For T. Lynn Adams:
He had it coming to him and he knew it. Most of all, he knew he deserved it.
Sure, some teachers would say it was about time, that he had it coming to him for a very long time. Friends who knew him would try to downplay everything by saying it was all an accident, a chain of coincidences. The principal and his parents had both told him many times, ‘you will get exactly what you earn.’ Even his girlfriend had her own opinion of the whole thing…but he really didn’t want to dwell.
Right now, he had people to face--a lot of them. They were all looking at him waiting to hear what he had to say, waiting for him to come up with some reasonable pronouncement that would allay their doubts in him, soothe their fears, and give them some hope for the future.
Taking a deep breath, he then let a long cleansing exhale erase all his nerves. Earned or accident, long-time coming or surprise fluke—as his high school’s Valedictorian, he had a graduation speech to give and people were waiting.
A Narrative To Remember
By Joseph Ramirez
“If only you and I were in love,” whispers my date, as she adjusts my tie.
I take in the vast ballroom, the elegant swirl of dancers in tuxedos and evening gowns, the live jazz music, the fragrance of her perfume.
“In love,” I muse, “and upset.”
Her eyebrow raises. “Intriguing.”
We enter the dance floor, her dark dress shimmering with movement.
She continues. “In love and upset... mmm-hmmmmmm... that would introduce dramatic tension. We could argue, while we dance...”
“Yes,” I say. “Brilliant! But to avoid conformity, the livid lovers danced the foxtrot while everyone else did a slow swing!”
“Splendid,” she says. We switch to foxtrot with a twirl.
I continue. “As they argued, their fervent anger – fueled by their emotional stakes in this already intense relationship – only burned brighter... dangerously brighter... perhaps even brighter than the flame of their love!”
She places a hand on my chest. “A great wedge grew between them with every step, neither willing to acquiesce!”
We cease dancing. I speak. “Their argument stopped, but didn't end, as the words he didn't mean to say spilled forth from his impassioned lips.”
She pulls away from me. “Dramatic silence ensued while she stood, haughty head held high, too proud to consider the pleading apology already in his eyes.”
I grin. “This is great.”
“It gets better.” She stops a server laden with a tray of full wineglasses.
“Of course,” I say. “Classic. With a splosh of wine to the face, she left him spluttering and without a shred of dignity... as she walked away without a second glance!”
“He had it coming to him,” I say.
She poises her arm for sploshing, but hesitates. “Hmm. Too easy.”
She returns the wineglass to the server, who gives us both a funny look and continues on his way.
We both search our minds for something, anything.
“Got it!” she says. She raises a trembling hand as though to backhand me. “She shook a little...”
I narrate. “And he said 'smite me, if you must... but I am alREADY smitten with you, which pains me more than your blow ever could!'”
“Oooh, good,” she says.
“Yes, I know.”
Her hand falls to her side. “And she said, 'This hand... could never harm you.'”
“Poetic,” I say.
“Appallingly so.” Then, she slaps me with her other hand. “'But this one could!' She cried. 'For the typing induced carpel tunnel in it is far less advanced!' ”
I smile, rubbing my jaw.
She sniffs. “Blighter.”
“No,” I say. “Writer.”
She gasps. “You too? I knew it!”
We pull close.
“You're incredible!” I breathe, “What a twist on cliché! Introducing a health problem... thus thickening the plot!”
“And your dialogue...” she murmurs, stroking my arm. “Scintillating. We must co-write.”
“Indeed. We must.”