Shengliver’s Note: A Chinese teen has learned not to be fooled by superficiality.


I used to believe that everyone is kind, but what happened during the final exam changed my view. Now I’d rather believe that a coin has two sides.


Last term when I took the final exam, a boy was seated on my left in the test room. The first time I met him, he asked me, “Which subjects are your forte?” I said, “None. My grades are more or less balanced. I do not have a very shiny subject.” I was surprised because he was so garrulous a boy that he had communicated with all the students around. “He must want to cheat. I’d better not talk too much with him,” I said to myself. In each exam, he would pester the student in front of him for the answers. So shifty was he that the teachers almost caught him. I shot a glance over at him during an exam. Suddenly I found he was a little handsome. His manners were gentle. Once he borrowed the eraser from me, smiling softly. “Maybe he is not as bad as I imagined,” I thought. After that I started to chat with him during the breaks.


Something terrible happened in the last exam. It was biology. When I finished all the questions, there was still 30 minutes left. Then I set my answer sheet aside and began to check the questions one by one. So absorbed was I in reading the questions that I did not notice the guy sneaking looks at my answers. Suddenly I felt a hand grabbing my paper as well as his. I tilted my head only to find that one of the teachers was glaring at me. The teacher went away with the papers. I immediately realised what had been going on. I began feeling petrified, because in my school if a student is caught cheating in the exam, he will be severely punished. When I took a look at the boy, he was at ease as if nothing serious had ever happened. At the moment I could not find words to describe how I hated him. However, his copying my paper was a fact even if I had not been aware of it. How foolish I had been then!


When the exam was over, I walked up to the teacher and explained that I did not really aid and abet the boy’s copying. Having criticised me for a while, the teacher turned a deaf ear to my pleas. Obviously he did not believe me at all. I thought the guy might come and talk to the teacher about it, but he did not. I began to cry though there were many students around. I yelled a curse at the boy, running away to follow the teacher when he was going away. But the teacher soon disappeared from my sight. I was so hopeless. Fortunately the other teacher, who was a female, asked me what the matter was. Then she said, “You were too innocent to take good care of your paper. You should not have trusted him at all.” She called the man teacher up to intercede with him on my behalf. Last she reassured me that there was nothing to worry about. I bowed to her a couple of times expressing my appreciation. I wiped off my tears before I went back to my classroom.


This experience is a good lesson. It teaches me never to trust a person easily. We should not be blinded by his or her behaviour or appearance. Where there is something pleasing to your eye or your ear, there is a potential danger.


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