One Lie Can Change Everything

Submitted for Contest #42 in response to: Write a story that ends with the narrator revealing a secret.... view prompt

Submitted on 05/20/2020

Categories: Mystery Drama

My dad is a tall man, with emerald green eyes, a square jawline, and a smile that seems to always make any situation seem better. 

I’ve inherited some of that. His emerald green eyes and the height.

Now you might be wondering about my mom. Well, I am, till this date, still wondering about that, too. She died right before I was born in a car crash. 

“You were lucky to be alive,” Dad says. “Or else, I don’t know what would have become of me,” Dad says that my blonde hair and wide eyes come from my mom. He never really talks about her, though. I don’t blame him. It must be hard for him, even up till now. That’s why I try not to bring up the topic too much.

“Bye, Kelly!” Dad called from the kitchen counter.

“Bye, Dad!” I called back, and the minute I stepped outside, I knew that eleventh grade would be tougher than a ninth or tenth grade ever will be. Prom would happen, the nerve-racking SATs, etc! Most of all, eleventh grade would change me.

I stepped onto the bus and put on my earbuds. Despite putting the music on to the highest volume, I could still hear the boys screaming in the back.

“Hey! Turn it down!” the bus driver yelled, but there was no change.

“Shut up!” a voice called from the back. Everybody turned their heads to see what all the commotion was about. When we saw who said it, everyone started laughing. I couldn’t help but smile. That girl was Ava Max, the shortest kid in our school. 

Her face turned pale as she put on her earbuds and continued reading.

A few minutes later, the bus pulled up in front of the school.

Home of the Raiders! The titles screamed. 

I stepped into my first class: homeroom. Ok, well technically, it wasn’t really a class, just somewhere you would get your schedules and all, but whatever.

As I got my schedule, I started checking it over. First-class was math.

I stepped out of the homeroom and into Math.

“Take your seats, everyone!” Mrs. Mattos, our math teacher, said. She was very charming. She had wide eyes and blonde hair, just like me. Some wrinkles on her face indicated that she was old, but she was exceptionally old.

Before beginning, she glanced over at everyone, her eyes lingering on me for a moment, and started attending.

“All right, do we have Emma Taylor?” A girl whose long blonde hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail raised her hand. It looked like Mrs. Mattos was going to say the next name when her face turned sort of confused.

“Um, Kelly Brown?” I raised my hand and she continued with the attendance.

We were given an assignment on angles to work on for the rest of the period, I gave the paper in, and she gave me a C-. I guess they didn’t grade by effort anymore like they did in middle school. 

“Do you, um, have a free period by any chance?” Mrs. Mattos shifted in her chair, just as I was about to head out the door. Was she nervous?

“Yeah, right now. Why?” 

“Well, I—I needed some... help. I needed some help in grading papers. Would you like to help me?" I looked around as if asking for help. Right now? I was planning to study! But her large blue eyes made me think otherwise. I plastered on a huge smile on my face and said, "Of course!"

***

“So,” Dad said that night. “How was your second day of being a Junior?” 

“Oh, it was nice,” I said. “Mrs. Mattos, my Math teacher, isn't as bad as Ms. Marsh.” I rolled my eyes as Dad laughed. "She was horrible! She barely taught us anything! Thank God eighth grade wasn't the longest school year!" Dad laughed even more and I lightly punched his shoulder.

That night, as I was cleaning the attic, I found a picture of a woman. Her long blonde hair flowed behind her back and her deep, sea-blue eyes reminded me of a quote by William Shakespeare: The eyes are the window to your soul. She reminded me of Mrs. Mattos, too, both with the same mammoth eyes and long, stringy hair. I grabbed the picture and hung it above my bed. It looked nice there.

***

At Math class the next day, before heading out to English, Mrs. Mattos asked, “So Kelly, do you want to help me grade some papers after school today?”

“I can't,” I said. "I promised to help Dad clean the house tonight."

“Oh. Well, that's okay! I'll see you tomorrow in class!” I smiled.

It wasn’t until I saw dinner laid out in front of me for dinner after helping dad clean the house did I realize how hungry I was!

“What’s with the feast?” I asked dad as I served myself a big plate of spaghetti.

“Why not?” Dad asked.

I shrugged. “Guess I’m not used to big feasts.”

“Well, you better get used to it,” he teased. Dad served himself a plate of Caesar salad and asked, “So, about this teacher of yours... what does she look like?”

“Well, she's really, really, really pretty!” I said, laughing.

“Yeah," Dad muttered, smiling slightly and shaking his head.

***

“So, um, how are your parents?” Mrs. Mattos asked the next day as I helped her grade some papers. I figured it would look good on college applications, and talking to her wasn't so bad.

“Well I have a dad,” I said. “My mom died before I was born.”

“Well, I’m very sorry to hear that.” I shrugged.

“It’s okay. My dad tries his best to make up for her, and I accept and appreciate that.” 

“Oh,” she said. Then: “So what are some of your favorite hobbies?”

“Volleyball. You?” 

“Playing the violin. I mean, that used to be it, except…” 

“Oh, my god! That’s so weird! My mom played the violin, too! I don’t have a particular interest in playing, and boy am I bad! But, I mean, it’s the only thing I have left of her, so I wouldn’t trade it in for anything.” Mattos nodded.

“Mrs. Mattos! It’s time for the Robotics club!” a student said, coming inside. 

“Oh! Of course, I completely forgot!” Mrs. Mattos turned to me, biting her lip. “See you at parent-teacher conferences tomorrow?” I nodded.

“Bye!” I said, heading home.

“Let’s go inside,” I said when we arrived at Math the next day for conferences. 

Once we entered, Mrs. Mattos smiled. But when she saw dad, she instantly turned pale. I looked at dad. He looked even paler! What was going on?

“Kelly, sweetie, why don’t you wait outside. I’ll speak to your father and then you can come back, alright? Just give us a couple of minutes.” Mrs. Mattos said. I shrugged and stepped out. I don’t know what happened inside that classroom, but when dad came outside, he looked sick. 

“Dad?” I said. “Everything all right?”

“Let’s—let’s go home,” Dad stammered.

That night, as we were eating dinner, dad said, “Kelly, we’re going to move.” I almost spit out my food. Move? Why? 

“Wait, what? But dad, I have school here! And why? This is so unfair! I just started eleventh—” Dad held up his hand.

“Kelly, we’re moving as soon as possible. I don’t want to talk anymore about the topic.” I tried to convince him that there was no point in moving, but he had that look on his face that meant that he was firm with his decision. I couldn’t finish the rest of my dinner. I didn’t have an appetite. I was excused for the night. I went into my room and plopped on my bed. 

This was so unfair!

The next day at lunch, I was chewing on a bite of my sandwich, looking at a point directly above Mrs. Mattos's shoulder when she asked, “Sweetie, are you feeling okay?”

I shook my head. “We’re moving in a week.” Mrs. Mattos seemed to shrink a little bit. Then I asked the question that had kept me awake last night. 

“What exactly happened at conferences yesterday?” I asked.

“Listen, Kelly, there’s something that you don’t know about. Something that I need you to know.”

“Well, what is it?” I asked.

“I—”

Bring! Bring!

“Well, I have to go...” I said, but neither of us made a motion of leaving. Finally, I headed out the door into History. I couldn’t stop thinking about what Mrs. Mattos had said, though. Was there something that she needed to tell me? What was it?

I headed into Math the next day, with high hopes and expecting answers. But she was absent, and there was a substitute.

The same thing happened for four more days. Where was she? Was I really going to leave without even saying goodbye? 

Fortunately, Mrs. Mattos came into class a couple of days later, and I was helping her grade some papers after school when I stopped and asked once again, “What happened at parent-teacher conferences?”

She sighed and looked down. Then she looked up at me with teary eyes. 

“I know it’s very unbelievable, and I’d understand if you’d hate me. But Kelly, your mother never died. She’s alive, and in fact, I know who she is.”

“Who?"

Her response left me in for a big shock.

"Kelly... I am your mother."

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

101 comments

Inactive User
21:10 May 26, 2020

Amazing story!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Inactive User
21:10 May 26, 2020

Amazing story!

Reply

Avani Gupta
21:32 May 26, 2020

Thank you!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Rhondalise Mitza
12:00 May 20, 2020

Okay, great story! For the last line to have it's full effect, though, you've got to split it. "Who?" Her response left me in for a great shock. "Kelly... I'm your mom."

Reply

Avani Gupta
13:30 May 20, 2020

Thank you! I will be sure to change that!

Reply

Rhondalise Mitza
14:41 May 20, 2020

Great!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Whirlwind 2.0
01:34 Sep 16, 2020

Great story, Avani. It was very suspenseful and it drew me in right from the beginning. Although, I will say that it might be better if next time you rearrange how your dialogue is positioned around the adjectives and motions. Amazing story though, and I hope to read more in the future! -Whirl

Reply

Avani Gupta
12:26 Sep 16, 2020

Thanks for the feedback! -Avani

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Manel Tairi
14:24 May 27, 2020

I really enjoyed this story. Amazing ending !

Reply

Show 0 replies
Mala Moragain
09:07 May 27, 2020

I liked this story very much! Just a small suggestion, apologies! Most teens heading into their junior year aren't comparing their upcoming experiences to middle school. Maybe say "last year" or "freshman year" instead? It's just a suggestion. That was the only thing that stuck me as disconnected, if that makes any sense. Beautifully written. I honestly thought the teacher was a robot based on her mother! So, the ending really did surprise me in that respect. I look forward to reading you other stories! F for sure! ;)

Reply

Avani Gupta
13:45 May 27, 2020

Thank you, Mala, for the feedback! I will keep that in mind!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Lara Macgregor
01:50 May 27, 2020

Wow, surprise ending! Good job.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Rachel Maclean
22:51 May 22, 2020

Enjoyed the story! Especially love the foreshadowing leading up to the reveal, it kept me gripped throughout! The only advice I’d give is maybe splitting up your dialogue and responses between characters by taking a new line just to make it a bit clearer. Though overall really great story!

Reply

Avani Gupta
23:02 May 22, 2020

Thank you for your feedback, Rachel! I can't wait to check out some of your work!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Laiba M
02:43 May 22, 2020

Hey!!! Great story :) As soon as I read the part about the picture I immediately suspected Mrs. Mattos to be the mother and was right, yay! Maybe add a few emotions in at the end, after the teacher stated that she knew who Kelly's mother was? Maybe say that she froze, or she felt something. I feel like the vibe wouldn't stay the same in real life, Kelly's mood would intensify so describe that a bit? Everything else is absolutely amazing, good job and I look forward to more, friend!!

Reply

Avani Gupta
13:49 May 22, 2020

Thanks! You keep on writing, too!

Reply

Laiba M
15:09 May 22, 2020

You're welcome, I will :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Rosey Flower
17:44 May 21, 2020

I called it lol! Great story Avani! Keep writing! I do wish you would add some friends into the story maybe have her see her friends in the hallway? Or if you don't want her to have friends say: "I don't have any friends" or something like that. If that makes sense?

Reply

Avani Gupta
17:45 May 21, 2020

Okay, thanks!

Reply

Rosey Flower
17:47 May 21, 2020

Your welcome!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
A. y. R
20:43 May 20, 2020

I love the descriptiveness in your writing! About the plot, I feel as if you give away too many hints for the reader to guess the secret. Try throwing the reader off here and there, eg Kelly describing her mother to look completely different than how the teacher is, or perhaps make the teacher seem like the mother figure Kelly wished but never had, until its revealed out of the blue. Other than that, I enjoyed getting lost in the vivid scene you created!

Reply

Avani Gupta
21:30 May 20, 2020

Thank you, A. y. R! I will try to edit as needed!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Tvisha Yerra
17:11 May 20, 2020

The dialogue was a bit robotic, no offense. I don't really understand why a teacher would need help grading papers, much less from a student. Another thing, the bus incident was totally irrelevant to the story, so maybe you should fix that so it would come up somewhere? And the grade doesn't have much of an effect either. Also, do teachers normally give tests on the first day? I don't think so, and teacher do grade tests for the accuracy of the answer, not for the effort. Sorry if any of this is rude, hope to hear more from you!

Reply

Avani Gupta
17:18 May 20, 2020

Hi, Tvisha! Thank you for your feedback! I will keep that in mind next time!

Reply

Tvisha Yerra
18:35 May 20, 2020

Anytime!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Zilla Babbitt
13:34 May 20, 2020

You asked me to read, so here I am. Wow! An interesting mystery. I was thinking maybe Kelly had something wrong with her face because everyone kept turning pale when they saw her, but I was wrong :). I think the only things wrong here are the very unsubtle hints given to Kelly. She isn't an idiot! She's a junior, almost an adult, but she needed Mrs Mattos to spell it all out: "I'm your mother." No self respecting teenager would miss the "me, er, the wife" part where she basically reveals the secret. Covering up the hints more would make t...

Reply

Avani Gupta
13:40 May 20, 2020

Thank you Zilla, for your feedback! I will try to edit as I can!!

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
13:41 May 20, 2020

You're welcome!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
23:57 Sep 13, 2020

Quite the story twist. Great job!

Reply

Avani Gupta
11:29 Sep 14, 2020

Thanks!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
16:59 Sep 04, 2020

Terrific job! I really enjoyed this! And WOW, that cliffhanger! Gonna go read part two now ;)

Reply

Avani Gupta
03:29 Sep 05, 2020

Aw, thank you!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
B. W.
14:35 Aug 30, 2020

This is a great story and you did a great job with it. if your ever wanting advice though for your stories is that you should keep making more stories as you've only made one story and if you make more i'm sure it'll be great just like this one is :) i don't really see anything wrong with the story either and it just seems fine to me. so can you maybe take a guess on what i'm about to give you and this story :) i'm going to give you a 10/10 ^^ great job. i was also wondering if you could maybe check out "Goddess child" and "The camp" and tel...

Reply

Avani Gupta
16:18 Aug 30, 2020

Thanks, and sure!

Reply

B. W.
16:28 Aug 30, 2020

No prob ^^

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
12:47 Aug 24, 2020

It's a wonderful story! Please read my latest story The Secret Organisation { Part 2 }

Reply

Avani Gupta
22:52 Aug 24, 2020

Thanks, and sure!

Reply

05:00 Aug 25, 2020

I would be waiting for your comment and like

Reply

Avani Gupta
14:09 Aug 25, 2020

Oh, I already liked it. I'll do it again.

Reply

14:38 Aug 25, 2020

Thank you

Reply

Avani Gupta
14:40 Aug 25, 2020

Your welcome!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Trinity Alvarez
17:29 Aug 12, 2020

What a cool story! I definitely think that you should writ a Part 2, as you said in your bio!

Reply

Avani Gupta
17:30 Aug 12, 2020

Sure! Maybe we can collab!

Reply

Trinity Alvarez
17:31 Aug 12, 2020

I'd love to do that!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Pragya Rathore
18:19 Aug 10, 2020

Hi Avani, you're SUCH an amazing writer! My best friend is also named Avani! This is superb! The story was beautiful!!!!!!! I really am in awe (and quite envious) of the way you write. This is an amazing interpretation of the prompt. It's lovely! Please post more stories, I'd love to read them! Please read and review my stories too ;)

Reply

Avani Gupta
13:46 Aug 11, 2020

Wow, that's cool! Say hi to your friend for me (if that isn't to weird, lol.) I might publish a prequel to this, if I get inspired by a prompt. But that might be the last story I do. Or.. maybe not. I don't know! Thanks so much for your encouraging words!

Reply

Pragya Rathore
16:14 Aug 11, 2020

I hope you get inspired soon! And my best friend's real name is Avantika, Avani is a pet name :)

Reply

Avani Gupta
17:30 Aug 12, 2020

Cool!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

Wonderful story, Avani!

Reply

Avani Gupta
16:37 Aug 09, 2020

Thank you, Deepshikha!

Reply

Hey Avani, I just submitted my first story. Would you mind checking it?

Reply

Avani Gupta
16:17 Aug 30, 2020

Of course!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply