Short Story: “The Prayers Of An Ambitious Child”

“I used to do all sorts wierd things when I was little. Well, not really little, little. I think I was in grade 4, so I would’ve been 9 or 10. It was my second year at the selective school in the city and I was the top student in my class. However, this year I decided that I wouldn’t be the top student. I wanted to know what it felt like to get told off by the teacher, to get a B or even a C on a test, to actually have to try hard to improve my grades, to get disciplinary notes from the teacher and then be smacked with a belt by my parents. You see, my parents didn’t believe in physical punishment, but my classmates often talked of fearing it… I felt as though I was missing out on something… As though my family was wierd… I mean, of course we were wierd! We were migrants!!”

“Once I even forgot to get a permission slip signed by my mum, and I was ready to get called up to the front of the classroom and be shouted at while my classmates looked on in delight and surprise. Instead, the teacher walked right up to my desk at the back of the classroom and kindly asked what was wrong. I looked down at my feet and mumbled a reply along the lines of “nothing, miss” and promised to bring the permission slip the next day. In that moment, I gave up. I couldn’t do it any longer. I tried to be rebellious for a week, and I couldn’t last any longer. I went back to my old “good girl” self rightaway. I was imprisoned by people’s perceptions of myself, and I didn’t have the strength to fight them.”

“I did get what I wished for in the end. God always hears our prayers. Even The Pussycat Dolls warn to ‘be careful what you wish for’.” A smile crossed her face; old pop songs seemed to have that effect on her. Or perhaps it was the memories that she seemed to associate with them.

“I should’ve known better. We came to Australia, and my A’s in English were of questionable help. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad that I knew SOMETHING, but I still felt left out, misunderstood and, most of all, stupid. I was no longer at the top. Worst of all, I had no idea how to get to the top – there were no grades here! No tests. No disciplinary notes. Even for detentions we would have to wait until next year, when we would be in high school! This new world was crazy, but there was no doubt that I would get to the top. I had no choice. I knew no other way to be.”

Thank you for reading this post! I would love to hear your thoughts on anything that I write about – after all, why else would I publish my writing online, if not for the hope of someone reading it? 🙂 I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below or on berta.karaim@gmail.com! 😉

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