing politics in class.”
“Politics my ass,” Johan screamed. “Do they even know what politics is?”
“They say you talk of human right abuse in China every time… Listen Johan, I only want you to…”
“Fuck off!” Johan snapped quickly.
He started walking quickly towards the university’s gate.
The stunned Mr. Wong stared at the foreigner for a few seconds and then called out his name, but Johan didn’t turn around. Mr. Wong would probably have gone after Johan again if he hadn’t noticed that a crowd of students had gathered near him and were staring. He quickly decided that he was not going to lose any more face and made a U-turn, and headed back to his office.
Johan stormed right through the gate without looking left or right. He stopped the first taxi he saw, thinking only one thought at that moment, “I’ve gotta speak with Justin.”
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