The teacher walked into the classroom. It was the first period that morning. Our English teacher, Puan Maimunah, greeted us and we greeted her back. Then, the lesson began.
While Puan Maimunah was teaching, all of a sudden, there was a loud scream coming from the back of the class. Astonished and shocked, everyone turned back to see what was transpiring. We set our eyes on our classmate, Julia, who suddenly got up from her seat and took to her heels. As she ran out of the classroom, she cried hysterically.
Puan Maimunah than asked the class to calm down. After asking the class monitor to take charge of the class, she pursued Julia. Julia ran across the school field and sat under a huge angsana tree, crying her heart out.
"What's bothering you, Julia?" Puan Maimunah asked. "Do you want to talk about it?"
Julia just would not stop weeping. Noticing that she was so upset, Puan Maimunah decided to let her cry it out. After 20 minutes of emotional outburst, she finally calmed down and was willing to talk about the predicament she was in.
"My parents are going through a divorce, teacher. They have been quarrelling for many weeks and sometimes they abuse me and my siblings," said Julia, showing her the bruises on her body.
"I could no longer tolerate the pressure. I am stressed at home because of my parents. At school, I am stressed because my grades are dropping. I am sorry for letting it out in class. Please forgive me for being so rude," Julia continued.
Puan Maimunah hugged and comforted Julia. She told Julia that she could understand what she was going through and did not blame her.
"I'll tell you what - I'll visit your home after school and talk to your parents," Puan Maimunah suggested.
Seeing that help was on the way, Julia was hopeful that things would get better. She smiled and nodded her head in agreement.
When school was over, Puan Maimunah followed Julia home and had a long conversation with her parents.
"I didn't realise that Julia is so badly affected," said Julia's mother, with feelings of guilt.
"Me too," Julia's father said remorsefully. "I had no idea at all. We've realised our mistakes and we promise that we'll try to work things out."
Julia and her family thanked Puan Maimunah for her benevolence before she left them.
After a week, Julia was seen smiling. She was in high spirits and was cheerful once again. Her grades began to improve. She was grateful to Puan Maimunah for her assistance. She even bought her a present as a token of her gratitude. Puan Maimunah was deeply touched by her sincerity.
In fact, Puan Maimunah was known as the good Samaritan of our school. As a kind-hearted soul, she treated her students like her own children and was always ready to help those who were in trouble or facing problems. She was indeed one of the best teachers in the school.