Lesson Learned – a short story

It was the Friday before winter break. Tommy was counting the eraser shavings on the edge of his beat up wooden desk. Suddenly he remembered that he needed to make up his English final after school, but he had planned on going to smoke with his

friends before the long vacation. The clock was pounding loudly in his head as he was contemplating what his final decision was going to be. Almost instantly an angel popped up on his left shoulder and a devil on his right. Was he hallucinating?

“Tommy relax we are your conscience, but listen in life there are no makeup exams so you need to choose carefully,” the angel reasoned with Tommy. Without any time for him to respond the devil says “Come on kid it’s going to be the last time smoking for two weeks.” Tommy and his low self esteem couldn’t argue with the fact that he could get high and just tell his teacher he had a family emergency and he had left the country right after school. There he had it all set, he was going to be able to do everything he wanted to do and get away with it. Little did he know his mother was on the phone with his teacher within five minutes after school ended. “No, Tommy never showed,” Mrs. Jackson said. As Tommy’s mom was overwhelmed with Christmas shopping and cooking she totally forgot the whole conversation with Mrs. Jackson. Tommy was home by five thirty. He waltzed into his house high as a kite and went straight up to his room no questions asked. He set sail for a relaxing, drug free, two week vacation. With Christmas coming up everyone had forgot that Tommy still needed to take his English final. Until December 24, 2007 at 11:32 pm when Mrs. Turner received Mrs. Jacksons email saying “did you ever find out what happened with Tommy a couple Fridays ago?” Suddenly the joyful expressions on Mrs. Turners face turned into a scowl, and all that was heard through the house was “Tommy! Andrew! Turner! You get your little spoiled but down here right this instant.” “Yes, Mom,” Tommy replied with a smile “You wipe that smile off your face.

Where were you the Friday you were supposed to make up your English final?” “Umm……I was in Mrs. Reynolds room tutoring for NHS.” “Ok, well you need to speak with Mrs. Jackson about making it up so you don’t get a zero.” “Sure, no problem mom I’ll talk with her first thing when I get back to school.” The night went on and Christmas day came and went. It was the day before school started again and Tommy was talking with his buddies online. After a couple of messages Tommy said “What am I supposed to tell Mrs. Jackson? If I tell her what I told my mom she is going to check with Mrs. Reynolds and then I’m screwed.” His best friend Robert replied “You should have taken the final instead of coming with us.” “Thanks your no help,” Tommy responded then signed off and went straight to be hoping he would come up with something tomorrow. Beep! Beep! Beep! Whack! Tommy smacks the alarm mumbling “Monday already.” Dreading going to school Tommy is dreading even more Mrs. Jacksons class. The clock hits 2:25 pm and Mrs. Jackson’s class has officially started. She doesn’t mention anything until five minutes before class is over when she softly whispers to Tommy “I need to see you after class.” Tommy’s palms start sweating and his heart starts beating at warp speed. The angel reappears on his shoulder whispering in his ear “See its all fun and games until you have to face the music; who’s here to help you through it? Where is the guy in red that was all for missing the exam? No were to be found.” Ring! Ring! Ring! The day is over just as Tommy wanted it to be until he found out he had to stay after class. Considering that everyone in the class has left he makes his way over to Mrs. Jackson’s desk. “You wanted to see me,” he says to her “Yes, Tommy I think you and I both know why you’re here.” “Umm…no I have don’t have an idea as to what you’re talking about,” Tommy replied softly “Why weren’t you here to take you exam the Friday before school got out?” “Well you see Mrs. Jackson; I had to leave the country because my uncle had a heart attack and I flew to see him in Argentina.” “Really, that’s not what your mother told me she said you stayed home all break.” “Ok, Mrs. Jackson you really want to know what happened?”Tommy said with a sinister voice. “Tell me Tommy,” she replied intrigued “Well I was at the NHS tutoring session in Mrs. Reynolds room.” “Oh…Ok…that makes perfect sense. That is why Mrs. Reynolds called me that Friday asking where you were because you didn’t show up to tutoring.” “Uhh,” Tommy stuttered “Listen Tommy you just blew your last chance; I’m calling your mom so we can get to the bottom of this.”