Monday, August 29, 2011

Stealing the Exam

Shawna's stomach flip-flopped nervously. But thinking of Destiny and the other Belles who had proved themselves in similar ways, it was also a thrilling thing to do. Destiny's right, Shawna assured herself. I'm borrowing, not stealing. And even if the girls who study from the test are cheating—and I still think they are—at least I'm not cheating. And in just a few minutes, it will all be over and I'll be a Lindley Belle.

She found the exam right where Destiny said it would be and started making copies. Shawna's excitement mounted. Nobody would ever know about this except the Belles. And she would be a Belle before the semester ended. Shawna shoved the pages into her book bag and returned the original exam. She was halfway to the door when she heard the handle rattle. She sucked in a breath, and it froze in her chest.

Then a new sound paralyzed her with fear: a key slipping into the lock and turning. This was a stupid idea, Shawna. Why did you listen to Destiny again? Mr. Nguyen entered the room and asked, "What's going on?" Doing her best to return his stare, Shawna replied, "M-my friend, uh . . . Tara Marshall thought she left her jacket in here," she stammered. It sounded stupid as soon as she said it.

Shawna knew he could see through her flimsy excuse. Finally Mr. Nguyen extended his hand. "Let me see your book bag," he said sternly. Before she could get the bag off her shoulder, Shawna dropped her gaze and began to cry.

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