What If?

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The sherbert punch is a tropical earthquake as Christopher Jay scoops out as much melted ice cream as possible into his small plastic cup. As he spills staining juice down his shirt, he takes a look around at the already worn out adults he once knew so well. Time had came to a stop in his struggling life and he was in the midst of a living flashback. Though everything around them had changed, nothing had changed at all. Different clothes, music, and looks, but the same people. It was like a Homecoming dance where you step out of the boring school world into a place where everyone was looking their best, and you got to show off your date. The real world struggles would be set aside for a night, at this time he will not be hassled with the constant problem of being broke and living with his mother.

Now ten years later, “Jay” as they called him, showed up without anyone by his side. He had lost communication with most of his friends and now the class clown stood all alone with his stained Goodwill Dockers and an empty wallet while smuggling some mini corndogs for the next days lunch. A familiar face approached him with a hug and a grimace, as she had caught the aroma of cheap aftershave mixed with a recent cigarette. It was Kara Simmons, the one girl he dreamed about so many nights in the days of his youth. As Jay’s heart dropped, his former best friend, Glenn, walked right behind her with a smile on his face. Glenn, tall and handsome, wore an Armani suit and a gold Rolex on his left wrist, suddenly, Jay realized the connection. He was then reassured when he saw the ring, a giant rock placed on the thirds finger from her thumb on her left hand. What if? He quickly brushed the thought aside, for another regretful night as he lay in his bed, he was happy one of them made a good future for themselves. Growing up Glenn understood the importance of education. When their mothers called them in for their school work, Glenn would not protest against his mother, silently climbing down the old Oak tree. As they became older, Glenn was the one always missing parties to study for the Monday test. Jay was welcomed back to reality with an awkward goodbye from his old friends. Footsteps tapping, the couple hurried home to their sleeping children.

Jay followed the footsteps out the door and took a left down the dusty hallway he often dreaded. He let his thoughts wander back to the days when the classroom was a place for sleeping, and when tests were made for his drawings. What if school was taken seriously and he could see where he was going in life. The waking up at 6 a.m. every morning was miserable and going to school was not his ideal place to be for seven hours. His mother always pushed him to be the best he could be. What if he could turn back time and have another chance. What if he put forth the effort his teachers knew he was capable of? What if he could change it all, he will always wonder. Right now it is too late and he will walk home, pick up the paper and try to start all over again, in the job listings.





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