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The Scratching Sound
My family and I had just woken up and had eaten a beautiful, delicious breakfast. Eggs, sausage, pancakes, and a small cup of hot chocolate with a little dollop of whip cream on top. It was three days before my eighth birthday and I had it all planned out. I was inviting Gianna S., Hannah H., and Natalie F. to go to a place in Hillsboro, Oregon called Tea’s Me. My mom, later in the afternoon, sent out all of the evites to my friends. I couldn’t wait to see all of my friends since my birthday party was taking place in the summer. Once my mom was done sending out the evites, my family and I went to the rented duplex that had recently been bought for remodeling. It was a long car ride, even though it only took thirty minutes.
When we finally arrived at the duplex, my dad gave me and my brother jobs to do right away. I was in charge of pulling out the molding from the walls and my brother was in charge of pulling out all of the extra staples from the wooden floor. Both jobs took a lot of work. Of course, I got really tired from pulling out most of the molding, so I took a break. It turned out that my brother had already finished his job as I was taking a break.
I played hide-and-go-seek with my brother for a little while in the front of the duplex. When my brother got another task to do, I was pondering about what my next task would be. As I was pondering, I stumbled upon a nail. I picked up the nail and thought it would be a good idea to help my dad decorate his truck. I took the nail and drew an x with a circle around it on my dad’s bumper. The nail digging into the bumper was very squeaky, like a door with squeaky hinges, creeping open. I walked away feeling no shame, but I didn’t realize what the consequences would be later. I soon went back to my original task. As I was doing my job, I saw outside of the window a look of shock and horror on my mother’s face. A moment later, I heard my mom call me and my brother outside.
“Erin and John. Can you both come here please?” my mother called in a calm voice.
“Yes mother?” we replied.
“I was looking at the beautiful paint job of your dad’s truck and I noticed something on your dad’s bumper. Erin, John. Do you mind telling me what you guys were doing outside?” my mother said looking at the both of us.
“Well...you see mom, I sort of found a nail on the ground and I drew on dad’s truck. I thought he needed some help decorating,” I said to my mom.
My mom yelled back, “ERIN! You are in deep trouble young lady! Your birthday is in three days, right? Well, I’m going to cancel your birthday party! How does that sound? This is what you get for being a naughty child! Who, in anyone’s right mind, would write on a car!”
I replied to her, “Mom, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to! Please don’t cancel my birthday party! You already did so much work!” I was put in timeout right after we had the argument. I wasn’t sure if she was bluffing about canceling my birthday party or not. There was no way to be certain.
The next day, my mom told me to come into her room because I had some “business” to take care of. At the time, I thought the business was to pick up my clothes that I left in her bathroom after taking a shower earlier that morning. My mom then told me what the business was.
“Erin. You are to call Gianna, Hannah, and Natalie to tell them that your birthday party is being cancelled,” said my mom.
“But mom! Why are you doing this to me!” I replied in horror.
My mom handed me her phone. “Here is Gianna’s mom’s phone number. Just push the green button and if her mom picks up the phone I would like you to ask if you could speak to Gianna. If Gianna picks up the phone tell her that your birthday party is being cancelled.”
I pushed the green button and the phone started to ring. The phone rang and rang, but nobody picked up. I called a second time. There was no answer. I called a third time and the phone rang approximately two times until I heard Gianna’s voice say, “Hello?”
“Hi Gianna. This is Erin. I am calling to tell you that you won’t be able to make it to my party,” I told her.
Gianna replied, “Oh, well, I replied yes on the evite. Did the reply not go through?”
“Erin. Gianna can make it to your party. You have to tell her what you did wrong,” my mom said to me while I was babbling with Gianna.
“You see Gianna, I found a nail on the ground and I chose to write and x with a circle around it on my dad’s bumper. My birthday party is cancelled! I’m sorry! May I please speak to your mom?” I said, sobbing.
“You can speak to my mom. I’m sorry that you made a bad choice. I will see you in September. Bye!” Gianna replied.
“Hello? Is this Mrs. S? I would like to inform you that I made a bad choice of marking on my dad’s bumper.
My mom is cancelling my birthday party. I’m sorry,” I cried to Mrs. Sholes. I then hung up the phone to call Hannah and Mrs. H, and after them, Natalie and Mrs. F. I told them the same story I told Gianna and Mrs. S. The lesson that I learned in this situation was to think before acting. I clearly didn’t think before I acted, and the consequences were far worse than I thought.