Ruby bit her lower lip. She had been so confident when she practiced with her friends earlier but now, in front of the intuitive Ms. Hepp, she knew her tactic wasn’t going to work anymore.
“I just, uh, I wanted to talk to you about my test.”
“Yes, I thought you might. I was actually surprised with your grade myself. It’s not like you to score so poorly. Is there something the matter with you?”
Ruby seized the opening. She was going to put her acting skills to good use! Her eyes immediately welled up with tears. Ms. Hepp placed a hand to her heart and the other to Ruby’s shoulder.
“Tell me what happened, Ruby.”
“M-M-Ms. Hepp…” Ruby sputtered. “It’s been a rough week. My grandmother is in the hospital, my boyfriend just dumped me, and I think my parents are getting divorced!” Then Ruby let out an ear-splitting wail. She threw herself down to her knees and started sobbing.
Ms. Hepp knelt down and patted Ruby on the back gently. “Wow, Ruby, you have had quite a week. I’m sorry to hear about all your troubles. You should have come in and talked to me before the test.”
“I know. I just thought I could push it all aside. I’m so sorry I let you down Ms. Hepp.”
“Oh, Ruby…just forget about the whole thing, ok? I know the kind of student you are. And I know how hard it is to study when things in your personal life are such a mess. I’ve been there myself.”
“No, Ms. Hepp, I can’t let you do that. I just wanted to let you know why I scored so low. It wasn’t because I just brushed it off.” Ruby wiped her nose and her face then looked up at her teacher with sad eyes.
Ms. Hepp sighed. “I know. And I appreciate you coming to see me. I’ll take care of your grade, don’t worry, I insist. Go have some ice cream and come talk to me anytime if you need to.”
Ruby looked down. “Thank you, Ms. Hepp. And I promise I’ll do better next time.”