Holy Frijoles This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

“Holy moly!” Mr. Doman cried, jumping out of his rolly chair. “It's a plate of frijoles! Where'd that come from?”

“A what?” Tanya asked.

“A plate of frijoles,” Mr. Doman exclaimed, picking up the plate from his desk and looking at it suspiciously.

“A plate of free holy whats?” I asked, double-checking to make sure I was wearing my cross necklace.

“No, no, not a free holy anything; it's a frijol.”

“What's that?” Tanya asked.

“How stupid can you be?” Quinton cried, jumping out of his chair. “A frijol is an amazing food! It's like a burrito, but without the beans and open on the ends!” Quinton glanced at the plate of free-holy-nothings in Mr. Doman's hand. “Can I have one?”

“I don't know. We don't know whose these are. We can't just take somebody's frijoles.”

“We could use them as a demonstration,” Quinton said eagerly, eyeing the plate. “I mean, this is Spanish class, after all. Plus, they were on your desk.”

“Wait, hang on, you lost me at burrito with no beans,” Tanya said. “If it's a burrito with no beans that's open at the ends, isn't that just a rolled-up tortilla?”

“No, he means it's stuffed with chicken and cheese,” Tyler piped up. He took a swipe at the plate in Mr. Doman's hands and got a stern glare in return.

“Isn't that a taquito?” I asked.

“Oh, yeah, I guess so.” Tyler frowned, suddenly not sure what he was looking at. “It has beans in it too, though.”

“No, it doesn't,” Quinton corrected.

“Yeah, it does. If it's just chicken and cheese and a ­tortilla, then it's a quesadilla.”

“But quesadillas are flat!” Tanya and I protested.

“Okay, question real fast,” said Tanner from the back of the room, finally joining the conversation. “Why are some tacos are in floppy ones and some are in the hard ones?”

“Don't you even know how to say ‘tortilla'?” Tyler asked with scorn.

“I know how to eat a tortilla.”

Mr. Doman slipped out of the room with his free holy frijoles, intending to return them to their rightful owner. Quinton pressed on, now determined to educate his clueless classmates. “So, a taco has just one shell, soft or hard. Then it has meat and cheese and yummy vegetables. With soft shells you fold them up, like a burrito. Burritos look like soft-shelled tacos, only they have nothing inside but beans. Taquitos have meat and cheese and sometimes peppers and beans, but you roll those up all tiny. Quesadillas are like taquitos, only flat because they're in between two tortillas.”

“Like a tortilla sandwich!” Tanya exclaimed.

“Yeah!” Quinton nodded enthusiastically. “You got it!”

“Then what's a rolled-up tortilla called?” Tanner asked.

“If it's just a rolled-up tortilla, then it's just a rolled-up tortilla,” Tyler said, beginning to sound exasperated.

Peter, who had jumped sneakily onto Mr. Doman's computer as soon as the teacher left the room, looked up from the screen. “Guys, here's what I found. It says a frijol is just a type of bean!”

“It is?” Tanya, Tyler, Quinton, Tanner, and I exclaimed, crowding around the screen. “What the heck?!”

“Honest to gosh,” Peter promised, making an X over his heart. Indeed, according to the page, he was correct.
We jumped away from the computer as Mr. Doman walked back into the room.

“I don't know whose frijoles those were, but it doesn't matter. We can get on with class now.” Mr. Doman glanced at the clock. “Aw, man! Class is almost over and we didn't do anything! Oh well, it's almost lunch time, so that's good news.”

“What's for lunch?” Quinton asked eagerly. Mr. Doman checked the calendar.

“Chicken fajitas.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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