“Hannah’s Secret” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Gabrielle Rothenberg, Woodside Elementary School, River Vale, USA.
Something was going on in room 207 and I, Kayla Jackson, was going to figure it out. My best friend Hannah has been acting weird lately, especially in school. It was writing time in class and she got up to go to the printer, so naturally I had to go and see if that's what she was really doing. I got up and walked out after her. I got to the printer, but no Hannah. I looked outside and saw her rush down the stairs. We were best friends and I hated her keeping secrets. She went down and turned into one of the halls. I didn’t see what one, so that was the end of that.
I got back to class and somehow she was already there. I guess I was following the wrong kid. I sat at my desk disappointed. I was also mad at Hanna; she was keeping secrets from me, her best friend.
I have been acting weird lately and it’s because I have a secret that I’m hiding from Kayla, I know she is on to me and that she’s mad at me, but she’d be even madder if she knew what was happening. I got on the varsity softball team. All Kayla wanted was to make the team. We BOTH really wanted to make the team so we made a promise that neither of us would play unless we both made it. She didn’t get picked, so I didn’t tell her that I made the team.
Today the class was writing a paper about a time we felt excited. I chose to write about the moment when I found out I made the softball team. When I was done writing, I got up to get my paper from the printer. I saw Kayla following me, so I went into the printer room and ran into the closet. Soon after, Kayla left and I sprinted back to Mrs. Kelly's classroom. On the way back I got my paper. Then we had gym. This was going to be difficult to pull off. I told Kayla that I didn’t feel good, and I was going to the nurse. Then I ran down the stairs to the locker room. I put on my jersey and ran to the indoor softball field. I was just about to leave the locker room when all the girls in my class started pouring in and Kayla was the first one to enter.
I was a little upset that Hannah wouldn’t be going to gym because this was softball week, our favorite week. That sadness was gone as soon as we entered the locker room and it was replaced by anger and confusion. There stood Hannah Michaels, ready to leave for softball? She said she couldn’t participate. I didn’t get it. She wasn’t even in the gym class shirt. I didn’t say a word, neither did Hannah. I saw her leave through the back door of the locker room. I quickly changed and took a seat next to my friend Lila on the bleachers. My gray shirt and navy athletic capris looked so plain compared to Lila’s sparkly gray shirt with her black pants and fake purple colored pockets. Lila’s hair was in a side braid which fell nicely onto her shirt, on the other hand my messy bun was practically falling out. We were talking about our test that we would have in Mrs. Buren’s math class when we heard Coach Sherman’s whistle. She told us to each take a mitt if we didn’t have our own and have a catch with a friend. Lila and I got a ball and got started. I was catching and throwing fine but my mind kept leaping back to Hannah and why she didn’t come to gym class.
I left as quickly as possible after I ran into Kayla in the locker rooms. The whole team was already there when I got there. “Hey guys, I’m so sorry I was late,” Hannah told the rest of the team as she rushed to her seat on the bleachers. The Coach told them the drills they would be doing that day, then they all got started with throws and catches. They had catches, batting practice, and ground balls. I tried hard and did fine, but not my best, I was too distracted about Kayla. She felt so bad and she didn’t even know what to do, she finished practice and went back to class.
Gym class ended and the whole room emptied out. I went to the locker rooms and changed. After that, I headed to my next class, math with Mrs. S. I took my seat in the classroom, unluckily for me, I sit right next to Hannah. As soon as Hannah came into class she started to talk to me, “I’m so sorry I lied to you and said I was sick. I made the softball team and you didn’t, so I didn’t want to hurt you,” she told to me in a truly sorry sounding way.
“I know you were just trying to save me from disappointment, I overreacted, and got mad over nothing. I’m sorry and I forgive you,” I answered Hannah. We both smiled and shared a big embrace. The bell rang and we took our seats both ready for a new, better start to the day.