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The mate effect

The mate effect“I think it’s Lucho’s time”, Belle whispered, pouring down hot water on the leaves, inside the mate. This thing, the mate, this beverage passed down from generation to generation of Argentinians until reaching us, was the only thing that truly connected everyone in that, our classroom.
It didn’t really matter whether we’d spent 3, 4, 5 years together; the feeling of belonging couldn’t be finished without that sacred piece of wood. The importance of that infusion was so granted, even the teachers let us drink it during class -you know, as long as they could have a sip too.
So this wasn’t only about students after all. It linked us as a whole together.

The mate reached Lucho, seating several desks away from Belle, who was in charge of the watering. He liked it sweet, as I do. I don’t mind the occasional natural taste of the yerba, but everything is better with some sugar.

Call it the mateine’s effect, call it the first hour of that Friday; but, for some reason, the whole classroom was pretty hyper, and the teacher wasn’t having an easy time trying to calm us all down.

I was sitting in front of Belle, my best friend. She was sitting next to Nardo. The one next to me, was Flor. It isn’t very much like me, to seat up front of the classroom, but I didn’t have any choice in the matter that Friday, 7am, when I reached school only to realise all the back seats of the room were already taken. Betrayed doesn’t begin to describe how I felt that morning.
But, well, not like Flavio, our math teacher, really cared about that. In fact, I’m pretty sure he just wanted to end the class, and go straight back home, where his wife and two children were awaiting. He was instead stuck with a bunch of teenagers who had had too much sugar for that hour in the morning, and that were not interested in the least on what he was trying so desperately to explain.
Who cares about rational functions, anyways?

The class went on like that, with some amused screaming from the teacher, and some stupid questions and comments by the students. I myself, was just drawing something. It didn’t really matter what, as long as it was something. I had the chance to enjoy the taste of that blessed mate several times, wich kept me going through the class.

The moment came, though, when the situation was no longer funny to Flavio. Even though he’d usually just joke around with us, specially because he’s a new teacher at our school, he did have the obligation to teach us. Probably.
So we started to shut up more often, to listen to his tedious explanation on limits, and jumps over the coordinates.
Every time he turned to start writing something in the board, though, people would start whispering at first, and talking loudly as an immediate consequence. So he couldn’t let his guard down.

The mate wasn’t rolling across the classroom anymore, wich seemed odd to me. Belle was a very dedicated person when it concerned that; but I figured she must’ve been doing something else. Something more important, probably.
I had my answer after Flavio turned back for the fifth time after shushing everyone again. He finished with his equations, and then turned, only to listen to a big and loud: ‘Luke, I am your father!!‘.

Immediately after that, the whole class turned over to the source of the quote, to catch the frozen Nardo and Belle, still in the last position of their duel of transparent-colored rulers. It seemed that Belle, having the red one, was playing Darth Vader, and that Nardo, with the green one, was Luke Skywalker.
And, of course, we all bursted out laughing like nothing else mattered.

Flavio never got the chance to finish explaining that bit of the day’s subject, as we were all, him included, laughing too hard to think of anything else.
The bell announcing the end of the math period rang, and he picked his stuff up.

“Laters, Flavio”, some of us said lazily, out of respect.
“Have a good weekend. And remember this all goes for the exam”.

With those deadly words, he left a classroom in a state of shock, and pure desperation.
I guess that’s what you get for too much mateine first thing in the morning.

Totally worthed, though.



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