Kelly Creative Macbeth BM
“Yes… No I just have my physics exam tomorrow… Yes, I will study… I love you too Grandma, talk to you later. Goodbye,” I sighed with relief as I finally hung up the phone.
“She talks for hours mom, and you know that I have a huge physics final tomorrow,” I said.
“I know, sweetie,” replied my mother, “but she loves you very much and wants to talk to you.”
Sighing dramatically, I knew that I wasn’t going to win this fight. Next Tuesday night, I would still have to talk to my old and decrepit grandma on the phone, just as I have done for the past four years. Grabbing my backpack and physics textbook, I headed up to my room for some peace a quiet in order to study.
Walking up the stairs, I realized that I don’t actually mind talking to my grandmother. Truth is, she’s the only one that really listens and sounds interested in what I have to say. She asks questions, always wanting to know more and congratulates me on my successes and is sad with me over things that have not gone my way. Even though she doesn’t have a say on what I do in my life, she’s one of the ones who I most want to please.
My mom always teases me because of my study habits. Many people study best when they are sitting at a desk with their textbook open, lots of light and taking notes. Even if they don’t like that, most juniors at least would like to sit somewhere comfortable, like a couch or beanbag. I, on the other hand, prefer to lie flat on my floor with my textbook somewhere near my head and food close to me in case I get hungry. That is why, when I opened the door to my tiny bedroom, I threw my backpack to the side and flopped on my floor, opening my textbook to page 104. Balancing Equations, I thought, Yuck.
“Yummy, mom! Thanks so much for the cold cereal!” I said sarcastically as I poured myself a bowl the next morning.
“Don’t speak to me in that tone of voice,” she replied.
I sighed. “Sorry, I guess I’m just really stressed about this exam. If I don’t get a good grade on it, it’s possible that I could fail and have to retake the course over the summer. It’s just a lot of pressure.”
“Don’t worry honey, you’ll do amazing. Now eat your Wheaties. It’s the breakfast of champions, you know.”
As I walked into school, I saw some of my classmates studying for the exam. I wish I could study, I thought, but then I would need to be a nerd. God, come make me unpopular so that I can have time to study. Please, fill me with knowledge for this exam. (“Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topful of direst cruelty.” – Act 1, scene 5 page 17)
“Maya!” I hear Steven scream from down the hall. I feel a smile spread across my face as he comes towards me. “Hey!” he exclaims, “You ready for this exam?”
“Ehhh, not really. I’m not feeling too confident about it all,” I answered.
“That’s alright, I know that you’ll be able to get a wonderful grade. Well, I gotta run. I’m meeting John for a quick study session before class. Do you want to come?”
“No, I have to go talk to Michael before class.”
“I’m not sure, but he said that he needed to see me. I have no idea what it’s about.”
“Well, I’ll see you in class. Bye, Maya,” he says with his incredible smile.
I keep walking down the hall and to my locker. As I’m exchanging books in my locker, I notice Michael walking towards me. Well, let’s just get this over with.
“Hey Michael,” I say.
“Maya. I really need your help.”
“Okay… With what? Do you need to borrow my notes for physics or something?”
“No, but it does have to do with the exam. Just listen to it all before you say anything, okay? So the other day, I happened to come across the Ms. Jones’ copy of the test for today… and it has all of the answers on it.”
Oh gosh… this is not going to be good, I thought. But I kept my promise to him and stayed silent.
“Since I didn’t have a chance to study last night, I figured that I would just use the answers from the sheet to help me on the test,” he continued, “But the problem is is that I can’t be caught with the sheet. But I know that you sit in one of the few desks that has the opening underneath it. And well… you know… maybe you could just stick the paper there? Then when you copy all the answers you can just let me copy your paper… I mean, you don’t have to do it, but I was just thinking because it would promise you a perfect grade.”
I need to think about this. I’ve never cheated on homework or a quiz before, much less an exam. But I really did need this grade to be an incredible one. Plus, so many people were counting on me. My grandmother, my mom, John…
“Yes. I’ll do it,” I heard the words come out of my mouth before I had thought it through further. “Give me the paper.”
He handed it over to me. “Look, Maya, if we end up getting caught…”
“No! Stop! If you just stop worrying then we won’t get caught. Chill out.” (“We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place and we’ll not fail.” –Act 1, scene 7 page 23)
Walking to class, I didn’t feel all that guilty. Everyone who was wishing me luck on the test and telling me that I’ll do very well will be right: I’ll get a splendid grade and pass this class with flying colors. I found myself smiling stupidly as I entered the classroom, giddy with the thought of the reaction that my mom would have when I would bring home my test.
“Well hey again Maya. What did Michael need?” asks Steven.
“Oh, hey. He… he just needed my notes. That’s all. No big deal.”
“Then why are you smiling like an idiot? Did he ask you out or something?”
“Haha, you’re so funny,” I said sarcastically. “I’m just feeling really good about this test now.”
He smiled at me. That smile that gives me butterflies every time.
“Students, please put away all of your notes. The test is about to begin,” Ms. Jones instructed us as she started handing out the tests. “Take one, pass it back.”
Receiving my test, I’m suddenly very glad that Michael had given me the cheat sheet. I realize that I know nothing on the first page, which I’m sure is the easiest because it’s multiple choice. Unfortunately, I’m not a very sneaky person, so cheating is going to be tricky. However, Ms. Jones is also as blind as a bat and oblivious to everything. And so, maybe I can still pull this off. Okay let’s start this… “1. An airplane accelerates down a runway at 3.20 m/s2 for 32.8 s until is finally lifts off the ground. Determine the distance traveled before takeoff”. Oh gosh… yeah I don’t know how to do this. Let’s see… okay it’s b. That’s what the cheat sheet says anyway. D= 1720 m. Sounds about right.
I finished my test quickly. I mean, how could I not? I had all of the answers right in front of me. I saw Michael peeking over at me, and so I angled my paper in a way that he could easily see my answers. To keep suspicion away, I doodled in the margins while he copied so it would look like I’m still working.
“Psst—Maya!” he whispered, “I can’t see #7. Just hand me you paper really quick. Ms. Jones isn’t looking. I’ll give it right back, promise.
I quickly handed him my paper, willing him to hurry up. Of course, just at that time, Ms. Jones decided to make her rounds.
“Give me my paper, she’s coming!” I hissed urgently.
“If I do now, she’ll see me. If she asks where your test is, just say you dropped it. Or never got a paper. Or you ate it. Just say something! I can’t risk handing it to you now.”
“Oh my gosh! Give me my paper! She won’t see you, I swear. I need my paper in order for us to be able to pull this off!” (“Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures. ‘Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil. –Act 2, scene 2 page 29)
Thankfully, he handed me my paper just in time as Ms. Jones passed my desk. I pretended to be checking over my work. Hmm, yes. D = 1720 m that looks correct. Then she passed. Michael signaled to me that he didn’t need my paper any more, thankfully. Now I can just sit here and wait for this period to be over.
After class, Steven caught me first. “How was it? How do you think you did?”
I smiled at him. “Very well,” I replied, “And you?”
He returned my smile. “I did my very best, and I think that my hard work of studying paid off. I just wanted to say, I know that physics hasn’t been the easiest for you this year so I’m so excited that you think you did well on this test. I’m so proud of you, Maya.”
“Maya!” I heard Michael yell. I sighed.
“I gotta go,” I said to Steven, “See you in third period English.”
Stalking over to Michael, I confronted him. “What do you want?”
“Gosh, you’re mad. I just wanted to say thank you for helping me out today. I really needed it, and now I’m sure that I’ll pass that class. I thought that I would feel really guilty about cheating, but I actually feel fine. Alright, well I’ll see you later!” He was practically bubbling over with happiness.
“Wait!” I called after his retreating form. He turned back. “Look, we already did it and stuff… and I know we can’t go back and change it, but I’m just letting you know that our happiness might not last. I mean, if we get found out, we’re going to get in a ton of trouble.” (“Naught’s had, all’s spent, where our desire is got without content, ‘tis safer to be that which we destroy than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.” –Act 3 scene 2 page 45).
“We’re not going to get caught, Maya, it’s okay,” he replied as he turned and left.
I took my phone out of my backpack to call my mom. I couldn’t stay at school. I needed to go home. I felt sick. I’ve never been a cheater. Not in anything. Not in school, sports, relationships or anything… and now all of a sudden I made a stupid decision to cheat on the final. And I feel terrible about it. But I can’t tell anyone. Maybe if I just leave it, I’ll feel fine after a while. The guilt can’t be too bad, can it? I guess that I will find out soon enough.
“Mom? Yeah, I just feel really sick… can you pick me up? Yes, I already took my exam. Yes, I think I did well on it… Okay I’ll go to the office and tell them I’m sick… see you soon.” And I hung up.
Walking to the office, I started to think about how I would face my mom. I would just tell her that I think I did well. That’s all. She wouldn’t ask more about it, would she? I’m sick. She wouldn’t want to make me talk more than I have to.
Once I told the nurse that I was sick, she had me lay on one of those really uncomfortable “beds” that school nurses tend to have in their offices. Once my mom got there, I got in the car and we drove away. I pressed my head against the seat and squeezed my eyes shut, willing the nausea to leave me. Why was this bothering me so much? I’m scared that I let all of the people who were betting on me down. Well, they wouldn’t know that. They will think that I got a perfect grade, that I’m a great student. But the guilt inside of me is eating me up already, and it hasn’t even been an hour since I turned in my test.
The first thing that I did when I got home is flopped on my bed, waiting for sleep to over-take me. Soon, it came and I began deeply dreaming. I should have known that this was going to happen because I’ve watched too many movies, but I began to dream of the cheating instance. When I woke up, I was covered in sweat and shivering. I heard my mother come up the stairs, so I tried to compose myself quickly.
“Honey?” she said as she peeked in the door, “Okay good, you’re up. I was just coming in the check on you because when I checked on you earlier you seemed to be having a rough time sleeping… you seemed to be muttering something like ‘No, give it to me, give it to me Michael! What if she catches us?’ and stuff along those lines. (“Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One—two—why when ‘tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when one can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him” –Act 5, scene 1 page 84). Are you sure that you are okay, sweetie?”
“Yes, mom, I’m fine. Just feeling really sick. But I’m feeling better than when I was at school,” I say guiltily.
“Well, I’m glad that you’re feeling better because grandma wants to call you and ask how your physics test went!”
I groaned. This cannot be happening. Why did she have to call? Why can’t I just forget about it? Why did I cheat? Why, why, why…
“Hello, Grandma… Yes my test was today… I think I did very well, yup…” and on and on went my conversation with my grandmother. Yes, the questions were hard. Yes, I did study hard. No, my mind did not blank. Yes, I think I got a good grade. Finally, she was all out of questions. Now it was time to lay on all the compliments of how much she loves me, how proud she is of me, and what I wonderful granddaughter I am. Thanks, grandma.
After I hung up with her, I started down the stairs to get some food, but stopped short when I heard my parents whispering in the kitchen.
“It was like she was going crazy! She was whispering and sweating and thrashing in her sleep… I asked her about it, but she said she was fine,” (“She is troubled with thick-coming fancies that keep her from rest.” –Act 5 scene 3 page 89) whispered my mother.
“She’s alright, honey. Just sick. She’ll be as good as new soon,” comforted my father.
I couldn’t do it anymore. I just needed to tell them.
“Mom, dad?” I gasped out.
“Honey! Are you okay? What’s wrong?”
I decided that it’d be easier to just say it straight, without having to explain context. That would cause me to choke up and not be able to get my words out. “I cheated.”
My parents brought me to school the next day so that we could talk to Ms. Jones together. Naturally, she was angry, but she agreed to let me retake another test that she would come up with. The catch was that I had to take a six week advanced physics course over the summer in order to ensure that I know all of the material that was needed to pass the course. Other than that, the only other change was that I now had a terrible reputation with Ms. Jones, who was actually one of my favorite teachers.
Michael, on the other hand, got a little harsher punishment since he did not own up to what he had done. He was suspended for two days and required to take the same six-week course as I was. I know for a fact that the teacher will not be putting us next to each other.
In the end, I told Steven about what had happened. He didn’t freak out, but he was really disappointed in me. I hate it when I disappoint people; it makes me feel like a stupid person. From then on, he never gave me quite the same beautiful smile that he used to.
From that Wednesday in June, I learned a very valuable lesson. Guilt will consume you, and not let you out of its nasty grip. You may think that you will be okay with doing something, but I assure you that you will not. A guilty conscience cannot rest. Oh, and I also learned in my summer course that d does in fact equal 1720 meters.
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