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There Is Still Time - by A.B.King

   Once upon a time in a place called St.Louis, there was a little beautiful girl named Anita.
   Her Dad was a banker and her Mum was a writer. They were both God fearing Christians and raised their only daughter, Anita with bible principles.
   There was one small problem however. It was that Anita’s grades were slipping. During her first months at her new kindergarten, she had excelled with laurels as she always had. But with time her performance in school just started going downhill.
   Anita had a test coming up. She had to be reading. She walked into her beautiful wall-papered room to read. After 3 minutes she got bored and decided to browse the web on her laptop while she was on her bed. One thing led to another and she found herself IM’ing other friends in kindergarten. Before she knew it, four hours had passed.
   She heard footsteps on the stairs. It had to be her Mum coming to check on her. She quietly ducked the laptop under her pillow.
   Her mum saw her reading when she got to Anita’s bedroom door. She was just so proud of her daughter. Oh! God, she thought, you have blessed me with such a wonderful child. One most parents can only dream of.
   Her mum taught it best not to disturb Anita’s reading so she walked away quietly.
   Anita had pretended to be so engrossed in the book that anyone would be convinced that she hadn’t noticed her Mum had stood at the door.
   Anyway, her Mum had gone back downstairs. Anita was in the clear. She felt a little guilty for what she had done... but Oh! well.
   Anita reached for her laptop under her pillow. Everything in her told her that she really needs to be studying, but she shrugged off her feelings. There is still time, she taught. There is tomorrow.
   The next day, with the test 2 days away, Anita promised herself as she walked along the school hallway that after school she was going to study and study and study – nothing would stop her – nothing would distract her. She was so caught up in her thinking that she almost ran over Suzie. Suzie didn’t seem to mind. Suzie looked way too happy to mind. She wasn’t best friends with Anita but she was one of those girls who every other girl likes and considers a friend.
   Suzie invited Anita to her birthday party which would be held at her house, 30 minutes after school is over that day.
   “No thanks, I’ve got to study for the upcoming test,” Anita said.
   “Huh! You are always studying. You need to give yourself a break. Everybody knows you would ace that test. You are smart. Besides I only turn 9 once in my life. You just have to be there at my 9th birthday party. You can always read after the party when you get home just like you’ve been doing for the past few days. My party won’t be the same without you. Say you’ill be there.  Pleasseee !!!”, Suzie begged.
   Anita knew she should still say, No. However, she didn’t want to seem unkind. She didn’t want to upset a friend. She didn’t want to seem mean. Anita looked down at the floor as if she was weighing her options.
   “Okay, I’ill be at your party”, Anita said forcing a smile.
   “Wonderful”, Suzie squealed in a pep squad kind of way. Then she went on to invite other girls that were walking through the school hallway.
   Anita felt a heaviness in her chest. She could feel the Holy Spirit telling her she made the wrong choice, but she also knew that she would be at that birthday party. There is still time to read later, she hissed to herself.
   The party turned out to be splendid. 100% fun. If she didn’t have a test coming up that she wasn’t prepared for, the party would have been totally worth attending and a real shame to miss. Of course, the party took up most of her day, so reading that day was crossed off. Well, there’s still time.
   The next day the test was one day away. Anita promised herself that nothing would stop her from reading that day. No birthday invitations, online chatting plans .... No nothing.
   When she sat on her bed after school, she opened her book. She was about to read when she heard a loud thud. She quickly ran out of her room to see what it was. As she got to the steps, she saw her mother lying semi-conscious at the foot of the stairs. Mum had fallen down the stairs.
   Anita spent most of her day at the hospital.  She had had to call 911, call her Dad, and explain to everyone from the cops to the doctors what had happened.
   The next day, her mum thankfully wasn’t in the hospital. She had been discharged. She had a couple of plastered bruises and a big bandage wrapped around her right leg. It was also the day of the test. The test Anita hadn’t prepared for.
   During the test, Anita sat in the classroom staring at the ceiling. Oh! she had stared at the question sheet on her desk but it didn’t help either. Now she was biting the end of her pencil.Oh! if only she had known, she would’ve never put off reading for later. If only she had known she would have seized every opportunity she had to read. Now, it was too late for her to prepare for the test.
   A thought came to her, it’s not too late to pass the test. If she could only do something she had never done before – something bad – very bad. She could cheat.
    In-spite of an emotional debate with the Holy Spirit and with her conscience, she still decided to cheat. But how?
   After brain storming, an idea came to her. She could pass Suzie a note asking her to help her but as a form of insurance, she could include a list of all the things she knew Suzie had done that if the teacher found out would put Suzie into big trouble. Threatening to tell if she doesn’t help. Yea! That is sure to work. She won’t fail this test after all.
   Anita waited for the right moment when her teacher was not looking and then slipped the note to Suzie. Apparently, her teacher was more cunning than she taught and saw her pass the note to Suzie. She asked for the note and read it out loud to the whole class – the note that contained the list of bad things that Suzie had done in the past - a list that shocked the teacher.
   Suzie lost her respect with the teacher as well as with other students. Of course she blamed it on Anita and started to despise her.
   Anita too lost her respect and her parents where greatly disappointed. She learnt three things from her embarrassment. First never disobey the Holy Ghost and ignore the promptings of your conscience. Secondly, never put off something you should do today for tomorrow. Lastly, never cheat during a test.


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