Short Story Sunday 293: Cheat

Short Story Sunday: Cheat | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Ivy flipped through the file for the hundredth time. She pressed her palms into her forehead staring down at the paperwork, her eyes being stretched open. There was no rhyme or reason to any of this. She was beginning to feel discouraged about the whole thing. The worst part of all this was she knew she was completely wrong to do this. She had brought it on herself and now she was more confused than ever before.

She had a huge math final coming up in the morning and she had no idea what she was doing.

Ivy wasn’t good at math. It was just something she always had a hard time understanding no matter how hard she tried at it. She paid attention in class and she did all her homework. She did well enough on the tests, but she was still only barely passing the class. The final was all the previous tests combined and if she knew anything at all, it was that there was no way she would remember all that she had supposedly learned throughout the school year.

Her neighbor was a year older than her and was a grade ahead. He was good at math but he also had the same math teacher Ivy had. This math teacher combined all the tests from the year together and were the same problems and numbers as the tests. If Ivy had known that she wouldn’t have thrown out any of her previous math tests when she got them back. She had most of the problems wrong anyway.

Her neighbor though, he still had the final math test along with all his other tests from the previous school year. He had given them to Ivy so she could study. He got As on all his tests with only one or two problems wrong here and there. It was hard for Ivy to study because all the answers were right in front of her. She tried to study the work that her neighbor had shown on his paper but she didn’t understand any of it. She had no idea what was going through his mind when he wrote these problems out.

So, now she was just trying to memorize the answers. She was good at memorizing things like that. How Ivy was going to show her work to her teacher when she got all the answers right, she had no idea. It was part of the reason Ivy was getting such a headache looking at these tests. She knew she was going to fail and even if she got the right answers, her teacher would surely know she was up to something with her lack of work… or she’d do the work out and get the wrong answer but someone write the correct answer anyway.

Ivy leaned back in her chair tilting her head. She stared up at the ceiling for a moment and the closed her eyes. There was no way she was going to get through this. She wasn’t going to pass the test no matter how well she studied. She wasn’t going to pass no matter how well she memorized her neighbor’s answers. She didn’t know how to do any of the work. She didn’t remember anything they had learned during that school year. There was some math on her neighbor’s paper that she actually didn’t recognize. She went back through her own notes and couldn’t find anything on it. Unless she was absent that day, but she always made up her missed work, Ivy was convinced her math teacher was throwing them for a loop.

“Excuse me?”

Ivy opened one eye to see the librarian standing over her.

“Hi, Honey,” she greeted warmly. “I wanted to let you know that we close in ten minutes so you need to wrap it up over here.”

“But I’m studying.” Ivy groaned. She lifted her head back up and wiped her eye with her index finger. She was tired, but she didn’t realize how exhausted she was. If the librarian hadn’t come over, Ivy probably would have fallen asleep.

“I can see that,” the library said with a light chuckle.

“I know… I’m doomed…” Ivy replied agreeing with the librarian. She wasn’t studying. Even if she were looking at the papers, she wasn’t studying at all.

The librarian patted the back of Ivy’s hand sympathetically. “Good luck on your test tomorrow, Sweetie. I hope to see you tomorrow.” She said as she walked away.

Ivy gave her a half-hearted wave as she closed the file folder and packed up her things. She was just going to have to accept her fate. She wasn’t able to get any more studying in or else her head would explode.

Actually, that didn’t sound like a bad idea. If her head exploded, she wouldn’t have to take the test. She wouldn’t have to take a test ever again.

No, no. That didn’t make any sense. That was possible. Ivy was stuck taking this test no matter what. It didn’t matter how well she was prepared; the test was coming ready or not.

The following morning, Ivy sat in the math class first period. She rested her head on the surface of her desk staring at her number two pencil, the pointed end staring her back in the face. She felt like the pencil was mocking her and she wanted to blame the pencil for any mistakes she knew she would make today… but she was thinking irrationally again.

“Take out your notes.” Her teacher said and all the students did just that.

Ivy looked around the room confused as she took out her own notes. Did they not have the final today? There was one week left of school, how was there no final today? Did she study for nothing? She wasted her entire night last night.

“I’m letting you use your notes on this test since it’s a big one. Be careful not to waste too much time looking up something though. If you don’t finish by the bell, then that’s that.” Her teacher explained. She began to pass out the final and Ivy swallowed a lump in her throat.

She took out her notebook with all her notes in it but they weren’t very good notes. She knew that was going to help her at all. She also took out the folder with her neighbor’s tests inside tucking it underneath the notebook.

What her teacher didn’t know wouldn’t hurt anyone.

Words: 1,081

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