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Hey, I’m Neil, and a little while ago, I was accused of stealing money in school. I was completely innocent, but nobody believed me.
I got in trouble a lot, and teachers knew that, and, well, they didn’t like me that much. They even called my parents pretty often, but my parents didn’t really care. It was also pretty hard to make friends, and a lot of other people thought I was weird, but nobody ever said anything to me face to face, because they were afraid of me. Thankfully, I had had one friend since I was a kid. His name is Matt and we've been friends since the first grade.
One day, our teacher called me into her office and told me “Okay, Neil, I know the truth. Tell me where they are.” I was like, “What are you talking about?” and she kept looking at me with this serious look. After a long and awkward silence she told me “I know you took our school trip money from the table. If you return it, you won’t be in trouble, I promise.
I didn’t know what to say. Basically, the class below us was collecting money for a trip, and apparently our teacher was keeping it on her table, and one day it disappeared. I got very angry because of the accusation and raised my voice saying, “I didn’t take the money, I never touched it!” My teacher sighed and said, “We all know that it was you, Neil. Who else could it be?” I answered, “It could be anyone, because you weren’t smart enough to not keep it out on your table!”
After this, I stormed out of the classroom. I thought that was the end of it, and this teacher wouldn’t bother me anymore, but it was far from over. That was only the beginning.
The next day, I was called into the principal’s office. I went there, and to my surprise, the principal was waiting for me along with two teachers, and one of them was the same one that accused me of stealing the money. I was very angry and started to talk with them aggressively, but they were answering in a very calm manner. Too calm.
They were saying that they know that I did it, and it was okay, because I have problems at home and need money, they tried to act “understanding,” but I kept saying that it wasn’t me, that I didn’t even touch the money, and they kept pushing it. I asked if they had any evidence besides my “reputation,” and they said that several people said they saw me take the money.
This kept going on and on, every day they would invite me in and keep asking me the same questions and I would deny everything, and basically they would make me stay longer after school and even check my backpack. But NOBODY would believe me, because everybody in school knew the rumor that I stole the money and everybody... believed it.
And to be honest, I was ready to confess. That would be easier than sitting in a small room with three adults who were taking hours of their life to prove that I was a thief and secretly hating me. They said that if I wouldn’t confess, they would have no choice but to expel me.
I went home that day, preparing to say that I had done it the next day. But thankfully, Matt was patiently waiting for me so we could walk home together.
I told him everything and he said that I shouldn’t confess, and I said that they would expel me if I didn’t. Matt laughed and said “No they won’t, they are just bluffing to make you say it. They would call the police if they had any real evidence. They just need someone to blame, and I know that you didn’t take the money.” I asked Matt what I should do then, and he said “Not YOU, what WE should do.”
So basically, he had some kind of a plan. Matt was smarter than me in that sense. He said that we should look closely at the class that was younger than us, the one that was planning the trip. One of them probably took the money and maybe we would notice something.
So we started to “spy” on them, trying to notice anything that was out of the ordinary. We thought it would be hard and time-consuming, but actually, we found the truth in one day.
One kid had a brand new Nintendo Switch. Yeah, maybe his parents bought it for him, but it was more than a coincidence that he had just gotten it and he was showing it off to everyone, surrounding himself with bunch of other guys. And, to boot, the price of it was around the same as the amount of money that was stolen.
I got very angry and was on my way straight to him. Matt stopped me and said that we should be smart about it, to make him confess.
Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com