Chapter 3: Silence

There is an exception to every rule. Confucius once said, “silence is a true friend who never betrays.” What he didn’t tell you, however, is that silence can betray you depending on the situation. If you don’t believe that, recall any time in your life when you kept silent knowing you shouldn’t have.  No worries I’ll wait, I know you can think of at least one.

Well, while you’re thinking I’ll go ahead and tell you one of mine. Have you ever known information you shouldn’t have?  Maybe you walked into a conversation and overheard something or a friend told you a secret that you know that they shouldn’t have. 

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If you read that line with this face then you understand what I’m talking about. Back in my high school days, I had a friend who always seemed to get me in trouble. Regardless if I knew or was even around I always seemed to be involved in their situation.  If one picture represented my high school life in the yearbook it would be this.

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Smile for the camera.

The story goes like this, Hemingworth never seemed to make the best decisions. Not because they were a bad person, but just didn’t seem to think before they acted, but then again I was guilty of that too. One day we had a substitute teacher and the teacher gave role call like any good substitute would. As the instructor called role row by row finally reaching Hemingworth. He responded by answering with my name. The class turned and looked at him and then me.

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What’s your name?

I knew it wasn’t a good idea, but I pretended not to hear his response or the substitute’s question and out of one of the rows someone said, “Hemmingworth.”

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Say what now?

Well, the class went as normal no consequences, we got away with it. At least that’s what we thought. In moments the bell would ring and I would proceed to my next class, he would go to his and we both would never see that substitute again.

While walking to my next class being congratulated on a smooth get away by passing students, another one of my friends informed me that our teacher for the next class was sick and we would have another substitute.  I sat in the mid-back in this particular class because it was right next to the windows. The instructor came in and proceeded to call role.  One name after another the teacher never looked up to see the faces of students, and I never looked up to see the substitute because I was distracted talking to my friend. The next name up was my name and I answered, ” Josiah.” At that moment all became silent.  The substitute in this class was the same one I saw an hour before.

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My friend’s reaction

The substitute began to question me. She said, “I thought your name was Hemmingworth.”

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*  I wonder If I still have time to run*

In the end, we didn’t get in trouble, but it could’ve been bad if it wasn’t for the substitute being lenient. The point is I could’ve saved myself the trouble if I just spoke up earlier and said that my name is Josiah. Keeping silent is a strong stance, but speaking your mind is stronger.

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