Something Really Mean

By Linda Porter Carlyle

Trevor Paul Monroe stared out the living room window. Brad and Ben, his twin big brothers, were shooting hoops in the driveway with two of their neighborhood friends. Trevor could hear the guys shouting encouragement to each other. He could hear the thump, thump, thump of the basketball bouncing. He watched as Ben stole the ball from Joshua and dunked it. Brad gave Ben a high-five.

“Hey! What are you doing just standing here inside the house on such a beautiful afternoon?” Mom asked, coming into the living room.

Trevor shrugged.

Mom crossed the room and stood beside him, looking out the window too. “Is there a problem?” she asked.

“No,” Trevor mumbled. He rubbed the toe of his sneaker into the carpet.

“OK,” Mom said cheerfully. “Then I’ll go start making supper. We’re having your favorite tonight—sloppy joes.”

Trevor stared out the window some more. He had told Mom there was no problem. But there really was. He was tired of being the little brother. He was tired of not getting to do stuff that Brad and Ben got to do. He was quite angry about it in fact.

Trevor had just found out this morning that Brad and Ben would be going to a special basketball camp every day after school for the next two weeks. But he couldn’t go. He wasn’t old enough.

Trevor scuffed down the hall to his bedroom and flopped on his bed. It wasn’t fair. He was just as good a basketball player as his brothers! Well, maybe not quite as good. But he liked the game just as much as they did. Brad and Ben always got to do more things than he did only because they had been born first. It wasn’t fair!

The more Trevor thought about the unfairness of it all, the madder he got. His hands clenched into fists. He wanted to do something mean!

Trevor stood up. He poked his head out into the hall. He could hear Mom moving around in the kitchen. He could hear shouts from the guys outside. There was no one to see him sneak into his brothers’ room.

Trevor opened Brad’s and Ben’s bedroom door. He tiptoed in and stood still. Everything in Ben’s half of the room was really neat. It always was. His bedspread was smooth. The books in his bookcase stood tall and straight. His model car collection was lined up perfectly on the top of his dresser.

Everything in Brad’s half of the room was not neat. It never was. His bed was rumpled. Books were scattered on the rug beside the bed. Even the motorcycle poster on the wall above the bed was crooked.

Trevor looked around. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do. But it was going to be something mean. And it would surely make him feel better. His eyes lighted on the schoolbooks on the desks. Paper and a pencil stuck out of Brad’s math book. Ben’s paper was under his math book.

Trevor walked over to the desks. He pulled Brad’s paper out of the book. A whole page filled with numbers. It must have taken Brad a long time to do all those problems. Trevor slowly ripped the paper in two. Then he ripped the two pieces again and again. He sprinkled all the little pieces into the wastebasket.

Trevor picked up Ben’s math paper. All those neat numbers all over the page. All that hard work. Too bad. Trevor ripped Ben’s paper in two also. Then he ripped some more. Again and again. He dropped the pieces of Ben’s paper into the wastebasket too.

Trevor rubbed his hands together. He would feel better now! He carefully closed the bedroom door and wandered back down the hall.

Soon Dad drove into the driveway. That ended the basketball game. It was time for supper. Brad and Ben bounded into the kitchen.

“No!” Mom warned with a laugh in her voice. “There will be no dribbling in the house! Put that ball down!”

Brad and Ben jostled each other down the hall to wash up.

After Dad thanked the Lord for providing the food they were about to eat, Brad and Ben burst into excited conversation. The upcoming basketball camp was all that they could talk about. Trevor sat silently stuffing bites of his Sloppy Joe into his mouth. Just wait until they start looking for their homework, he thought. Then they’ll have something else to talk about!

Continued next week


What do you think is going to happen when Ben and Brad discover their math papers? Do you think doing something that mean will help how Trevor feels or make it worse? Who was jealous of whom in this week’s Sabbath School lesson? Why? Next week you’ll find out how Trevor’s dad suggests that Trevor take care of his jealous feelings. This week, try to figure out what Trevor’s dad is going to say. And remember that it is always right to take your angry feelings to Jesus.—Love, Mrs. Sox

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