I was in the eighth grade in Tehran. My cousin told me and my older sister that she had arranged for the three of us to participate in a game show on TV. The participants on the game show had to compete in math, history, and geography subjects. We showed up to the studio on schedule. It was so exciting for me. My sister and my cousin were eliminated in the earlier stages of the game and I managed to do well in six of the seven stages of the game. The person who passed the seventh stage would win a big prize. Just as I passed the sixth stage, time ran out and they "wrapped up" the show, promising the audience that they will come back next week. In reality, though, the next segment was taped right there and then. I couldn't answer the last question and I was eliminated. They gave us some nice consolation prizes and we went home. A few days later the first part of the game show was aired on television. I was quietly praying that no one I knew would watch that silly show. As I got on the bus to go home the day after the show aired, I noticed all the other neighborhood kids who were riding the same bus had seen the show and had recognized me in it. I was a celebrity! But wait a minute, I had lost the first prize, only these guys didn't know it yet! They would find out about it next week. As each of them tried to come and talk to me on the bus, especially the boys, I was feeling so awful, knowing that I wasn't the super smart girl they thought I was! If only they knew how I would mess up the final stage, they wouldn't be so excited to be talking to me! I was so sad. One of our neighborhood boys, Faramarz, was such a meanie. He always teased me even when I hadn't become a local celebrity and there was yet no proof of my stupidity in the shape of my upcoming loss on the program. He would surely tease me mercilessly now. I was sick with worry. Next week's program aired and my humiliation was put up on TV for all to see. The next day I didn't want to show my face in the neighborhood. Alas I had to go to school, so I braved it. When I got on the bus that afternoon, there was a hush on the bus. I found a seat and sat down quickly. I could feel all those disappointed eyes on myself. The bus ride felt like it would never end. I got off at my station, and all the neighborhood kids did, too. I started walking quickly towards my house. Soon I felt someone walking fast first behind me and then next to me. It was that horrible, dreaded Faramarz. I braced myself to hear his venom and to give it right back to him. He said: "So, you lost! (bakhti?)" I bristled and turned to look at him, getting ready to tell him off. He said "You know, I wouldn't have made it to the sixth level. You did good. That last question was really hard, there was no way I knew the answer." I looked up into his eyes which looked at me with a sincerety I had never seen there before. I said "I wished I hadn't messed up. I wished I had won." He said "I'm glad you didn't win. Just getting all the way up there showed me a side of you I had never known before. I don't know if I could handle you if you were that smart!" We laughed together. A big weight was lifted off my shoulders. I have loved being an average person ever since.