A/N: So this is somewhat based on true experiences and I was inspired to write this because of MinutesToMidnight 's "The Tempting Apple." You really should check it out!
My hands are sweating and I felt tense as I sat in the auditorium next to Paolo and a few other Grade 8 students from 13 different sections as we waited for our turn in the Quiz Bee. The seventh graders had to study Philippine History, eighth graders studied Asian History. Juniors studied World History and seniors focused on Economics.
I was from section three and I sat between a boy from section four and Paolo from section two. I tried to study about the religions in Asia and the early civilizations in Mesopotamia, India, and China while Paolo constantly told me the answers to the questions for the seventh graders.
"I like to be a senior at this moment," Paolo told me. I looked at him in surprise and asked why. "Because Economics is fun to study." As I nodded rather sleepily, he went on, "you can learn about the law of supply and demand, growth rate, and other important things."
"Okay," I simply responded, not knowing what else to say. I removed my ponytail and fixed my hair in a bun right before the seventh graders were called off the stage and the emcees call on us one by one.
"Eljay Nicdao from section one," Doreen, one of the emcees, said as Eljay stood up from beside Paolo and walked up the stage to take her place on the first armchair at the front left side of the stage with a paper where the number "1" was written.
Next, Paolo was called and he went to his seat on the armchair beside Eljay's. "Mae Salonga from section three," Doreen stated and I stood up to get comfortable on my seat onstage where number "3" dangled from the armrest of y chair.
I was surprised in a REALLY good way because as I looked down on the judges' panel right in front of me, the first person I saw who sat directly across me was my History teacher, Mr. Ian Diaz and I have a huge crush on this man!
I don't know how it began but I was pretty sure it began when I first met him last June 10. So the quiz bee began and I answered most of the questions correct in the easy round. Mr. Diaz was the one who would look at our little whiteboards to check if we got the right answers. Unknowingly, I stared at his face whenever he announces the scores.
The difficult round began and my former History teacher in the seventh grade, who was our quiz master, asked us, "What is the holy war of the Muslim people?"
I was baffled. I swear I have never heard about that from Mr. Diaz in any of our discussions so since this was an identification type of quiz bee and not multiple choice, I had a blank whiteboard to raise when the buzzer sounded, signaling that 15 seconds are up and it turned out that "Jihad" was the answer and I have never heard that word in all my life!
Oh well! There were still a few questions anyway. And the last question was asked by Ms. Angie, "What are the twin rivers in the earliest civilization in Mesopotamia?"
After hearing the word "go," I scribbled the words "Tigris-Euphrates" on my board and raised it promptly raised the board after the buzzer sounded.
Paolo turned to me and whispered, "Congratulations, Mae. You are the champion."
"Really?" I asked him unbelievingly. "Is this the last question?"
"Yes, it is," Paolo replied while laughing at my seemingly stupid question.
I felt a wide beam on my face thinking that the reason for this was my inspiration an that inspiration was my teacher himself who taught the subject. But my smile fell upon hearing that I was the first runner up and Paolo was the champion with three points higher than me!
"I hate you," I jokingly remarked to Paolo as we went down the stage to make way for the juniors.
"I didn't know I'd have three points more than you do," Paolo told me.
"If I got that question about caste correct we'll be answering one more question for clincher," I told him.
Paolo seemed scared at the mention of the word "clincher." Why? "If we'd have a clincher round then I'd lose to you," he told me.
I didn't ask why but I thought since Mr. Diaz wasn't able to discuss all the lessons to us and it seemed like all questions were taken from the lessons we didn't discuss. So we sat back on our seats and listened to questions regarding the World History. At one point, Paolo walked to somewhere and a question about who built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon was asked.
Eljay and I looked at each other in surprise. I asked her, "Isn't it included in our lesson?"