“Kathy! Have you finished your homework? You have a math test tomorrow, remember?” Mom called out from downstairs.
“Seriously! That’s gross! Do you know, I heard that Lydia and Jamie are no longer friends because Karen dared Lydia to throw food on Jamie, and that made Jamie really mad, and you know how mad she can get!” Kathy laughed, her phone practically glued to her ear.
“Kathy? Kathy! Kathy!” Mom yelled, annoyed at her daughter’s casual attitude towards her studies.
“I have a ton of homework to slog through, so I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.” Kathy moaned, looking at the opened books scattered across her bed. She ended her phone call and picked up a random book. “An integer number line has positive numbers on the right and negative on the left. Fascinating.” Kathy uttered sarcastically.
The next day, Kathy ran to school and all the way to Candace, her best friend.
“Oh my god, I have so much to tell you!” Kathy squealed.
“Me too!” Candace replied excitedly, jumping up and down.
“Alright, me first. When I went to put the trash out, I saw our Bio teacher walking his dog. And do you know, that dog tried to bite me. How could he tell me to learn some manners, when his own dog doesn’t have any!” Kathy said dramatically.
“Really? Well, that’s just terrible. But do you know, I saw Riley Gains step in a puddle of mud and then–” Candace stopped talking.
“What? What did Riley do? Why did you stop?” Kathy queried.
“Do you see that girl?” Candace pointed to a sixth-grader with wavy brown hair, a striped t-shirt, a blue skirt, and red sneakers. She was holding a pile of books in her arm, looking nervous.
“Yeah. So?” Shrugged Kathy.
“Her name is Grace. I heard that she is really good at all subjects, especially subjects like math and bio. All the teachers seem to admire her, even the strictest teacher in the whole school, Mr. Adams. Today’s her third day at school, and the whole school already wants to be her friend!” Candace whispered.
“She is? Well, I’m not going to let that nerd take my spot as the coolest kid in school.” Kathy smirked.
“What are you going to do?” Candace inquired.
“I have my own ways of teaching people lessons. I’m going to teach that geek not to steal my position in the school.” Kathy declared, walking away.
During lunch hour, Kathy went up to Cynthia, a seventh-grader.
“Cynthina, I have to tell you something. Today we had a quiz in Geography, and you will not believe what I saw. I saw Grace, a so-called genius cheating! She had this special device that she kept whispering things too. I moved a bit closer to her, and I saw her asking that gadget everything on the quiz sheet, and it was giving her the answers!” Kathy gossiped.
“What! I better tell Lisa. She was going to sit with Grace at lunch today!” Cynthia jumped from her seat and ran to Lisa. Kathy followed her discreetly. She saw Cynthia murmur something to Lisa. Lisa gasped and ran to Roger, and whispered something to him, and then Roger went to another stranger and told him that, who told another, who told another and another…
“Ha! Who’ll want to hang out with her now.” Kathy snickered, watching Kelly Anderson telling someone much taller than her something quietly. Kathy snuck up behind her and nearly fainted when she saw who Kelly was telling Grace’s secret to. Mrs. Jones, the Principal.
“What! Who told you that?” Said Mrs. Jones in her raspy voice, wagging her bony finger towards Kelly.
“James told me,” Kelly said.
“Michelle said that to me.” James retorted.
“Kyle said that to me.” Michelle frowned.
“Roger told me.” Kyle folded his arms.
“Lisa told me.” Roger pointed to Lisa.
“Cynthia informed me about that.” Lisa shrugged.
“Uh-oh,” muttered Kathy, her heart beating like a bongo drum.
“Kathy told me that Grace cheated during the quiz,” Cynthia said, looking around.
“Where is she?” Asked Mrs. Jones.
Kathy slowly came out of her hiding place.
“And who told you, Kathy Sanders?” Mrs. Jones asked.
Kathy sighed. “I made it up,” she admitted.
Everyone gasped. Kathy then had to go to Grace and apologize to her. After that, she had to stay at school for two extra hours and study. But that’s not important. What’s important was that Kathy realized gossip mongers never accomplished anything. She put in a lot of effort and finally aced her math quiz!
Prisheta Ravi Murugan
Grade 6, Ekya Byrathi