Pride and Anger
Anika, Age 10, Coquitlam, BC

“Marie! Hurry up! You do not want to be late for the contest!”  My mom yelled at me. I looked groggily at the clock and was annoyed that she had to wake me up one hour before we had to go! I ignored her and slept for what seemed like five more minutes, but when I woke up there were only thirty minutes left to get ready! I rushed and rushed, thinking about how busy I was. When I flew downstairs to grab a nutrition bar and run to the car I demanded to know why she did not wake me up earlier. She looked at my messy appearance, and laughed without answering my question.

“You look like you got ready in the dark!”  She exclaimed.

I looked at myself and saw that it was true. I appeared a completely different person. My hair was sticking out and my shirt was inside out, plus I was still wearing my pajamas. I looked like a zombie with teddy bears on my pants. I flew into the car, zombie-like, with my teeth unbrushed. My mom handed me a pair of jeans and a brush. I looked at them and shoved them away thinking that I did not need them. I told her in a sleepy voice.

“I do not need them. I am going to a swimming contest, not a fashion show.”  Then I suddenly remembered,

“Mom, I forgot all my swimming gear!”  I said with a hint of panic in my voice.

My mom smiled at me and pointed to the blue duffel bag that she had brought along and said “It is in here.”

I sighed, grateful that my mom was my mom. When we arrived I rushed in, hoping I was not late. Every one stared at me when I burst in and they whispered among themselves. I thought they were talking about how good I was at swimming. I raised my head and paraded into the change room to get ready for the contest. I was sure they had heard of me as the legendary swimmer. I walked on, but then suddenly a person in the crowd yelled in a disrespectful voice   “You are a queen, so stop acting like you are the best.”  By the time I got to the change room, I was simmering with anger, which made me even more determined to win the contest and show them all I had a reason for being proud. I pulled out my swimming suit and realized with dismay that it was stained with something yellow. I stared at it, trying to determine what had happened.

Suddenly, I realized that my dog had peed on it! I groaned, wondering if I should put it on anyways. Then I remembered the man with the nasty remark, and decided to amaze them. Holding my breath I slipped the suit on. I quickly ran out of the change room, but slipped on my back and I screamed.

People snickered and I felt my face burn as if it was on fire. I got up and walked swiftly because I was almost late for the start.

Getting on the platform, I heard sound of the pistol and I dove in, hoping to forget my troubles. I was so concerned about calming myself that I landed in last place! Last place! I rushed out of the pool the minute I found out. I slipped again, but this time I protected myself with my arm. Suddenly, I heard a crack. The people that were just sneering at me gasped. My arm looked like it was a wave. I cried and cried and I think I cried for an eternity. My arm had not split cleanly in two like it should have, but instead it had broken all disjointedly. By the time my mother drove me to the hospital, it was limp and I was in excruciating pain. I learned my lesson that day, “Modesty is not always that bad.”

Unfortunately I still can not obey that one simple rule. Now that I am interested in lots of things and excellent good at them, I can not help showing off. I taking lessons (from my mom) to try to be modest, she started doing this after my broken arm. I do not think they’re helping because even then I show off how good I am at being modest. I think I have the curse of obnoxiousness.

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