The nun, plump, robed in a black
and white habit, walked across
the front of the class of girls.
Fay sat half way down on the left
next to the girl Millicent Sullivan
(whose aunt was a nun in Ireland).
"Immaculate Conception," the nun
said," what does it mean and to
whom does it refer?" The girls
stared at the nun whose two chins
wobbled as she spoke. Millicent
didn't raise her hand even though
she knew the answers, but put on
her innocent gaze. "Some of you
girls must know the answers,"
the nun said moodily. Fay raised
her hand and heads turned to look
at her. "Well, Fay?" She felt herself
blush and lowered her hand from
view. "It means one conceived
without blemish or sin," she said
in a soft voice. The nun stood up
to her full five foot frame. "And
what does conceived mean in this
context?" A few girls sniggered,
others gazed at Fay. The classroom
seemed to shrink to a white glow
containing just her and the nun.
"Not sure, Sister Luke," she said.
The nun gazed around the room.
"I am sure one of you girls know
the answer to this," Sister Luke said.
The girls just stared at the nun.
Millicent raised her hand and said:
"It means when the man's stuff
meets the woman's egg." Some
girls blushed, others looked puzzled.
"You have the idea. Now to whom
was it applied?" Sister Luke asked
staring at other girls. "The ****** Mary?"
A thin girl at the back of class replied doubtfully. Fay knew it was, but said
nothing more. The nun went on to
elaborate details. Fay was puzzled
by the man's stuff and egg. She
wondered if Benny knew. She would
ask him after school when she met
him on the way home. He knew
about things like battles and wars
and once kept a goldfish in a glass
bowl until he lost it down the sink.
He might know, she mused, she
didn't know otherwise what to think.