The Report

When I was little, I remember hearing that God is everywhere. Afterward, I looked at the trees, grass, on houses, cars, the street, pretty much everything. It became apparent God was hiding, because I couldn’t see God. What did it mean, God was everywhere? So, I just looked up. They must have meant God was floating in the clouds somewhere. Then I was really nervous, what if a plane crashed into God? Would the world end? There were too many questions as I thought about it further. Things only became more complicated.

The stench of sweat prickled at my nose. I sat in my seat, my leg jiggling up and down as I reviewed my note cards. A student was already at the front presenting. I was hardly listening. I focused on the Bunsen burner sitting in front of me, useless at the moment. The student who had been at the front returned to her seat. Clapping ensued.

I noticed people turning towards me. “Landon Smith!” Mr. O’Riley called, impatient. He must have just said this right before. My throat was dry. I jumped to my feet and approached the board, still shuffling my note cards. I turned to face the other students, wiping a few beads of sweat from my brow. “Whenever you’re ready, Landon.”

I pushed a some strands of stringy brown hair out of my face and looked at my first note card, “God created the Earth and all life.” I looked up to see the reactions of my classmates. So far, not much. I switched my card and continued, “Dinosaurs existed only because God set their bones here on Earth. We all descend from Noah.” I took a breath. They were looking at me as though I was the plague. I had expected it.

“Evolution is false, so I will not be discussing it,” I ended. There was no clapping. I returned to my seat.

“Mr. Smith, could you please stay after class a moment.” Mr. O’Riley didn’t sound to happy, I nodded.

Three other students, telling interesting stories about homosapiens and dinosaurs, gave their oral reports before the bell rang. There was a clatter of chairs and students filed out of the room. I didn’t move.

“Mr. Smith, I asked you to report on the evolutionary process we have been studying,” said Mr. O’Riley.

“I couldn’t.”

“It is not a matter of belief systems. It is about showing me what you have learned.”

“I’ll take the ‘F’.”

“I will have to contact your parents Mr. Smith, you may go.”

I got up and gently pushed in my chair. I dropped my cards into the recycle bin. Once again I flicked my hair out of my face. I am sure of what I believe. I looked high and low, in the corners and crevices, but I have never found God. I think that’s how you know God is with you. Everywhere you go, you carry God, so God is everywhere. I did the right thing, but my parents will never know. They died when I seven; right before my Grandma told me that thing about God.

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