an Honest Liar
by Andrea Della Monica
I learned to
lie and cheat in Catholic grammar school.
And I did so
with utter conviction.
Mrs. Russo, my
8th grade math teacher, would collect our tests,
grade mine, and, at the end of class, hand them
to me sealed in a big manila envelope. The
expectation was that I would mark the rest, using
mine as a guide for the correct answers. Since I
usually scored no lower than a 98%, the task was
Or so I
The first few
times I handed them back all corrected the next
day. No thank you required. In Catholic school it
was a privilege to do the teachers job
without pay. You were special if you were chosen
for this elite task.
would roll my name after her tongue, Annnndrea,
in a operatic baritone. I would come up to the
front of the class and take the envelope.
I never told
my classmates. There was a tacit acknowledgement
among the few who suspected. No one asked for
After a few
weeks, the arrangement took a shadier turn.
for whom she tutored for extra money after school
were marked by her. Strike that. They were
altered, to achieve the desired result: not only
a passing grade, but a score that would ensure
those tutoring dollars were being well spent.
seemed as familiar as my brown loafers but as
uncomfortable as my wool uniform skirt. However,
this was not grist for the confessional. Bless
me Father for I have sinned
no amount of Hail Marys or Our Fathers to achieve
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, a neighborhood where
forgetting certain circumstances tested well on
the streets. And as I mentioned I was a
melted as quickly as Jahns ice cream parlors
banana split paid for by Mrs. Russo.
Return To This Writer's
Story List And Biography<|>Read A Random Story
From The Writers' Showcase