Think --> Speak

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Patrick walked slowly down his street towards his house. He wished he could take back today. Over the course of the day things had slipped out of his mouth that he did not mean. As two squirrels scampered playfully on a treetop, he could barely understand why he must feel the way he did on such a pleasant day.

“Why do I always say dumb stuff?” he asked rhetorically as he kicked a pebble that went bouncing down the asphalt.

From the very start, today had not gone well. In the morning, when his mother woke him up, he was too groggy and snapped at her for opening his blinds.

“Oh well, at least that’s not my fault my brain never works when I’m tired,” he thought.

However, as he kept on walking home, he continued to play back his miserable day through his mind. After he recovered from his less-than-ideal awakening, his seemingly always hyperactive little sister, Mary, had gotten on his nerves a little too quickly.

“Please, will you just leave me alone for once?” he had roared.

Unfortunately for him, his mother had heard this. “Patrick Wilson! You will be nice to your younger sister!” she said.

“Aw, mom, c’mon, you saw what she was doing…” Patrick groaned.

“That’s enough, Patrick,” boomed his mom.

Mary began to cry. Patrick cringed, because this he knew what this meant. This kind of situation had happened before. Usually he would have to try to catch the bus to school, and if he failed, he would have to walk, which is precisely what happened this morning. Since he misplaced his calculator this morning, he missed the bus, so he had to endure the grueling and sometimes embarrassing walk to school. As with many other mornings, the richer students whose parents bought them fancy cars would slowly drive by, asking if he needed a ride. When he said that he did, they would speed off, leaving Patrick in a cloud of hot exhaust.

Patrick’s day at school did not go any better than his morning. He was sure that he lost at least two of his friends because he spoke without thinking.

His mental playback of his day suddenly came to a halt when one of the well-to-do students roared up in his car.

“Hey Patty-cake, you don’t have a ride, do you now?” he jeered.

Already annoyed at himself for his day, Patrick was suddenly enraged. “Oh, yeah? Why don’t you call me that one more time, jerkface!”

He saw a golf ball sized rock lying on the ground and brought his right foot back to send it tumbling into the side of the fancy car. Right before he let all his anger rush through his leg and into the rock, he felt a tugging in his brain. Patrick came to his senses and realized what he was about to do. As the sports car sped off, afraid of a dent, Patrick lowered his leg.

“Think before you do something, think before you do something…” he muttered. As he neared his house, he pondered the recent events. “What kept me from kicking the rock?” he wondered.

As he unlatched the door to his house, he took a deep breath. He knew he could make this different, if he tried. Mary ran up to him, and hugged him.

“Patty!” she exclaimed. “I missed you!”

Patrick’s memory flashed to the names that the jocks at school called him. As he was about to push Mary away, he felt the tugging in his head again. This time he knew what to do. He knew what to do right.





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