The girl was forced to go to school with her disabled stepbrother and was embarrassed when they were seen together. However, during a maths lesson, her half-brother did something that made the whole class clap and she couldn’t believe it.
“I can’t believe it. I hate it. Why did Daddy make me do it?” thought Tanya as she walked to school with her new stepbrother. She had to help him push his wheelchair around the court and the corridors.
Everyone turned around to look at them and she kept a strained smile, but her insides were boiling with anger.
“You don’t have to push me. I can do it myself,” said her stepbrother Charles. He clearly felt her confusion. But Tanya could not leave. Her father gave her strict instructions to help him that first day.
Charles’ mother, Gina, had recently married her father, Zach, and they had moved into Tanya’s house, which meant that her half-brother had to change schools because it was a different area in Florida. So she had to accept it and face the embarrassment.
Tanya was a popular girl at their school, so everyone was paying more attention to them. She saw some of her friends who were bloody exasperated, whispering as she pushed her brother towards their first classroom and tried to avoid the snide stares of the other students as much as possible. Finally, they reached the classroom. She helped Charles settle beside his desk and then sat down two rows behind him.
Their first lesson was mathematics with Mrs. Perkins, and Tanya groaned with disappointment. That was the worst lesson of all because Mrs. Perkins hated everyone, and she gave the hardest tests and tons of homework every day. She also quickly explained the lessons and hated when anyone had questions. All the children often wondered why she was allowed to teach in high school because she clearly lacked patience with the 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.