This Year
This year, it’s going to change.
This year, I’m going to be top of my class.
My name is Cindy. Cindy Coopers.
Today is January 1, 2018.
News Years Day.
If someone were to approach the people in my school, they would all know who I am. Of course they would. I’m captain of the cheerleading team. Most popular girl in High School!
But I got there by looks, not by personality or skill. I look good on the cheer team, and over the years I’ve gotten good at it.
Now it gets cliche. I have blonde hair. So of course, I end up being one of those really stupid popular girls in productions like Mean Girls or Glee.
I am smart. I really am, I swear. I just takes me a little longer than others to fully understand things.
That’s it.
I don’t register it as quickly, and I end up behind because of that. But today is important.
Mid-terms were last month.
I just didn’t make sense. I guessed on a few. Well, on most.
When I got the results back, my heart fell when I saw the D- on the packet. But today is my do-over. Today I get to redo the test.
I’ve spent as much time practicing as I could. I looked over the notes I was able to take and tried to ask my friends for help.
The test was only hours away, and I was terrified. I found my way into an empty classroom.
I just stood there. I didn’t know what to do. Do I go? Should I practice? But what do I practice?
Suddenly I heard laughing outside and I stiffened by the wall I was facing.
“Cindy?” I heard someone say. Did I know them?
A group of people shuffled into the room. “Cindy are you okay?”
I looked up. April, Chloe, Rachel, Sunny, and Jake were there. They were my closest friends, and all on the cheer team (even Jake). They all passed mid-terms.
I looked towards the ground. “I can’t do it,” I whispered.
“What?” April said. “The mid-terms? Oh, C, you’ve got this!”
“Yeah!” Rachel said. “We’ll help you don’t worry. We’ll be right outside!”
Sunny nodded. “If you want, we’ll stand by the window so you can see us. If you need help just look at us and we’ll cheer you on!”
“Not the be confused with giving you answers!” Jake said quickly. “We won’t cheat for you, but we’ll cheer for you.”
“Besides,” Chloe said cheerfully, “It’s the new year. It’s a day of starting over and setting a new path for yourself.”
I nodded. “I just don’t think I’m ready.”
Rachel, being a singer as well, put an excited hand on my shoulder. “We’ll teach you it in song form!”
Everyone looked at her, confused.
Rachel sighed. “Think of it like a cheer routine. We’ll put the answers into lyrics, and sing it over and over again until it’s stuck in her head.”
I was still a little confused, but everyone else seemed to think it was a great idea.
They all pulled up chairs in the classroom and sat me down, so we were sitting in a circle.
Rachel took a study packet from the teachers desk, and filled in the answers so she could look off of it. Soon, she had developed a song.
I had to admit it was very catchy, and I had it memorized in seconds. Sometimes entertainment like song and cheerleading comes better to me that math and science.
I walked to the classroom I would be taking it in. My friends tried to find a spot where they could see me, but the teacher turned them away.
They were forced to wait outside the classroom as I took the test.
“And...begin,” the teacher said as the clock hand reached 5:00. We had an hour.
Where was the big oil spill in the year of 1998? How did it occur and how was it resolved?
I thought back to Rachel’s song. “No one cared for the safety or originality of the oil. So it spilled. South Dakota wasn’t happy with the outcome. But side by side, they saw it through. Grouped together two for two....”
And I kept singing it until I realized I was the last one in the classroom. I handed my test to the teacher, as she handed the other kids their results.
I walked outside. My friends immediately covered me in “how did you do?” and “did you remember the song?” or “was it hard?”
I waved the questions away, feeling a bit over whelmed. This was my one chance to start over. To re do everything and not be the dumb blonde anymore. I could be smart, and this one do-over of the year could help me.
Suddenly the teacher came out of the classroom. I turned sharply and grabbed by test.
My heart was pounding. This was it. This was where everything had gotten me. I hoped the New Year would bring out the smarter side in me.
I walked a little ways down the hallways, and held it to my chest before turning it over.
My eyes widened. My heart pounded even harder. My vision became softer.
I turned around, my friends giving me expectant looks.
“I...B+...I passed!” I exclaimed.
I couldn’t be happier. I was engulfed in hugs and compliments and congratulations.
At the same time I couldn’t believe it. This one do-over has now changed my life.
This year, it’s going to change.
This year, I’m going to be top of my class.
All thanks to this one little do-over

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