It was a relaxing and lazy sort of day. The air was still, the leaves were hardly rustling, and nothing much seemed to be happening. It was the sort of day that something leads to mischief. Inside my brother and I were sitting around, not doing anything in particular. My brother, who was in first grade, had recently started playing soccer and was sitting on the couch holding his soccer ball. He had been outside practicing kicks, so he came inside to take a break. I was sitting in a chair reading a book and thinking about what to do next. Neither of my parents were home, so my brother and I were alone.
I know, I said. Let’s go play a board game.
No, he said. I don’t really feel like playing a board game and besides they’re not really that fun.
Well, okay, I said thinking.Maybe we could go outside and ride our bikes.
He thought about it and said, No, we just did that yesterday. I began to get irritated and impatient with my brother. My gosh! I exclaimed. You don’t want to do anything at all. You just want to sit there and hug your soccer ball.
That’s not true! he protested. But I’ll tell you something. I bet you I can dribble this ball past you. He was pretty good at dribbling, but so was I. We faced each other and the ball was on the floor between us. He moved the ball forward with his foot, but then trying to trick me out of position, he gave the ball a sharp kick. It almost worked, but I tried to block the ball and it bounced off of my knee. The soccer ball bounced off the wall, right into my mom’s favorite flower vase. The vase fell to the floor with a loud crash. A few minutes later as we started cleaning up the glass we listened in horror as the garage door screeched open. We looked at each other and then at the broken vase with blank faces, not knowing what to do. My brother hid the ball behind a desk and we went back and sat down as if nothing had happened.
Hey guys, my mom said. It wasn’t long before she noticed the broken vase.
My vase! she exclaimed. What happened? she said looking at us. We just stared at each other as we began to tell a lie. We don’t know what happened. We didn’t touch it at all, he said.
Yeah, it must have just fell of the table, I added. After that, the lies just continued to get bigger and bigger.
How could it just fall of the desk? she asked questioningly. She didn’t seem to look convinced by what we were saying, but she said, Okay, and began to clean up the mess. It was hard to see how sad our mom looked while picking up the pieces of the broken vase and the guilt was starting to build up. Mom, we’re really sorry about the lamp I said.
I’m not worried about the lamp, we can always get a new one. What I’m worried about is that maybe my children, who I’ve always trusted, aren’t telling me the truth. And trust is not something that you can just put back together again, she said. My brother and I started talking all at once, It didn’t just fall off the desk, we were playing soccer and accidentally knocked it over, we said.
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