Thursday, May 26, 2011

Third Person Thursday: Gradual Graduation

“What do you think it could be?” his mother asked the room.

“I don’t know,” his sister fretted, “but he seems like he’s in a lot of pain. Maybe we should take him to the hospital.”

“He doesn’t have a fever,” his father interjected, “and he hasn’t thrown up, so let’s just wait to see how he feels in the morning.” He then leaned to one side to try and see around his daughter which new pitcher the manager had chosen.

Meanwhile, the first grader rolled about on his parents’ bed in the dim light shining in from the hallway. His little body, lying there alone, caused the queen sized mattress to look like a football field.

“Ohhhhhh,” he groaned, both hands clenched to his stomach. He stopped for a moment and looked toward the crack of light coming from the doorway. When nobody entered, he listened for footsteps. He heard none, so he increased his groaning in both volume and duration. “OOOOOHHHHHHHHH!”

“Listen to him,” his sister scolded their father in a whisper. “He’s obviously in pain. We have to do something for him.”

Her father stared past her at the eighth inning of the baseball game. This late in the year, facing a division opponent, with the pennant up for grabs, and he puts in that bum?


“He’s got a stomach ache,” he finally responded. “It was probably something he ate, or it’s the start of a bug. We’ll know more in the morning. Until then he has to get over it. He’ll fall asleep before you know it.”

“OOOOOOHHHHHHHH…OOOOOHHHHHHHH,” came the little voice form down the hall.

“That’s not normal,” the voice’s older sister protested and turned to look at her mother.

“I’ll admit, I’m starting to get worried,” his mother said. “He’s not usually like this. What if it’s something bad he’s never had before?” she wondered.

The father gave no response. The set up man was setting things up for the wrong guys and the lead his team had was now down to one run.

“We should take him to the hospital. He needs medicine,” his daughter said.

“What he needs is sleep.”

“And a doctor could give him medicine so that he can get sleep. He’s obviously not sleeping now.”

“You should be sleeping,” her father scolded her in return. “Don’t you have class tomorrow? Get your laundry and go back to your dorm or you’ll end up sleeping through it. I’m not paying your tuition so you can miss class.”

As another groan was heard, the daughter’s fiancée, who had been watching the argument silently the entire time, peeked around the corner and down the hallway. He saw his soon to be brother-in-law now rolling around on the hallway floor. Repressing a grin, he stood and quietly said, “I’ll go see if he needs anything,” and excused himself form the room.

The first grader never saw him coming and didn’t hear his footsteps through the groans he was working hard to make loud enough. At one point, he opened his eyes to see if anyone cared and nearly jumped when he saw his sister’s fiancée sitting on the tile floor of the hallway next to him.

“Anytime you have to do something new at school, it’s pretty tough,” he told the young boy. “Eventually, school becomes a lot more fun, though. College is really fun. You wanna know something?”

The first grader stared at him suspiciously. He wanted to know something, but he didn’t want to admit that he wanted to know it.

His sister’s boyfriend told him anyway, “School only gets easier if you keep going. Then you get used to it.” They stared quietly at each other again for a while in silence. “But I think my least favorite grade ever was first grade,” he continued. “First grade sucks, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah,” the boy responded sheepishly. “You don’t even get nap time.”

“I know,” his sister’s boyfriend responded knowingly. “But that’s why it’s even more important for you to stop trying to get out of it with fake tummy aches and get some sleep. How about I sit on the bed with you for a minute?”

“Ok,” the boy said and took his hand to help him off the floor. “Does it really get better if I keep going?”

“I promise. You’ll get used to it. Just don’t give up.”

With that, he tucked the young boy into his parents’ bed and talked to him about school for all of two minutes before the boy was breathing heavy, deep in sleep.

When he returned to the room with the rest of the adults, he said, “He’s asleep now. He said he was feeling better.”

“See,” the boy’s father said to his daughter, “whatever it was, he got over it.”

The above story is based loosely on true events which occurred over eleven years ago between this blog’s author and its resident graphic artist. While the latter continued to hate school for many years to come, he eventually found his stride and will soon be off to college. Transformer Generation Dad congratulates him on his graduation from high school today. Way to go, kid. I knew you could do it.

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