This week was 'p-word' week. Kyle adjusted his glasses as he watched Miss Draper write on the yellow-board, and then turn to face the class.
"Who knows what precipitation is?" Miss Draper tugged at her yellow blouse and pointed at the raised hands.
"Rain," said Mary. She wore a pink dress dotted with yellow roses like snowflakes.
"Snowflakes," called out Kyle.
"Hail?" said Henry.
Miss Draper smiled, her yellow teeth flashing like corn kernels. "Excellent. And where does precipitation come from?"
"The sky," giggled Mary. Her face glowed a soft yellow. Her cheeks reminded Kyle of clouds.
"From clouds," said Kyle.
"From heaven?" said Henry.
Miss Draper laughed as she turned to the yellow-board, and squiggled lines and arrows to show the water cycle. "What happens when the clouds get heavy with water vapour?"
"They get big and fluffy," said Mary.
The rest of the class was silent.
"Kyle," asked Miss Draper, "how do we know to expect precipitation?"
"The clouds change from yellow to grey," said Kyle.
Miss Draper frowned. "You mean from white to grey?"
Kyle frowned. "No. They change from yellow, like your shirt, to grey, like Principal Kipper's hair."
Miss Draper glanced at her blouse, and then walked to Kyle's desk. "Kyle, how long have you worn those glasses?"
Kyle rolled and twisted and crossed his eyes. "I was born with them, Miss."
"Would you do something for me?" said Miss Draper smiling.
Kyle nodded. He liked Miss Draper.
"Go and ask Nurse Louise to look at your glasses. You may need new lenses."
Kyle slumped from the classroom, aware that the other kids watched him, and walked to the sickroom. Nurse Louise asked him to sit on the crisp, yellow sheets of the bed, and Kyle explained what Miss Draper had said about his lenses.
Nurse Louise withdrew a stack of cards from a drawer. "What's this, Kyle?"
"An egg?" replied Kyle, confused.
"And what colour is it?"
"What colour is this?" Nurse Louise held up a picture of a zebra.
"Black and yellow."
"And what colour is snow?" asked Nurse Louise without a card.
Nurse Louise kindly asked to borrow Kyle's glasses. He sat on the bed blinking, while Nurse Louise fiddled with the lenses. "You'll need to see an optician, but this might help in the meantime." She perched Kyle's glasses back on his nose and over his ears. "How does that look?"
Kyle gasped as he scanned the room. "Wow!"
"Absolutely! Thanks, Nurse Louise." He skipped out the door and back to his classroom, astounded at how the world really looked.
"Better?" asked Miss Draper when she saw the smile on Kyle's face.
"Absolutely!" Kyle settled behind his desk as Miss Draper wrote another p-word.
"Who knows what 'perspective' means?" She tugged on her rose blouse as she turned from the rose-board.
Kyle did not have a clue what 'perspective' meant, but he sure liked his new lenses.
Erica Eastick worked as an environmental manager in the Middle East before becoming a stay-at-home mum in 2009. She currently lives in Guam and writes short stories, YA fiction and creative non-fiction.
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