Choosing the Right Path

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The time had come. Honesty had been waiting all week to get the results of her math test. She stared at the paper face- down on her desk, taking a deep breath before she turned it over. She looked over at her friend, Careless. “One, two, three!” They flipped their papers over at once, to see the red markings at the top of their papers. Honesty was proud of her 97% and Careless was satisfied with her 86%. Honesty took a deep breath and stretched her skinny bones back in her chair.

With a grin on her face, Honesty flipped through the pages of her test to check her few errors. After she saw the three points that were taken off and realized why she got those questions wrong, she turned the rest of the pages to get to the end of the stapled packet. A spec of red caught her eye in the sea of white; Honesty became startled. She looked at it closely and came to the conclusion that she had gotten another question wrong! Four points off means a 96%. Honesty jumped out of her chair to go make the teacher aware of his mistake, but Careless stopped her. She told Honesty to take the extra point, that it was the teacher’s fault and she shouldn’t worry about it.

“I don’t deserve this grade though, Careless! I earned a 96%!” Honesty wailed.

“Just give it a day,” Carless said, trying to calm her friend down. “If he fixes it, let him, but if not, take the extra point.”

Honesty took Careless’s advice and tried to continue on with the rest of her school day, but she just couldn’t focus. She felt so guilty and she was never one to get in trouble. On her walk home, Careless invited her over, but she declined because she wasn’t in the mood to see anyone. She barged in her front door and went straight to her room. She spent hours thinking about what to do finally, at 10:00 pm, made a decision.

Honesty had never really used a phone book so she was overwhelmed by all the words and numbers and pages. After finding the name and address she was looking for, she power- walked two miles to reach her destination, hands shaking, beads of sweat dripping down her face. She managed to ring the doorbell and felt like her throat was closing as the shadow came to answer the door. “Hi Mr. Academics,” she squealed.

“Honesty, what are you doing here?!”

Honesty explained the misunderstanding about her test and how she didn’t earn the score that he gave her.

“Oh Honesty, I gave you the extra point because you turned in that extra credit last week!”

Honesty laughed for what seemed like hours on her teacher’s front porch; she couldn’t believe she forgot about the extra credit. Happy as could be, she turned around and walked back home.

The next day, Honesty showed up to the soccer field, ready to play. She laced up her sunshine yellow cleats and pranced to her starting position at forward. Ten minutes into the game, Honesty broke away to get past the last defender and then got a pass from a teammate miles down the field. She took two bunny hops and shot to the corner. GOAL! While everyone was celebrating her success, she frowned, deep in thought. She tiptoed up to the referee and said, “Excuse me sir, that goal shouldn’t count; I was off sides.”

After the two referees had a conference on the sidelines, they realized she was right and called off the goal. Honesty’s team was like a mob ready to attack her. “Sorry guys, I just can’t help but tell the truth.”





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