“Martha was running in a race. Katie was winning. Martha really wanted to win, so she decided to trip Katie.”
Martha was running in a race. Katie was winning. Martha really wanted to win, so she decided to trip Katie. She ran just a tad bit faster until she was right next to Katie.
She ran next to Katie and when she was ready, she said to Katie, “Hey, Katie! Do you like running?”
Katie said, “Yeah.”
Martha asked, “Well, have you ever fell?”
Katie said, “Why do you ask that?”
Martha stuck out her leg, and Katie tripped over it. She fell and busted her chin. It was bleeding. A second later, Katie started bawling. Martha shaded her eyes and looked away.
“Martha tripped me!” Katie screamed at the top of her lungs.
“No I didn’t,” yelled Martha. “Anna told Lucy to do it so she could win.”
“Did not!” snarled Anna.
“Did too!” shouted Martha.
“Actually,” said Lucy, “Anna did not tell me to trip Katie.”
“She did!” said Martha.
And it went on and on and on like that until the coach said, “Stop! The rest of the race is cancelled. You may all go home. Nobody gets the prize cup for the winner, but there is no winner, and I am saving it for next year. Tomorrow, I want someone to confess and tell me who tripped Katie. If you do not, I will write a letter to your parents telling them that no one told me who tripped Katie and you all, except Katie, will get detention for the rest of the week. The detention will be cleaning the toilets with your toothbrush!!! And while you are doing that, Katie gets some free time.”
They all went home with their parents. Martha thought about what the coach had said. Martha slumped on the couch and turned on the TV. Nevermind, she thought, I am feeling too bad for Katie that I can’t even watch TV. She went in her room and buried her face into her bed full of fluffy and furry pillows. She started to cry. One and a half hours later, her mom entered the room.
“I heard someone crying one and a half hours ago. What happened?” her mom asked. Martha did not know an excuse, so she sighed when she realized she would have to tell her mom.
“I tripped Katie,” she said. “I just wanted to win the race because Dad said that if I don’t win the race, he won’t be proud of me.”
Her mom said, “Well, your dad just loves sports so much. He just wants you to be really good at them. But you will have to tell your dad. You can’t keep it a secret for the rest of your life. Also, you will get detention, but not at the racetrack.”
During dinner, Martha told her dad miserably, “I tripped Katie.”
“Well,” said Martha’s dad, “your mom and I are going to have to think of a consequence, but you are not going to have a consequence from the coach.”
“Yeah,” Martha muttered.
That night, Martha lay awake all night thinking about what she should say to Katie and the coach. Finally, she fell asleep, dreaming nightmares about Katie, Lucy, and Anna turning into monsters and attacking her, pushing her away from the racetrack. At one in the morning, she woke up sweating and still had no idea what she was going to say to Katie. Of course she knew what to say to the coach; she would whisper in his ear, “I tripped Katie because I wanted to win the race.” She was so exhausted, she fell back to sleep.
Six and a half hours later, she woke up at seven-thirty to her alarm, and remembered what she had to tell Katie and the coach. Nervous butterflies swarmed in her stomach as she thought about it. She still didn’t know what to say to Katie. She put her best pants and top on and went downstairs to breakfast.
“Look, Martha,” said her mom as she stepped into the dining room.
“The newspaper said there’s a new movie coming out in theaters, this Friday. It’s called The Diary. It’s about two best friends who moved away from each other, and they figure out a new way to communicate by writing letters to each other. Would you like to come watch it this Friday, Martha? Martha?”
“Yeah sure,” she said, rushing up the stairs to her room. She had a plan of how to tell Katie. She grabbed her journal, ripped out a page, and slammed the door shut.
“Are you okay up there?” her mom shouted from downstairs.
“Yeah!” she yelled back, quickly scribbling a note saying:
Hi Katie, sorry I pushed you.
I hope you can forgive me, I was too scared to say it to you in person, so I decided to write a letter to you. Would you write back? I just wanted to win so I tripped you, sorry.
P.S. Once again, sorry for tripping you.
She then dug around her junk pile and found the best envelope that fit, but it was little torn up, so she had to use tape to fix it.
“Martha! Breakfast is ready!” called her mother from downstairs.
“Coming in a sec!” she yelled back. She closed the envelope and rushed downstairs. She shoved all the breakfast in her mouth and ran to the car with her running equipment. When she was sitting in the car, she took out the pen she had packed in her bag, and she ripped open the envelope. In tiny letters, she wrote what she was going to say to the coach. She ripped that piece out, folded it in the tiny envelope shape, and put it in her bag.
When she got to the racetrack, she snuck into the boys locker room and stuffed the tiny envelope into the coach’s locker. She went into the girls locker room and stuffed the big envelope in Katie’s locker. She put on her running shoes and her sweatpants and jogged to the racetrack.
“Well,” said the coach, “who did it?”
“Look in your locker after class,” said Martha.
“Okay,” said the coach, “only if the thing inside tells me who tripped Katie.”
“It does,” said Martha nervously.
“Then I will,” said the coach. “Okay everybody, listen up. One-hundred laps around the track, Katie’s first, then Lucy, then Anna, then Martha. Martha’s last.”
After class, Katie went to Martha’s locker and said, “I know you just wanted to win,” and she turned and walked away.
Next, the coach came and said, “I’m glad you told me and Katie that you tripped her.”
Martha was smiling all the way home.