Trouble Doubles

by Iris Lau, age 8
Trouble Doubles Iris is in the third grade. She likes reading, writing, art and music. Her favorite author is Rachel Renee Russell, who wrote Dork Diaries. Iris is good at art and she always uses imagination and visualization in her writing. Iris is learning piano, guitar and singing. She has passed NYSSMA piano level one. Iris is a global traveler. She has been to a lot of cities in USA as well as Canada, China, Hong Kong, France and other countries. Iris's plan is to write about her trips, besides her favorite writing type, fictional stories.

“Once, in the house of Huncars, there were two identical twins named Emma and Sophia. One was interested in music, drawing, and relaxing, and the other was interested in soccer, basketball, and swimming.”

Once, in the house of Huncars, there were two identical twins named Emma and Sophia. One was interested in music, drawing, and relaxing, and the other was interested in soccer, basketball, and swimming. Emma was interested in the school band named Rock Music & Jazz. She really wanted to play in the band and had been preparing for auditions all summer. Sophia spent the rest of the summer trying to figure out how to dribble a basketball on her head, which Emma didn’t understand, since you’re supposed to dribble a soccer ball on your head — not a basketball.

One day, before middle school began, Sophia convinced Emma to play soccer with her in the park. Sophia scored so many times because Emma was too busy reading her book in the goal.

“That’s 52 – 0,” Sophia sighed.

“Yeah, but who’s counting?” Emma responded, still reading her book.

“Did you know that we’re going to Wetland Middle School?” Sophia asked her.

“I know we’re going to Wetland Middle School. You told me ten times already,” Emma said.

After the score was 100 – 0, Sophia and Emma finally stopped their game. Their friend from 5th grade, Olive Wrights, welcomed Sophia to go to her house for a last minute game.

After Olive and Sophia left, the doorbell of the Huncars’ house rang. Their mom, Elers, decided to answer it and found Emma’s friend, Maddie, at the door. Emma hurried back home and said, “I am finishing War and Peace.”

“Just to tell you,” Maddie started to say. “Auditions are starting next week.”

Emma looked at a flyer on their fridge.

“Does it last two weeks?” she asked Maddie.

“No, it lasts three weeks!” Maddie answered.

Then, Sophia appeared with her friend, Olive. Both were covered head to toe in dirt and mud.

Maddie asked Olive, “Have you been wrestling with Sophia??”

“We did not wrestle, we went splashing through the mud near the park,” Olive said, right as Sophia splashed into the room.

Miss Elers looked at Sophia and said, “You better take a bath!”

“But we haven’t played the pogo-stick jumping game yet!” Sophia whined.

“Well, you can play it tomorrow. Now, get in the bath right now young lady!!!” Elers yelled.

Sophia stomped her feet all the way to the bathroom.

***

The next day, after they took the big, shiny bus, Sophia and Emma arrived at Wetland Middle School. There was a very tall lady waiting for them at the door. She was wearing blue sandals and had brown hair dyed pink on her bangs.

“Emma, you are in room 3B,” she said. “And Sophia, you are in room 1B.”

“Emma!” Maddie squealed, hugging her while their friends, Ivy and Lily, walked toward them.

Lily had brown hair and a bright red t-shirt paired with a brand new necklace from Costco. She was also wearing red flower earrings to match her shirt. Ivy was wearing a green shirt with a fake ivy vine crossing in front like a sash. On the bottom, she wore green and white jeans and sneakers on her feet. Maddie had just dyed her hair yellow for their first day of school. She also had blue eyes and was wearing a pink shirt, with the heart emoji on it, blue flip flops, and giant hoop earrings. Emma was wearing hot pink with a long, white dress over it with pink flip-flops that had diamonds on them. She also wore large, stud earrings and was finishing her books for period one at her locker.

“See you soon!” Emma called, as the first period bell rang.

They trampled over to the staircase leading to the second floor. After Emma left, Sophia caught up with her friends, Olive and Caitlin.

“Ready for period one?” Sophia asked, gathering her music books.

Sophia had nine periods in school. School ended at 6PM, even though they got there at 8 in the morning. Sophia had music for first period, social studies for second period, reading for third, math for fourth, then lunch and recess, then gym, health, safety, and all topped off with a movie at the end of the period. Finally, she was able to relax a little in the school’s indoor swimming pool before taking a bus back home. Emma took a taxi home because she needed to watch a musical to find some songs and record the songs on her phone.

Emma was planning to audition for America’s Got Talent. She wanted to use half her winnings to get a Yorkshire puppy and the other half to buy a ton of books and a TV for her room. This way her neighbor, Andie, wouldn’t drool on her shirt.

Just then, a girl named Mackenzie popped out of the doorway and asked Emma, “Hey, are you coming to first period or not?”

But Emma wasn’t listening. She was too busy daydreaming about getting a Yorkshire puppy named Cupcake. She was so deep in thought, they had to shout to her in order for her to pay attention. Emma was thinking about what she would do with the puppy: she would watch the puppy become a mother and have five puppies of her own, then she would sell one of them for $100 and spend the money on an awesome loft bed, a matching green dress and hat, and tickets to a fair where she would be the center of attention. She loved attention.

Emma finally left for first period music, but she was not performing jazz today. She performed jazz every Sunday, and she had Saturday to relax and maybe meet Maddie for playdates. Her mom was planning to adopt a puppy, but she switched to thinking of adopting a goldfish after their father, whom Elers was divorced from, did not approve since he would have an allergic reaction every Sunday, when he visited. Emma pleaded with her mom, saying she would keep the puppy only in her room, keeping her dad from having an allergic reaction. Elers agreed that if Emma got an A in music, she would be allowed to get a puppy and a kitten all to herself. If she got an A+ , she would get a supercomputer, that could do almost anything, a  storage for snacks under her pillows, her own bathroom in her room, and a lock for her room. Sophia was not interested in these treats because she just wanted to go outside every weekend.

When they finally arrived at music class first period, they discovered they had a new Rock Music teacher named Mr. Dude. His real name was hard to pronounce: Mr. Dudeshivaki. So he went by Mr. Dude for short. They wrote a book called Mr. Dan Dilbert.

After music class was over, Emma asked, “Why do we always have to make comics? Why can’t we just do books without pictures?”

“I don’t know,” Maddie replied, crunching on some leftover fried rice from home.

Ivy opened one of her fortune cookies and took a bite. Lily opened her celery wrapper and took a crunch of the celery.

“My mom says I can’t have celery, but I eat it anyway,” she said, stuffing some in her mouth with cabbage.

Emma took an edible gumball out of her bag and put some sugar on it. She stuffed it in her mouth and started chewing, then took out some Lifesavers and Cheetos. The group of friends sat down together by the snack bar.

“I wonder what Sophia is doing,” Emma wondered.

Just then, Sophia ran over to the snack bar, looking very embarrassed.

“What’s the matter? Didn’t you love jazz?” Emma asked.

Sophia shook her head.

“No, no, no, no, no!!! It was horrible. I was totally embarrassed. When I was writing the jazz cartoon, I accidentally slipped over a stick and landed on the radio, switching the station to rock. The radio broke, the computers broke, bubblegum wrappers were flying in the air, crackers were shaking, tables were breaking, windows cracked… then everyone fell down. The lamp broke and fell on the table, which shattered.”

Caitlin said, “It was a total disaster.”

“How did you trip over a stick?? How did a stick get in the room?” Emma asked.

Sophia answered, “The stick came in through an open window.”

RRRRING! The first five-minute bell rang.

“See you at lunch!” Emma called as she walked away down the hallway. Emma gathered her books back at her locker. She was going to gym.

Maddie took one glance at Emma’s face and whispered slowly, “Repeat after me… gym rocks.”

Emma rolled her eyes. “I can’t say that, I would be lying.”

Maddy giggled, “I know, but you might like gym!”

Emma crossed her arms and explained, “Last summer, when I was playing soccer, I fell down five times and got a bruise on my knee. Is that reason enough for you??”

“You might want to try it one more time,” Maddie replied.

“Fine, one more try,” Emma agreed. “But I’m still taking Rock Music & Jazz.”

The two girls headed for recess. Normally, when it was sunny outside, they would’ve had gym outside.

“Alright, line up,” Coach Tangara ordered. “Today we are going to play soccer.”

Emma’s stomach lurched.

“Soccer??” she gulped.

“Take a deep breath,” Maddie soothed, as Coach Tangara took attendance.

When Coach Tangara shouted, ‘Emma Huncar!!!’ Emma tried to take a deep breath, but she swallowed some saliva and ended up choking instead. Emma glanced at the soccer ball.

“Oh boy, looks like it’s going to be a looong period,” she sighed.

“Three laps around the field!” Coach Tangara yelled. “Now!”

Everyone took off running, but Emma just stood there like a deer caught in the headlights. Laps? Field? She thought to herself. Running???

“I’ll never make it,” she said to Maddie.

Maddie caught her as she made it to one lap.

“Come on, Emma, it’s just laps! We’re only jogging, not running,” she encouraged.

“I guess I’ll try,” Emma said as she took off jogging.

The first two laps went well, but when she was almost done, she tripped over her feet and landed near the bleachers. A face popped up — it was Mackenzie.

“Sorry! I didn’t mean to!” Mackenzie sang sarcastically.

But Emma could tell, when she looked into Mackenzie’s beady eyes, that she was lying. After the class completed their laps, Coach Tangara spent the rest of the time thinking about how they could improve. She finally sighed and shook her head.

“It’s time for plan B,” she said to Coach Robert.

She gathered all the students and declared, “We will have an assessment here next Tuesday. Whoever doesn’t score seven or more out of those tests will have to enroll in a Healthy Ever After program every single afternoon. ”

All the students groaned.

“You are dismissed,” Coach Robert said finally.

As Emma was leaving, she gulped. I have a bad feeling that I’m doomed, she thought. Suddenly, she heard a group of kids laughing. She turned to see Mackenzie with her group of sassy kids.

“Hey Emma! I just wanted to say that I can’t wait to see your face when you get a six or a zero out of those tests,” Mackenzie teased. “You’re stuck up. I, on the other hand, will be perfectly fine. I can’t wait to make the L-sign at you from the bleachers.”

“That means loser, loser,” one of Mackenzie’s friends added.

Mackenzie walked up to Brandon, another boy in the class, and started to say, “I just wanted to tell you that Emma copied my moves in the field, and I think you shouldn’t be friends with her. If I can beat her and go to Rock Music & Jazz, you can’t talk to her ever, and you have to sit with us at lunch. And do whatever I say. Tell that to the rest of Wetland Middle School — post what I said on wetland.com.”

With a toss of her hair, Mackenzie looked at Emma and said, “And I’ll make sure that the rest of the school makes you eat alone, including your snobby best friend, Maddie. They would not talk to you if you lose, trust me. I’ll be typing all of this on wetland.com. Not Brandon, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me.”

And with that, she sashayed away.

Emma ran straight to the bathroom and cried for the rest of third period. She missed her second favorite subject, Arts & Crafts. She sat with nobody at lunch because she was so upset.

Then, Mackenzie strutted up to her once more.

“I already posted the notice online and started a Stop Emma club. It already has ten followers — make that fifteen, including my friends.”

Just then, Mackenzie’s best friend, Jessica, approached.

So half of the cafeteria could hear, she yelled, “Mackenzie, I just wanted to let you know that I would like to sign up for the Stop Emma club. It’s going to be suuuuper fun,” she taunted Emma.

“Yeah, we’re going to taunt Emma because of all the bad things she does,” Mackenzie added.

Sophia heard this, but was so far away, she couldn’t comfort her sister. Emma doesn’t deserve this, she thought.

After school was over, Sophia saw her sister. She looked pale and frightened, like she’d just seen a ghost.

“What’s the matter?” Sophia asked. “Is it Mackenzie?”

Emma just nodded her head and turned the other way. Before joining Maddie, she looked back at Sophia, wiped a tear away with her sleeve, and walked away.

Before Maddie could say anything, Emma said, “Let’s move away from Sophia, she’s not much help.”

But before Emma could drag Maddie away, Maddie said, “I got this designer iPhone for you. I also got you a iTracker so you could always track down where Mackenzie is.”

Emma looked down at her gifts and said, “Maddie, you are my best friend. So are Ivy and Lily. You guys are my only friends. Also, Chloe is coming over to my house tomorrow. You should come over too. I have a surprise idea in my room, but it has to be private.”

“Why not Sophia?” Maddie wondered.

Emma glanced at her sister and shot her a mean look. She then whispered something to Maddie, and Maddie gasped. Maddie stepped back in shock and pulled Emma into the bathroom. Before Sophia could stop herself, she rolled her eyes.Then she stuck a note on  Emma.

When they were in the bathroom, Maddie asked, “She was teasing you?”

Suddenly, Mackenzie appeared in the doorway.

“Just to tell you, Sophia will tell you why she was bullying you,” Mackenzie sneered, and disappeared just like that.

After Emma got home, she was pretty upset, so she went into her room without even washing her hands. Ew. She slumped on her bed when she heard a knock on her door.

“Emma, I need to tell you something,” Sophia called through the door.

“Go away,” Emma replied.

But Sophia ignored her sister and opened the door anyway.

“Emma, Mackenzie bullied me into ignoring you today.She convinced me to be mean to my own sister,” Sophia explained.

Emma looked up.

“This is about Mackenzie and something else,” she said. “I can’t go to Rock Music & Jazz because I am definitely going to fail the gym test.”

“Oh, you poor thing,” Sophia comforted, “we have a lot to discuss.”

Then, Emma said, “Why were you following Mackenzie’s orders? You didn’t have to be mean to me. You didn’t follow her orders like back when we were in preschool.”

An image appeared in Emma’s mind. Years ago, Mackenzie ordered Sophia to not follow her sister to the fluffy, bouncy castle when they visited the carnival, but Sophia didn’t listen. But flash forward to now, and Sophia seemed much easier to convince.

Finally answering Emma, Sophia said, “Um, Emma, I was so interested in sports, and Mackenzie is too terrific at sports. I really wanted her to teach me so I can improve. So I couldn’t help it, I became a follower of Mackenzie. I couldn’t stop doing whatever she said.”

Slumping further on her bed, Emma replied, “But why didn’t you help me out? You always gave me lies about sports so I could fail. Why did you do that?”

Sophia responded quietly, ashamed of herself, “Because Mackenzie ordered me to.”

“Ok,” Emma said forgivingly. “But next time, you can’t be a follower of Mackenzie.”

Sophia wrapped Emma up in a big hug with a big smile on her face.

“I just figured out a solution to your problem,” Sophia told her sister.

“Really…?” Emma asked, unsure of Sophia’s intentions, since she was 99% sure there was no solution to her problem.

“I can be you for gym tomorrow!” Sophia said simply.

“But what if we get caught, like last time?” Emma cringed, recalling a memory from Olive’s birthday party last year.

They traded identities for fun, and everyone was completely fooled, until their mom arrived and ruined their little joke right before Olive’s karaoke debut.

Sophia rolled her eyes.

“Do you want to do Rock Music & Jazz or not?” she asked.

“More than anything!” Emma cried.

“That’s what’s important to you, Emma!” Sophia said, suddenly gripping tightly onto her sister’s arm. “The Olive incident was a party prank. This is serious!”

Suddenly, Emma remembered how passionate she was about Rock Music & Jazz. She also wanted to tell Sophia a little secret, but knew she couldn’t yet, as it related to Rock Music & Jazz. If she didn’t pass the gym test, she would never get to tell Sophia.

Finally, she gave in to Sophia and said, “Fine. Just this once.”

“Yay!!! That means I have no math tomorrow!” Sophia cheered.

“Why don’t you want to do math??” Emma wondered.

“Because,” Sophia started, “Mr. Mosely is so strict, and I can hardly remember any of the concepts. He didn’t even describe how to solve the problem 197+128!!”

Emma was in shock. “

You don’t even know what that problem is?! You should’ve remembered it from second grade! Do you even know how to convert a decimal to a fraction?”

“No… I don’t,” Sophia cried.

And since she drank too much apple juice with dinner, her tears were made from apple juice.

Suddenly, their little brother and sister, Theo and Brianna, opened the door and said, “Mmmmm, tasty!” They opened their mouths and put their face below Sophia’s chin so the apple juice tears could fall into their mouths.

“Ewwww, disgusting!” Emma yelled, “Those have eye tears!”

But the twins kept drinking the juice-tears.

“Try it!” They urged, trying not to gag.

But the truth was, it was super disgusting. Brianna couldn’t help herself, so she vomited all over the floor, which Theo then slipped on and fell. Sophia tried to catch Theo, but accidentally kicked Emma in the process. Screaming in pain, Emma knocked down a huge portrait of a panda they saw on a family vacation to China… and it fell with a clang. CLANG, CLANG, CLANG, CLANG. Portraits kept falling from the wall.

“Look what you’ve done, you little brat!!” Emma screamed at her sister.

She dodged her way through more falling portraits and eventually caught an entirely glass portrait of their great-great-grandmother. She finally caught one of Brianna’s pigtails and pulled it tight.

“That’s what you get for detention, missy!” Emma yelled.

Holding back tears, Brianna yelled back, “Let go of me! I’m sorry! I’ll give you all of my money!”

She handed Emma a small pink purse with $30 in it. Emma pocketed the money and gave Brianna’s hair one last tug as hard as she could.

“OWWWWWW!!!!” Brianna screamed.

Emma finally let go, but she wasn’t done yet. She grabbed a huge pair of scissors and cut a tiny diamond from Brianna’s pink purse.

“That’s what you get, missy!!!” Emma screamed at the top of her lungs, running to go tell their mom what happened.

Luckily for Emma, their mother was on her side and grounded Brianna for three weeks. Emma and Sophia began the cleanup process, starting with putting the portraits that fell in a big box, both hoping there would never be a portrait incident ever again. The twins then began cleaning Brianna’s vomit, transferring it from the floor to a plastic bag, which they threw in the trash.

“Let’s get back to serious business,” Emma said, as she put Theo in the bath.

Theo needed to borrow Emma’s bath, as he and Brianna’s bathroom was covered in sticky, slimy gum Brianna chewed and left on the walls. She even drew on the gum, making them look like pictures. Then suddenly, Emma’s focus returned to the gym test.

“Wait, you can’t just look like me. You have to act like me too!” she whined to Sophia.

“I got it!” Sophia said with a grin.

She grabbed a tube of toothpaste and started blowing in it, imitating how Emma plays her flute, although she was humming off-key.

“Hold on, I need to play my piano,” Emma said. “Otherwise I will fail my audition for Rock Music & Jazz. I need to concentrate on my audition and the gym test.”

“First,” Sophia said. “You do me.”

With a thoughtful expression, Emma waved to Sophia’s invisible schoolmates.

“Hey! Did you check out the game today? Man, you totally rocked it.”

Ending her impression of her sister, Emma said to Sophia, “Pretty good, huh?”

“Yes, yes, yes!” Sophia answered happily. “Now we must get to sleep. We have a long day tomorrow.”

Emma made a face.

“It doesn’t sound very healthy to go to sleep without brushing your teeth all day. You didn’t even brush your teeth in the morning or after you finished three Pez holders. Even after you had three fruit snacks or the giant lollipop! What is wrong with you? I brushed my teeth about four times today, very carefully,” Emma replied, disgusted.

“I can’t stop eating candy!” Sophia insisted.

“Well, you should go to sleep,” Emma replied. “Your breath smells disgusting. Did you smoke today? Principal Wilkins found a cigarette under your lunch table between you and Caitlin’s seats.”

“No, of course not!” Sophia responded, insulted. “William, the 8th grader, must have dropped it.”

Now Emma was tired.

“Alright, alright. Enough talk. Let’s go to bed. I’ll see you in the morning.”

SLAM. The door closed quickly, and Sophia walked downstairs to her room. Sophia’s room was the same size as Emma’s, but it was much more empty. All it had in it was her bed, a table, and a plastic chair. She also had bookcases filled with books about sports, plus tennis rackets, basketballs, soccer balls, and baseballs. Sophia walked over to her bed to find a little message written under her pillow. Huh? She wondered.

The message read: Tmrwyulmetm.oooyuilee.Totally confused, she went back upstairs and showed it to Emma. Emma wrote it on her iPad, which helped decode the message.

It said, “Tomorrow you guys will meet me in the abandoned junkyard where you put your little sister’s vomit. You don’t know me now, but you will later. Signed, TGF.”

“We’re not going there. TGF is a stranger, and it might be another one of Mackenzie’s pranks.” Sophia reacted.

“How do you know that?” Emma asked.

But just then, she looked out the window of her room to see Mackenzie’s long, red hair standing at the junkyard across the street. She was telling a group of people something strange.

“Not getting involved sounds good to me,” Emma finally agreed, not wanting to get involved with Mackenzie’s tricks.

So the twins finally went to sleep.

***

The next day, the twins kept giggling between bites of cereal.

“I’m glad someone is feeling better this morning,” Elers remarked as she glanced at the girls.

Emma was wearing a long, fashionable shirt and a little skirt with roses popping out of it. She wore her blue flip flops from Bloomingdale’s on her feet. Sophia wore her usual outfit: jeans and a t-shirt, but with sneakers instead of boots. She realized today wasn’t the best day for boots, so she wore her Sketchers. After finishing their cereal, the twins rushed out the door, not even leaving time to brush their teeth — some surprise, huh?

Emma suddenly took a deep breath at lunch.

“What is wrong with you?” Maddie asked.

But Emma was too busy rushing, spilling her soup, and leaving before eating her dessert. Suddenly, she crossed her fingers and ran into a bathroom stall.

 

To read what happens next, you will have to listen to Emma’s recorded journal.

EMMA:

I crossed my fingers and ran into a bathroom stall. I waited and waited for my sister, Sophia, but she never arrived. I peeked under the stall and saw Mackenzie giggling.

Sophia walked in and said, “What are you doing, Mackenzie? Shouldn’t you be at your table?”

Mackenzie disappeared as she said, “As you follow me, you will have to sign into the Stop Emma club.”

Then she snickered and ran to her best friend, Jessica. Ignoring Mackenzie, Sophia ducked under the stall I was in and asked, “Ready or not?”

“Here we come,” I replied.

So we started to switch clothes at a fast pace. Sophia gave me her jeans. I gave her my designer shirt. Sophia gave me her t-shirt. I gave her my skirt. We changed outfits completely until we looked like each other. I buried my watch inside Sophia’s bookbag. Sophia groaned when she put my bookbag on her shoulders.

“What do you have in here, a whole library??” she asked sarcastically.

“Maybe,” I replied. “I do have a lot of stuff in here, and it weighs almost 50 pounds.”

Sophia groaned, “Well, you might have some magical power to carry such a heavy bookbag.”

“See you after 5th period,” I said, giggling slightly.

 

After the twins switched places, you might have assumed, Oh no! They’re going to get caught! Well, in fact, the twins were very careful and avoided getting caught by the principal or any other mysterious staff member. Emma walked down the hall. She was careful to avoid Mackenzie, especially when she was going to taunt Emma. But Emma realized she probably wouldn’t taunt her today, as she was disguised as Sophia. She was walking the whole way, not letting Mackenzie and her sassy friends, the Fashion Police, catch her alone.

Then, suddenly, it was 5th period. RING RING RING RING RING. The bell sounded, and Emma raced to math. As soon as she sat down at her desk, she heard a voice say, “Excuse me!” in a British accent. Emma looked up to see Will, the 8th grader, staring at her in a not so friendly way.

“Hey,” Emma said, laying back casually on her chair, even though she was feeling the opposite of relaxed.

It took Emma a second to realize what was wrong. She was sitting in her usual seat for advanced math instead of Sophia’s. Apparently, that was Will’s seat this period, not where her sister sits. Emma mumbled an apology and quickly got up, to see Olive sitting in the back row. Whew, she thought.

Olive hissed, “Where have you been??”

“Uh… bathroom,” Emma replied, which was thankfully the truth because she was a horrible liar.

Suddenly, Mr. Mosely asked the class, “Can anyone tell me how to convert a fraction to a decimal?”

Olive’s hand immediately shot up.

“Olive, please come up and whisper the answer in my ear,” he said.

Olive whispered something, but Mr. Mosely shook his head.

“Nice try, Olive.”

Olive slumped back to her seat — she hated being wrong.

Suddenly, Mackenzie raised her hand.

“I know exactly the right answer,” she grinned, giving Emma the evil eye.

She whispered something into Mr. Mosely’s ear, and he looked shocked.

Snapping his fingers, he exclaimed, “Not even close! Detention for you, Mackenzie.”

Mackenzie looked grumpy and asked innocently, “What did I do?”

“You said you were the greatest at math. You said you were in group C for math — the advanced math. But on your chart, you’re not even close! You are in group A, the lowest group.” Mr. Mosely continued, “And you get at least three questions wrong every day, but you’re bragging. Will is actually the greatest at math in this class. Now go to the principal’s office. Ms. Lata, will you take her?” he asked the assistant teacher.

Ms. Lata nodded. She was a very tall woman with long blonde hair she kept tied up in a ponytail.

She took Mackenzie’s hand tightly and said sternly, “Come with me.”

They walked to the principal’s office, which was on the cafeteria floor. Back in the classroom, Mr. Mosely was getting frustrated.

“Does anyone know how to convert a fraction to a decimal??” he practically begged.

Finally, turning to Emma, still pretending to be Sophia, he asked her.

As Emma whispered her answer, Mr. Mosely’s face lit up as he exclaimed, “You got it!! One point to the back row.” Moving into a new topic, he continued, “Now this is the easiest question: does anyone know the pattern between 5, 14, and 23?”

Immediately Emma shot up her hand and called out, “Nine!”

“Correct!” Mr. Mosely cried. “Another point to the back row!”

Meanwhile, the back row was in the lead, even though there were only a few people sitting there. Emma answered most of the questions, getting seven right in a row because she was quick and thought first before raising her hand.

 

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