She Owed Her One, Part 1

(by Kalithanatos, 20 December 2009)

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She Owed Her One
by Kalithanatos


Julianna Posey was in a fluster. She wasn't quite sure how she had gotten
into this mess, and now she had no clear way out. As part of her course work
at high school, she was required to submit an essay for English that she had
spent weeks mulling over. With only one hour to go before the submission
deadline, she realised with a sinking feeling that she had forgotten to lift
it from home that morning. She had also failed to back it up where she could
get a hold of it before the deadline. Near hysterical, Julianna used her
mobile phone to call her best friend, Debbie Martin.

"Debbie, it's me," she said, on the verge of tears. "Can you meet me in the
3rd floor toilet? I'm in a bit of a mess and don't know what to do!"

"Sure, no problem, I'll be there in five. Is everything okay?" Debbie asked.

"Not really, I'll tell you about it. Hurry!" Julianna responded.

Three minutes later the two girls met in the toilet and Julianna explained
her predicament. After hearing the tale of woe, she asked if there was any
way at all that Julianna could get the essay in on time - had she phoned home
to see if anyone could drive it over, had she checked her email or memory
sticks to see if there was a backup, or would the teacher extend the
deadline? In all cases, the answer was "no".

"The annoying thing is, I spent ages giving it a fine polish when in truth I
could have handed it in a week ago and I would still have got at least a B+.
I was just pushing for the A and look where it's got me. If I don't hand it
in, this whole year has been a waste of time. I need a good English grade to
get into university," Julianna explained.

Debbie thought about this for a moment and, after seeing the terror on her
friend's face, made a decision.

"Jules," she started, calling Julianna by her nickname, "how much difference
would it make to your final grade if you got a C+ for this essay?" Julianna
took a moment off from snivelling, puzzled by the question.

"I would probably still be able to scrape an A if I did really well on my
final exams. Why?"

"I have a proposition for you, but it goes against your good nature, so
you'll have to think very carefully about it. What if you took my essay and
handed it in as your own? I'm going to fail the class anyway, so I don't much
care. Music is my thing, and English isn't a key requirement to get into a
music course at university."

Julianna now had a dilemma. Debbie was absolutely correct; Julianna had never
in her life done anything that could be considered `bad' or `wrong'. She was
a great student who would get into a great university and have a great
career, and she never jeopardised this with trivial distractions (in her
mind) like sex, drugs, parties, smoking or any of that other `wild' stuff.
She had certainly never cheated in an exam, and now here she was, considering
the possibility of doing something that could see her blow her whole future
if she were to be caught. However, if she didn't take the chance, she might
well blow her future anyway; she had been banking on university since she was
thirteen years old, and now it was only months away and she might not get in.
Weighing up the two risks, she made a decision.

"Okay, I'll do it. I don't really have a choice, do I?"

"Not really," Debbie said. "Here's my memory stick. You have about 45 minutes
to find a computer and give it the old `Julianna magic'. You better run!"

Nodding in agreement, Julianna grabbed the memory stick and made for the
door, desperate to get to the computing lab quickly and touch up Debbie's
substandard work. Before she left the bathroom, though, she heard Debbie call
her name and turned to look at her friend.

"Remember, Jules, that's one you owe me. Anytime, anywhere I need a favour,
you have to be there for me. Agreed?"

Debbie nodded her head. "Agreed. Anything. Thanks for this!"

Julianna bolted off.

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