The story of a failure

The story of a failure

A Story by LadySoDivine
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What would you do if everyone treated you like you could never be "excellent"? Only "good enough"?

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“Katy, once again, excellent job! You are quite a remarkable student,” the teacher smiled at the 11-year-old girl who seemed quite proud of being complimented so publicly. The teacher continued down the row of students passing away their exams. She gave praises and reprimands, depending on what the child deserved.

Until she got to a girl in the middle of the row.

“Teri…” She smiled nervously. “You... did well.”

The girl with the long, brown hair looked at her teacher quizzically.

“Is there something wrong with my test?”

“No, of course not, you got an A. It’s just… Oh, never mind,” she smiled again before handing her the test and going down the row.

Teri looked at her test and she truly could not understand why the woman paused. Everything she answered was correct. She got maximum points.

What was the problem?

The class continued as usual, but Teri couldn't stop thinking about her teacher’s reaction. When the bell rang, she decided to stay after class.

“Excuse me, Miss? I really didn’t understand what did you mean about my test. I answered everything right. I didn’t see any mistakes. What went wrong?” The girl asked timidly.

“Oh, Teri… Nothing went wrong, it’s just…” The woman sighed.

“Your friend Katy did an amazing job on her test. She added information that we didn’t even mention in school. So your test compared to her’s is…”

“Yes?”

Average.”

The girl was taken aback by this. She studied so hard, and physics was one of her most difficult subjects. She felt so proud about understanding the lessons and for getting the highest score on the test.

How is this average?

“But… How…”

“It’s alright, Teri. I understand that some children aren’t as advanced as others. Katy is an excellent student, and you… Don’t worry, you’re good enough,” the blond woman smiled up at her once again, as if she had just given her the biggest compliment she will ever receive.

Teri was crushed.

She went home that day to find her mother cooking lunch.

“How was school today, honey?” She asked without from the kitchen counter as she chopped tomatoes.

“It was… good, I guess.”

“Did you get back your physics test back?”

“Yes. I got an A,” she answered not so excitedly.

“Oh that’s nice, darling, good for you,” her mother said in a rather sweet tone, which made her feel a bit better. At least, it would, had she not continued.

“What did your friend Katy get?”

Teri remained silent for a moment before sighing.

“She got an A+.”

“An A+? Well, why didn’t you get an A+?”

The brown haired girl bit her lip.

“Because the teacher thought that, in comparison with Katy’s test, my test was…average.”

Her mother stopped chopping and looked at her daughter concernedly.

“Sweetie… You need to work more. You see that your teachers are not satisfied with your grades.”

“I’m doing the best I can, mom! What more can I do?” Teri answered desperately.

“Well, you may think that, but your teachers don’t think that, now do they?” She answered in the “strict mother” tone. “You’re obviously doing something wrong. If you could be more like Katy, maybe…”

“I’m not Katy, mom!” The girl cut her off, feeling trapped again. “I’m really trying! I don’t want to be her, I’m different!”

“I’m just saying that, if you looked more at what she’s doing, you could be better. Besides, why wouldn't you want to be like her? She’s an extraordinary girl, you should be happy to be like her.”

“But I don’t want to! She and I are different! I’m sorry I’m not a good enough child for you, mom, but this is who I am! And I try so hard to be the best, I just can’t, I’m sorry!” Sad and angry tears ran down her face, as she was tired, knowing that she has had this same conversation a million times in the last four years.

“I never said you’re not a good enough child! You are good enough! You could just be…better,” her mother tried to explain, not realizing just how much this was affecting her daughter.

Teri felt her heart break, as the last tear fell from cheek to the floor. She was tired of this.

“Okay, mom… You’re right. I’ll be better, I promise,” she said in a broken voice.

Her mother, pleased with what she said, ignoring the way she said it, smiled.

“See? Was that so hard?” She kissed the top of her head and went back to her cooking.

The girl picked up her backpack and went to her room. She turned on the small TV, not really paying attention to it, as she stared at the ceiling.

What’s the point? Everybody already loves Katy. Sometimes I feel like my own mother loves Katy more than me. No matter what I do, she’ll always be better. Why do I even bother anymore?

She was consumed by her own thoughts until she heard a sentence that changed her momentarily.

A movie was playing. She did not know which one, she did not know what it was about, she did not even know who the actors were. All she knew was that an elderly man with a deep voice said:

The only way you can become a failure is if you simply stop trying.”

Teri stared at the screen for a few more seconds before she shot out of bed.

Why do I bother? Because I know I’m better. She’s all book-smart and learning by heart. Anyone can do that. I have something she doesn’t. I have passion for everything I do. I got an A in a subject I don’t even like because I put my whole heart into it. And now I understand all of it. So how is she better than me? Because she wrote a couple of more sentences? No. She’s not. And I’m gonna prove it.

Because I am not a failure.

That day, Teri searched through her books for more information and wrote an essay, and the next day she got another A in physics.


A redhead 17-year-old girl walked down the street, heading to her German class. It was winter and it was snowing, but she felt happy. Right as she was about to cross the street, she saw someone. An old friend.

Teri smiled widely. “Hi, Katy!”

The petite brown haired girl looked at her, and Teri noticed the bags under her eyes. She looked so tired and worn out.

“Hey, Teri,” her voice seemed hoarse and the bag she carried seemed heavier than her.

“Where are you heading at this time on a Sunday?” Teri was concerned for her childhood friend.

“I was at school. What about you?”

“I’m heading to my German class.”

“Oh, that’s nice. I remember we used to learn French in middle school. I completely forgot everything. What about you?”

“I continued learning on my own. I’m still rusty, but it’s getting better,” Teri admitted. “Why were you in school?”

“I need some extra classes, my grades got a bit lower,” she said sadly.

“I’m so sorry. Is it really hard in your high school?”

“It is. I manage to get A’s at the end of the year, but we have extra classes, working Saturdays, and I got really tired of all of it. I can’t wait to finish with this high school,” she complained, and Teri really wished she could help. “How are you doing in your school? This semester is almost over.”

“Straight A’s for now,” she smiled brightly. “What are your plans after you finish school?”

“I think I’ll continue with physics, but no advanced classes anymore,” she said jokingly. “What about you?”

“Probably environmental engineering. I’ll continue with my field of work too,” Teri joked as well.

“That’s nice,” Katy smiled back at her. “Well, it was nice seeing you, Teri. Good luck with German!”

“Thanks! Good luck to you too!” Teri waved at her as they parted ways.


“I saw Katy today,” Teri commented at lunch.

“Oh, that’s nice. How is she?” Teri’s mother asked.

“She was at school today. She said she needed some extra classes.”

“I’m not surprised. She’s a fighter, a hard-worker,” the woman commented rather proudly.

“Mhm, yes. She said she’s really tired of school.”

“Well of course, what with all the studying she does. That reminds me, why don’t you study more? You’ve gotten so lazy lately. Don’t you want to be a great college student like Katy will be next year?” her mother started the same speech again, but this time Teri cut her off.

“No, thank you, mother,” the girl said calmly, smiling to herself.

“I found my own way just fine.”

© 2013 LadySoDivine


Author's Note

LadySoDivine
I've been away for a while, finally found some inspiration to write again. Please read and review, thank you :)

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Featured Review

I've seen some of the best students become very unhappy and burnt out. I think you're right about passion, we all need it in whatever we do in order to do it well but to like what it is we're doing as well. To be happy with yourself is the best reward.

My only complaint is the lines are spaced to far apart. Other than that, this is a well written story. Nice job.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

LadySoDivine

4 Years Ago

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! Yes, I know about the lines, I agree. There was a glitc.. read more



Reviews

I've seen some of the best students become very unhappy and burnt out. I think you're right about passion, we all need it in whatever we do in order to do it well but to like what it is we're doing as well. To be happy with yourself is the best reward.

My only complaint is the lines are spaced to far apart. Other than that, this is a well written story. Nice job.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

LadySoDivine

4 Years Ago

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! Yes, I know about the lines, I agree. There was a glitc.. read more

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Added on December 3, 2013
Last Updated on December 3, 2013

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LadySoDivine
LadySoDivine

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Hi there. :) I'm an 18-year-old girl and I simply love to write. I made an account here to hear some objective opinions on my writing and to share my thoughts with fellow writers of the world. I am a.. more..

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