I Have a Problem

I have a problem. It’s kind of a good problem. Then again, it’s kind of a bad problem. I guess it really wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t a problem, you know?

The good part of the problem is that I am going to get a GREAT grade on my math test after lunch. See, I’m in fourth grade and we have math tests every Friday after lunch. This Friday I just know I am going to get a GREAT grade.

That’s because I have the answers.

Mike Jenkins stole them from Mr. Thompson just before the lunch bell rang and made me a copy while I was off eating chocolate pudding. Mike and I play on the same Little League Team. He’s in the outfield. I play second base.

Boy-oh-boy, the next week of my life is going to be incredible. Just awesome! When my Mom sees my test score, she’s going to be so happy I won’t have to do any chores for a month. She’ll probably give me an extra allowance, too, so I can go to the movies, play video games, and buy a large popcorn at the theater. Wow, she might even buy me those cool, new sneakers I want. They cost more than one hundred dollars, but since I’m going to get a perfect score on my math test, she’ll probably treat me to something special. Boy-oh-boy, things are going to be awesome. My problem is what to do with all the good stuff that’s coming my way.

Unless I get caught. 

If I get caught cheating, things will be bad. VERY bad.

I can’t even imagine how upset my mother will be if she finds out I used stolen answers to get a good grade on my math test. Fire might shoot out of her ears. Without a doubt, I’d be grounded – probably for about six years. And she’ll certainly cut off my allowance. That would be tough because I drained my piggy bank last week to buy new pedals for my bicycle. Plus, I’m sure my mother will add more chores to my schedule -- about a zillion of them. I’ll have to wash the car, the dog, the kitchen floor, my grandmother’s birdcage and the bathroom toilets. Nobody likes cleaning the bathroom toilets. They’re gross.

There’d be more stuff, too. She’d cut me off from watching television, halt my internet surfing and maybe not even let me go to Andrew Morgan’s birthday party in two weeks. I have to go to Andrew’s party because we’re going Go Carting after pizza and ice cream. But if I get caught cheating, there is no way my mother will let me go. No way at all.

Wow, I have a problem. 

I have to get rid of these test answers. And fast. 

Lunch is over in two minutes and thirty-six seconds and right now Mr. Thompson is standing next to the garbage can. If he finds out the answers were stolen, he’s going to check every students’ desk and backpack and pants pockets.

Holy smokes, I’m going to get caught!

I didn’t even steal the answers. Stupid Mike Jenkins did. He’s always getting in trouble for dumb stuff. Once at baseball practice he swung a bat inside the dugout and busted Jimmy Harmon’s lip open. The coaches always tell us not to swing the bat inside the dugout. Mike never listens though. I never saw so much blood in all my life. 

That jerk is always getting into trouble. Now he’s taking me down with him. 

One minute eighteen seconds until the bell. Gulp! What am I going to do?

The crazy part is I’m pretty good at math and the Friday tests aren’t hard if you do your homework. I did my homework every night this week. I should be fine.

Forty-seven seconds

Why won’t Mr. Thompson move? This is just my luck. 

Thirty-nine seconds.

I have to get rid of these answers. Luckily, I haven’t looked at them yet so technically, I guess, I haven’t cheated yet.

Twenty-six seconds.

How am I going to get past Mr. Thompson?

Eighteen seconds.

I ripped up the answers into a ga-gillion pieces of tiny paper.

Eleven seconds.

I squeeezed them into a tiny ball.

Eight seconds.

I looked left. I looked right.

Five seconds.

I looked at the garbage can.

Two seconds.

“Excuse me, Mr. Thompson,” I said approaching the garbage can. “I just need to throw something away.”

“Sure,” he said as he moved.

I pushed the ball of paper into the far bottom of the wastebasket.


Whew! I made it.

“Class,” Mr. Thompson said as the bell finished ringing and I took my seat. “We have a problem.”

“Not me,” I thought to myself. “Not me.”





Short StoriesAmanda B