Hi, my name is Sarah Goldberg and I’m in the seventh grade. I’m a pretty good student in my opinion; I’m in all honor classes and I’m doing exceptionally well in all of them, and I’ve never done a single thing wrong in my life. That is until March 17, 2014.

It started out to be a gorgeous sunny day. I could hear the birds chirping loudly outside, bees humming as they were collecting pollen from their flowers, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. “Come down for breakfast, sweetie, or you’ll be late for the bus!” my mom screamed to me as I was getting dressed. “In a minute, Mom!” I screamed. When I came downstairs, my mom had made me my favorite breakfast ever; chocolate chip waffles with extra whipped cream and a ton of strawberries on top of the whipped cream and on the sides of the plate. Just as I was about to dig into my delicious breakfast, my nightmare came downstairs, my three-years-older-sister Penina. “Hey weirdo,” she said to me. “Hey weirdo times two thousand,” I said back to her. “Please talk nicer to each other. I don’t like that language,” my mom told both of us. “Fine,” we both said. Then as I was eating my breakfast, I looked at my watch. 7:59 A.M. Shoot! The bus would be coming in exactly a minute! I finished my breakfast as quickly as I could and then I was on my way out the door. “Thanks Mom for the breakfast! See you after school!” I yelled as I was going out the door. “Bye, sweetie!” my mom shouted back.

That’s when I boarded the Vehicle of Terror. Most of the bullying that happens at my school usually happens on the bus, and I’m not what you consider the most popular girl in my grade. But luckily I found a spot in the last row of the bus, where I won’t be bothered by anyone. It took usually around 30 minutes to get to school every day, so I decided to pull out my favorite book, Harry Potter, and read it. I must have been really lost in my book because as soon as I took a look out the window, we had arrived at school. By the main entrance to school, my best friend Atara was waiting for me. Her outfit today was a plain blue and yellow plaid skirt that just barely passed her knees, a button-down white shirt that was a little too small for her, big, black glasses that covered her eyes and cheeks, and she had her chocolate brown hair in two pigtails on the sides of her head. “Hi Sarah,” she said. “Hi Atara,” I replied. “You seem upset. What’s wrong? Was it your sister again? Cause I will be glad to hurt her if you want,” Atara said, with a grin on her face. “I’m just nervous about the big test that Mrs. Brown is giving us in math,” I replied, with a tear in my eye that was just sitting there, waiting to come out. “I barely studied and I know I should’ve studied more, but I just didn’t have the time to,” I said, now crying hysterically. “It’s okay, Sarah. One bad grade on a test won’t make a big difference to you, considering that you have a perfect grade point average in her class,” Atara replied. I just love Atara; she knows how to make you feel happy when you think the whole world is going to end at that very moment.

“I know that that this a silly question to ask, but you won’t cheat right?” she continued.

“Of course not,” Sarah replied, “do you really think I would do something as terrible as that?”

“No, it’s just that you seem so worried and sometimes people when they’re worried cheat,” Atara answered.

“Well not me,” Sarah responded, standing tall with confidence that she’ll get an A+ on this test and that if she doesn’t know something, she definitely won’t cheat.

That’s what Sarah thought was going to happen…

“I know that you guys have a test today,” said Mrs. Brown as the children we all taking their seats at their desks,” so please clear everything from your desks except for a pencil.” As soon as all the desks were cleared, Mrs. Brown started to pass out the tests. “Wow! This is pretty difficult. I think I’ll fail this test!” Sarah thought to herself, “but stay focused Sarah, stay focused.”

“Nobody look at anyone else’s tests or you’ll get an automatic failing grade for not just this test, but for the trimester!” Mrs. Brown exclaimed.

Twenty minutes passed, and Sarah didn’t know how to do any of the problems. “Why did I go shopping for clothes at the mall with Mom and Penina, when I knew I had to study for this test?!” Sarah said to herself, frustrated.

And then she did something she never would have done in her life; she looked at Bracha Shimon, the smartest boy in the whole grade’s test for the answers!

Sarah just finished copying down all the answers before Mrs. Brown came around to collect them. She handed the test to Mrs. Brown, feeling a strong surge of guilt inside of her. “Why did I just do that? A failing grade would have been better than cheating off of Bracha’s test!” she screamed at herself.

Just as Sarah was about to leave, she heard “Sarah, may I speak to you for a moment?” Mrs. Brown asked, with anger in his voice. As soon as Sarah took a seat by her desk, Mrs. Brown asked her furiously, “I saw what you did on the test. I saw that you cheated from Bracha’s test. And you know what I said before the test started about cheating! Tell me, Sarah, why did you do this? I know that you would never usually do something like this, so there must have been a reason.” “Well, Mrs. Brown, I went to the mall with my mom and my sister, Penina, and I just forgot to manage my time correctly, because as soon as I got home, it was time for me to go to bed, and that’s when I remembered when I forgot to study for this test. I mean, I studied a little bit in the morning before school, but as soon as I looked at the test, I knew that that wasn’t enough time. And then, without thinking, I just looked at her paper because I thought I was desperate,” Sarah responded, her head tilted downwards from all the shame that she had from being caught cheating. “You know that I’ll have to send a note home about this and there’s a chance that you might get a failing grade for the trimester, but I don’t think that’s necessary because, judging from the look on your face right now, you’ve learned your lesson,” Mrs. Brown said, “but I’m still upset that you did something so serious as this. But one thing that I do have to do is fail this test that you just took.”

When Sarah got home, her mom must have heard the news because she told her to go sit on the couch so they can have a talk. In Sarah’s house, you usually get a talk when you do something really wrong and they have to discuss what the punishment is. “I’m very disappointed in you, Sarah. I thought you would never do something like this. What happened?” her mom asked her, with a slightly angry tone. “Well, last night I totally forgot that I had a math test today, so I agreed to go to the mall with you and Penina. And then since we got back so late, you said that I need to go to bed right away. I did go to bed right away, just like you said, and while I was lying in bed, I remembered that I had a math test the next day, but I thought that you might get mad at me for turning my light on when you said to strictly turn it off, so I studied a little bit this morning, but as soon as I looked at the test, I knew that I should’ve studied more. And then I freaked out, and I didn’t even think about what I was doing first, and then I just cheated. But after I handed in the test, I felt so guilty, that I was kind of glad that Mrs. Brown saw it, because I couldn’t hold the feeling in anymore,” Sarah said, tears dripping from her eyes onto her red and blue striped shirt. “Well now for your punishment. You are grounded for two weeks, you have to clean up after the dog for a month, and you have to write Mrs. Brown an apology note stating that you shouldn’t have cheated and that you are truly sorry,” her mom said, looking at Sarah with a harsh look. “Okay, I’ll do all of those things, even though I know that I don’t really have a choice whether I want to do it or not,” said Sarah. “You’re 100% correct that you don’t have a choice, but I’m somewhat glad that you agree to do these things,” her mom said, “but just so you know, I’m still disappointed in you.” “Yes, I do,” said Sarah, looking not so unhappy anymore, “I guess I’ll go get started on that apology note.” “Good idea,” her mom said.

The next day, as Sarah was entering the math class, Mrs. Brown called her over. “I really liked your apology note. I really can understand how bad you feel. So instead of me giving you a 30%, I’ll give you a 55%, which by the way is still a failing grade,” Mrs. Brown informed Sarah. “At least the numbers went up, not down!” said Sarah, a little happier now. “You are correct about that, Sarah. Looks like someone has been practicing their addition and subtraction!” Mrs. Brown said, trying to make a joke, but failing to do so, “now go to your seat, the bell is about to ring.”

After class, Atara asked Sarah, “What happened yesterday? I overheard you and Mrs. Brown talking about that you cheated off of Bracha Shimon’s test. Sorry if you’re mad at me for eavesdropping on your conversation, it’s just that I couldn’t help myself! Why did you cheat like that? It’s not like you to do something like that! Atara said. “It’s okay that you overheard the conversation,” Clementine responded.

“You’re the best friend anyone could ever imagine, and I would never want a friend other than you to help me in this situation,” Sarah told Atara. “If I was in the same situation, I would feel the same way about you!” Atara replied.

Overall, the worst day of Sarah’s life didn’t turn out to be the worst day that could ever happen to her. Sure, she did a terrible thing wrong, but Sarah has now learned her lesson that you are never allowed to cheat, or else there will be some severe consequences. The good part of her day is that she has also learned that true friends always stick by your side, no matter how severe of a wrong thing you do, just like what Atara did for Sarah.