A girl was forced to walk with her disabled stepbrother to school and was embarrassed to be seen together. However, during their math class, her stepbrother did something that made the entire class clap, and she couldn’t believe it.
I can’t believe this. I hate this. Why did Dad make me do this? Tania thought as she walked to school with her new stepbrother. She had to help him push his wheelchair through the quad and the halls.
Everyone had turned to watch them, and she kept her tight smile in place but was fuming inside.
“You don’t have to push me. I can do it myself,” her stepbrother, Charles, said. He could obviously sense her embarrassment. But Tania couldn’t walk away. Her father gave her strict instructions to help him out that first day.
Everyone’s jaws dropped. “Excuse me?”
Charles’ mother, Gina, married her father, Zack, recently, and they moved into Tania’s house, which meant that her stepbrother had to change schools because it was another district in Florida. So, she had to do this and face the shame.
Tania was a popular girl in their school, so everyone looked at them even more. She saw some of her friends, who were catty as hell, whispering as she pushed her brother to their first period and tried to avoid their eyes as much as possible. Finally, they made it to class. She helped Charles settle on a desk, then sat down two rows behind him.
Their first period was math with Mrs. Perkins, and Tania groaned. It was the worst class ever because Mrs. Perkins hated everyone. She gave the toughest tests and would give them tons of homework every day. She also went through lessons quickly and hated when someone had questions. All the kids often wondered why they let her teach middle school, as she clearly didn’t have the patience for younger children.
The lesson started, and it was about the same. Tania did not understand much but wrote things down in her notebook and tried her best. Some of her classmates were just as confused, so she didn’t feel too bad.
However, she panicked when Charles raised his hand. Oh, no! I didn’t tell him about Mrs. Perkins! she thought. Their teacher would not be any nicer to him, even with his wheelchair.
“Yes?” Mrs. Perkins called to Charles sardonically.
“I just wanted to say that the answer to number five is 15,” Charles replied matter-of-factly, and the rest of the class turned to him in shock. They were all frozen except for their eyes that reluctantly went to Mrs. Perkins and back to Charles.
She sneered at Tania’s stepbrother. “Of course not. I don’t make mistakes. Recheck your work, and don’t interrupt my lecture,” Mrs. Perkins scoffed and continued as if nothing had happened.
“I’ve checked it many times, and it’s wrong. Please, check again. I’m very good at math,” Charles said, and Tania raised her palms to her face. She should’ve told him about this teacher.
“Really? Well, why don’t you come to this board and do it yourself? Prove I made a mistake,” Mrs. Perkins said angrily.
Charles shrugged. “I can do that. But what’s in it for me?”
Everyone’s jaws dropped.
“You heard me,” Charles responded petulantly.
“Fine. If you prove me wrong, I won’t give you homework. How’s that?” Mrs. Perkins offered, crossing her arms.
Charles thought about it for a second, pursing his lips. “How about not giving anyone homework for the day?” he countered, and all the kids puckered at that statement.
“Oh, are you sure? If you’re wrong, I’m going to give even more homework than ever,” Mrs. Perkins said evilly.
Tania tried to get her stepbrother to stop. “Hey, Charles. Stop it,” she whispered. But he didn’t listen.
“Deal,” he said, rolled his chair back from his desk, and went up to the front of the class.
He couldn’t reach the top of the board, but he soon proved that Mrs. Perkins had made a stupid error that could easily be spotted if she had deigned to look.
Her face was priceless. Tania wished she had her cell phone, which they had to keep at home because middle schoolers were not allowed to bring them. Everyone in the class waited with baited breaths as Charles rolled back to his desk, placed his arms on top, and linked his fingers.
Mrs. Perkins cleared her throat, and Tania thought some smoke would come out of her ears, having been bested by her stepbrother. Finally, she nodded. “Well, you were right. You’re the new kid, Charles, right?”
“Yes, ma’am,” he replied with a smile.
“Ok. No homework for anyone today,” Mrs. Perkins agreed grudgingly.
The entire class exploded in cheers and applause, thanking Charles and calling him “the best” ever. And Tania finally smiled.
After class, the whole school learned about the incident, and Charles became one of the most popular kids in school. People went up to Tania and asked her about him, and she proudly told them he was her stepbrother.
That day, Tania and Charles laughed and talked all the way back home. Tania also apologized for her previous behavior and said it would never happen again.
“No worries,” Charles told her, shrugging. “I wasn’t too happy about having a stepsister either.”
He gave her a cheeky grin, and they laughed once more.
What can we learn from this story?
It’s best not to judge anyone, no matter their condition or situation. Tania learned she didn’t have to be embarrassed by her stepbrother’s disability and apologized for her attitude.
Teachers are human. They make mistakes too. Charles proved that even the almighty Mrs. Perkins makes mistakes too.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.