I Can’t Read is the twelfth chapter of The Gift of a Best Friend. It was first published on July 1, 2016.
I am at school, and the teacher was teaching me and the other kids how to read and write and spell.
She wrote something on the board behind her: lohel. yM, anem si rMs. ngihtK.
That made no sense to me.
“What did she write on the board?” I asked Jasmine, who was sitting next to me.
“You can’t read it?” she asked back.
I shook my head. “No. What does it say?”
“It says, ‘Hello. My name is Mrs. Knight.”
“It doesn’t say that.”
“What does it say to you?”
I told her, but she looked confused.
“I don’t think either of those words are words, Annabeth,” Jasmine said.
“I know,” I replied. “But how come they look different to me and not to you?”
“I don’t know. Can you read this?”
She grabbed a piece of paper and wrote a couple words on it: maisJen yStdraura.
I said it out loud, but Jasmine looked more confused.
“Spell it,” she said.
“That’s not at all how it’s spelt or said.”
“What did you write?” I asked.
“My name, ‘Jasmine Saturday.’ Try to write your name.”
I grabbed the paper and wrote my name: Annabeth Chase.
“Can you read it?” Jasmine asked.
I nodded. “Yes.”
“Jasmine, Annabeth, is everything alright back there?” Mrs. Knight asked.
“No,” Jasmine replied. “Annabeth can’t read.”
Mrs. Knight looked concerned and came over and kneeled next to us. “What’s the matter, Annabeth?”
“I can’t read what’s on the board,” I replied.
“You can’t? You didn’t seem to have any problems reading it before.”
“I know, but now I can’t.”
I explained to her what the words looked like to me and how Jasmine had to read it to me.
“Hmm,” Mrs. Knight said when I was done. “I’m going to go call your parents and tell them about this, ok?”
I sighed. “Ok.”
Her calling my dad and stepmom was the last thing I wanted her to do, but I guess I had no choice.
“Will Annabeth be ok?” Jasmine asked.
“She’ll be fine,” Mrs. Knight assured her. “But I think that she will have to go to the eye doctor.”
Well, she was right.
My dad came to school, picked me up, and took me to the eye doctor. Jasmine wanted to come with me, but I told her to stay and meet me after school. She didn’t want to do that, but she did.
After going to the eye doctor, my dad and I went home and Jasmine was waiting for me.
“Are you ok?” she asked.
“I have dyslexia,” I replied.
“It means that I can’t read. At least, not as easily as you can.”
“My brain mixes words around so that I can’t read or spell any words easily.”
I shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“So you can never read again?”
“That’s not true, Annabeth,” Dad said. “You can still read and write, you just have to learn how to do so with dyslexia.”
“How?” I asked.
“By reading and writing as much as you can. It’ll take a long time for you, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually. Ok?”
“Annabeth has to read a lot to beat her dyslexia?” Jasmine asked.
Dad nodded. “Yes.”
Jasmine looked like she had an idea. “Come with me.”
“To where?” I asked.
“To my house. Come on.”
She grabbed my hand and pulled me all the way to her house.
After we got there, Jasmine ran to her room and I followed.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
She grabbed a few of her books from her shelves and came to me. “I want to help you fix your dyslexia.”
“Jasmine,” I said. “Thank you, but—”
I hate it when she does that. She always looks like she was about to cry.
I sighed. “Fine.”
“Yay,” Jasmine cheered.
We got on her bed and started reading her books one at a time.
I really hated not being to read anymore. I tried to read each word, but I couldn’t. I’d get so mad that I would throw the stupid book on the floor. But Jasmine would be so patient with me that she would just pick up the book and help me read each word at a time.
It took days, but I was eventually able to read her books on my own without her helping me.
She clapped cheerfully. “Yay! You fixed your dyslexia!”
“Not exactly, Jasmine,” I said. “My brain still mixes the words around.”
“Yeah, but you can read again, right?”
“Then you fixed your dyslexia.”
I smiled. “With your help I did. But do you have any other books we can read?”
She shook her head. “No. But I think Mommy does. Mommy!”
She ran out of the room, and I followed her.
“Shh, Jasmine,” she said when she ran into her in the hallway. “Your brother’s sleeping.”
“Oh, sorry,” she whispered. “Mommy, do you have any books that Annabeth and I can read?”
“That you can read? No. What about your books?”
“We’ve read them a million times. They’re boring. I want new books.”
“Well, you can get a lot of new ones at the library.”
“The library. You can get and read a lot of books there.”
“Can we go? Please, Mommy.”
Sarah tried to look away from her when she said that, but couldn’t.
Jasmine’s begging is irresistible.
Sarah sighed. “Fine. We can go.”
Ok, the library is now my second favorite place to go.
My first favorite is Jasmine’s house.
There really were a lot of books in the library.
We went into the kids section and grabbed a lot of them, then Jasmine and I sat in a chair together and read them to each other.
We also got our own library cards, took some books home with us, read them, brought them back, and got new ones to read.
We practically did that every day. It was hard to tell which of us loved reading more: me or Jasmine.
I don’t know if I’ll ever say this out loud, but I’m really glad that Jasmine is my friend. My best friend.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. And happy birthday to Jason!
I wanted to let you all know that, for the time being, instead of updating this story twice a week I'm only going to do it once. I just adopted a slightly busy wiki that needs a lot of updating, so I'm going to focus on that for a while and just update this story once a week. I've been trying to write another chapter of this story, which I've been stuck on for quite a few weeks now, and not because I don't know what to write (sort of) but because I'm not that motivated and I've been distracted, more distraction than motivation. But I'll try to finish this as fast as I can and start focusing on that.
Please review here.
- Annabeth learns she is dyslexic.
- Jasmine teaches Annabeth how to read again.