A very last-minute, unrevised, unedited essay. Feel free to read.
Lennon was tired of it. He was tired of being picked on by everyone. He was always the punching bag in school. The other kids kept on making jokes about him, putting earthworms and frogs in his locker, hiding his shoes in the changing room, ripping out pages from his books.
He got used to it after a while, but sometimes it was just too much for him to handle, too much for him to tolerate. When his favorite fountain pen was stamped and broken, he broke into tears. It was the only thing he had from his late father, and now it was gone. As he picked up the broken pieces, his small little heart whispered angrily.
“I can’t take it anymore. I’m tired of this. I wish I could be popular. I wish I could be popular so people would stop picking on me.”
He went back home that night with a heavy heart. His mother had prepared his favourite dish – friend salmon with apple pie, but he had no appetite to eat. He took a tiny bite at the dessert, and retired to his room – the only place he could find serenity and peace.
The next morning…
“Wake up Lennon! It’s almost 7 o’clock! You’re going to be late for school!” his mother shouted from the kitchen.
Lennon opened his eyes lazily, his head in a dizzy state. He made his way to the shower and got himself ready just as the school bus pulled up in front of the house. He climbed up and searched for an empty seat.
“Yo, Lennon!” Drake called out from the back of the bus.
Lennon braced himself for a shower of insults from Drake. Who in the school would not know Drake Bennett and his group of football players? They loved to pick on people like Lennon, and thought that they were the coolest group in the school.
“Come here and sit with us! We saved you the best seat, next to Renee!”
Lennon was just about to counter his insult, but stopped his tongue just in time. He could not believe what he was hearing. Was Drake Bennett really offering him a seat? Next to Renee Yale, the cheerleader captain? Was he still dreaming, or was it all reality?
“Hey, Lennon! What are you waiting for? Come here dude!” Drake’s friend, Joshua shouted out.
“What? Me? Sitting with you guys? Are you guys sure?”
“Why wouldn’t you sit with us, we’re a team, man, remember? We’re brothers! Just sit here!” Drake said, pointing to the empty seat next to Renee.
“Lennon, darling, are you okay dear?” said Renee.
Lennon walked to the back of the bus in a haze, trying to register what was happening. Here he was, joining Drake’s gang, being offered a seat next to Renee, and being called Darling by Renee, the crush of his life? I must be dreaming, he told himself, and pinched himself on the thigh.
Ouch! Okay, definitely not dreaming… But how could this ever come true? Lennon thought, and suddenly he remembered his wish the day before. Is this really coming true? My wish to become popular is finally fulfilled!
He took quite some time to adjust himself to the new popularity. For the first time in his life, people are finally noticing him, not as a laughing stock, but as one of the most popular boy in the school. Girls were fighting over each other to get a lunch date with him, while the guys kept asking him to join them for football.
This is just too good to be true, Lennon thought as he put his arms around Renee, his new sweetheart. He could not believe his luck. First, he got his wish to be popular. Second, he got his dream girl to go out with him. And third, he did not even have to do anything to get all of these, since it all came to him.
Hanging out with Drake gave a bad influence to Lennon. Through Drake, Lennon had started to experiment with cigarettes and drugs. They always skip classes to go to the cyber cafes to play computer games. He had also started to lie to his mother, asking her for money to fulfil his addiction.
A few weeks passed, and it was time for the end of school examinations. Lennon was scared as he knew he did not prepare anything for the examination. When Drake realized how nervous Lennon was, he pulled him aside.
“Hey, Lennon, why are you so scared?”
“I haven’t prepared anything for the exams! I don’t even pay attention in class! I’m so going to flunk this exam!” Lennon answered, covering his face in shame.
“Hey, hey, hey, relax brother! Relax. That’s why you have us with you. We’re brothers, remember? And we stick by your side. Let me share with you our secret to success, the reason why we always pass our exams even though we didn’t do any work,” Drake said.
He leaned in and whispered something to Lennon’s ear. Lennon’s eyes grew bigger as he hear the secret, and his initial response was a big No-No.
“I’m not going to cheat! Never!” Lennon said firmly.
“Well, that’s your choice. But if you fail, don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Drake said, shrugging his arms. He walked away, leaving Lennon deep in thought.
“Should I? I would fail if I didn’t, but I wouldn’t have to cheat if I have at least prepare for this exam. Hmmm. Okay, I’ll cheat, just this once. After this, I’ll study, I promise,” he said to himself. He called Drake over and told him his agreement. Drake nodded with joy.
“Okay, here’s what you have to do…” Drake whispered intensely, and Lennon tried to remember every single thing Drake asked him to do. “Got it?”
“Got it, I think…”
“Okay, so you go now. We’ll wait by the back door of the office. The teachers would be in the meeting room, so the coast is clear!”
Lennon entered the teachers’ common room, and his eyes scanned the room for the stack of examination papers. There is was, standing tall on Mr Palmer’s desk. He went nearer and went through the papers. He was so busy that he did not realize the door opening and Mr Johnson coming in.
“Lennon? What are you doing here?”
“Mr Johnson!” he turned around, startled, and dropped the question paper that was in his hands.
“Aren’t those, your exam papers for next week?”
“I can explain sir…” Lennon was at a loss for words.
“You can explain to the principal. You better follow me now,” said Mr Johnson sternly. Lennon followed glumly.
Lennon was suspended for two months for attempting to cheat. While at home, his mother kept an eagle eye on him, making sure that he did not get involved in any suspicious activities. As he sat in his room, he thought of his wish again.
“If only I knew being popular would mean ending up like this, I’d rather be the old me. I was much more responsible and matured back then,” he said to himself, regretting his wish.