Maria’s chair was empty. Hmmm, thought Kathy where is Maria?
Kathy went back to reading the story that Miss Pat gave them as an assignment in class. A little while later, Kathy looked over again to see if Maria was back in her seat…no Maria. Now she was worried that maybe something had happened to Maria . Did Miss Pat know where she was? Did Miss Pat even know that Maria was not in class?
“That’s funny,” said Kathy. Miss Pat looked up and said, “Kathy, are you talking when you are supposed to be reading?” Kathy looked up and answered,”Sorry Miss Pat, I was talking to myself.” Miss Pat smiled and said, “Is it something you want to share?” Kathy shook her head no and said, “Can I come to your desk and ask you something in private?” Miss Pat shook her head yes and Kathy got up and went to Miss Pat’s desk.
In a low voice Kathy said, “I am worried about Maria. She hasn’t been in her seat since we got back from lunch. We ate lunch together and she didn’t say she was going anywhere after lunch. May I check the girls room to make sure she isn’t sick?” Miss Pat smiled at Kathy and said, “You are a good friend to worry about Maria like that, but there is no need to worry. Maria is just fine. She had to go somewhere.”
“Where did she go,” asked Kathy. “That is something you will have to ask Maria,” answered Miss Pat.
Later, as Maria and Kathy walked home from school together, Kathy asked Maria where she went after lunch. Maria got all red in the face and looked like she was about to cry. “What’s wrong?” asked Kathy. Maria started to cry and said,”If I tell you, do you promise not to tell anyone?”
Kathy nodded yes and Maria said, “I am having trouble with reading, so I go out of our class to another room for extra help with reading.”
Kathy said, “Wow, for a minute there you really had me scared. I thought something was really wrong, because you were crying and made me promise not to tell.”
Maria answered, “I don’t like needing extra help. I’m afraid the other kids will make fun of me.” Kathy nodded that she understood. Then she said, “Maria, you are good at lots of things, you don’t need to feel bad about needing help with reading. Everybody needs help sometime with something. Besides, no one is going to make fun of you.