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TELLING THE TRUTH by Sissy Pantelis
 

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  • This is a true story.
    I was a little girl. Children from the neighborhood had come at home to play with us. This happened almost everyday: they came to play with us or we went at their places. And as it often happened, we ended up arguing. Most children left - they were very angry, but this did not matter. Tomorrow they would have forgotten. The last to stay was a little boy called Ilias. My sister, Ilias and I continued the argument. At a moment, I pushed my sister, she started crying, I and Ilias kept arguing and my father came in the room.
    "What is going on there? Why are you crying?" He asked my sister who used to cry a lot anyway.
    "He pushed me. Ilias pushed me and he hurt me." My little sister was trying to protect me.
    I stared at our poor friend; he looked extremely embarrassed in front of our dad.
    "It was not Ilias who pushed her,"I said. "It was me. I did not mean to harm her, we were arguing, it was by accident."
    My father stared at me. "You said the truth. This is very good. This is why you will not be punished. Now, continue playing and stop arguing."
    I was very proud: I had been courageous, I had done the right thing and my father told me I was brave and good. I decided that telling the truth was a wonderful thing; I would always tell the truth from now on and everybody would praise me.
    Time passed.
    One evening, my father brought at home a small calculator. The thing impressed me more than every toy I had ever seen; it could add and divide and do so clever and complicated things in maths that I hadn't even been taught at school. And the result appeared in blue luminous letters on its small screen. It was like magic! I spent the next days searching for the magic machine. My father had put it in his personal drawer and the key of this drawer was hidden in another drawer. But I managed to find everything and then I could switch on the calculator and I did many, many additions and divisions and other calculi, using as many numbers as possible and the machine could do everything- it was awesome!!! If I had studied math instead of playing I would have the best marks in class, but studying was boring while the machine was such fun! At some stage I thought that I'd better stop. I put the machine back where it was, I locked the drawer, I put the key back in the second drawer. I was very proud of me.
    A few days later, my father needed the calculator. But when he took it out of the drawer, he had an unpleasant surprise. "Hey- WHO switched this on and didn't switch this off? The battery is dead, I have to go and buy a new one..."
    DAMN IT!!!! I hadn't thought of the battery- I didn't even know about the battery. Never mind, it could be replaced. I was going to tell the truth and get new congratulations.
    "I have been playing with it. I forgot to switch it off and this is how..."
    My father was furious. He told me off, he said that I could not open his drawer where he had his personal things (he was a journalist, this was where he put the articles he wrote for the newspaper where he worked) and I was punished. Now this was not fair. This was not fair AT ALL. I had told the truth; I could just have kept silent and my father would end up thinking that he had forgotten to switch off the machine. I was very sad. I cried -not because of the punishment, but because this was really, really unfair.
    A few years later, I discussed the whole thing with my father. "You have been unfair, I told him. And you had taught me how good it was to tell the truth."
    "Yes, he said, but you opened my drawer and you could have lost something important."
    We both laughed. After this, I have been telling this story to almost every person I know.
    I have also learned one thing: sometimes, you have to tell the truth, especially when you have to prevent someone from getting the blame for something you have done.
    And sometimes, it is better to keep your mouth shut.

    This story is dedicated to the memory of my father whom I miss a lot.
    I also want to thank all those who read my previous stories and those who loved them and let you know that you are all wonderful!!!
    Thanks to Kat who let me know about the group.
    A nice evening to everybody :)
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