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The Test This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As the teacher was handing out the test, I glanced at my brother. I could see the tension in his face. I felt so bad.

Andrew was one of the nicest people I knew. He had a lot of friends, and he was very smart. He always did well in school, unlike me. I don't know; maybe I'm just stupid. Anyway, who says everyone has to be good at school work? Even if I do flunk out of school, I know my brother will always save me from my parents' anger. Every time I do badly and he does well, my parents ask, "Why don't you study harder?" I try to explain that school is just not my thing, but they always refuse to listen.

"Why don't you get AA's like Andrew?" Andrew is always quick to point out how difficult that arithmetic test must have been, or how the teacher probably graded my test too harshly. Maybe he's too nice.

My brother and I were born eleven months apart: he was born in January, and I in December. We had always been in the same grade, but we were never in the same class until we entered high school. When we were young, we had never competed for grades, and anyway, I did so poorly that there was no point to it.

This year, however, things began to change: I started doing as well as he did. My parents were absolutely thrilled. At first Andrew was very happy for me. He told my parents, "You see, I told you she had it in her!" Unfortunately it began to bother him, after a while. Maybe he thought that the fact that our grades were similar meant that his were getting worse, not that mine were improving. Maybe having always been the smarter of the two, he could not get used to the competition. For whatever reason, it really got to him. My parents did not notice that something was wrong, since Andrew never said anything about it. He was still as nice as ever to me, but you could tell it worried him. He began studying even harder, and his social life deteriorated. I tried to encourage him: I would sit next to him during class and try to be extra nice to him, but it didn't help. I began feeling guilty for doing so well. Should I purposely do badly again? I didn't like seeing my brother so worried and upset. Maybe I should start now, and flunk this biology test.

I glanced at my brother, then at my test. "Pistil?" Wasn't that another name for a gun? I glanced at my brother. I had to do it. There was no other way. I could hear my parents sadly asking what happened to my test average, as they realized that I had fallen back into my old almost-flunk-out-of-school ways, but I had no choice: I had to stop cheating off of Andrew's tests. n


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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zhlen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm

me luvvv this

 

 
Shipwreck said...
Nov. 29, 2009 at 6:37 pm
huh. I liked that.
 
Rebecca24 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 16, 2009 at 7:13 pm
Ooh. Nice twist there!
 
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