Day 28: Winning the Last Word

I think she’s dead, now.

While that doesn’t make me happy, exactly, I can’t say that it makes me sad.

If I hadn’t been raised better, and if I didn’t harbor irrational fears of swift and merciless punishment from above, I would probably exult. Just a little.

I don’t remember what the election was for. Student Council? Class Officers? I ran for vice-president because I had a hopeless unrequited crush on the boy who was sure to win the presidency. I figured forced togetherness would make him finally fall in love with me.

He won. I lost.

My pathetic dreams of forced togetherness were crushed – and rightly so, if such dreams were the best I could muster (my 17-year-old self begs to differ, but she’s been out-voted).

I remember the triumphant tone of her voice. I remember the way she held her chin up as she sneered. I remember the grating cackle of her laughter as she flipped her long blond hair over her shoulder and said, “Well, Missy, at least 42 people like you!”

That was out of 400 or so, the entire student body.

I can’t blame social media bots for election tampering; there was no social media. My 10% approval rating was not fake news. The blond pounded the podium and gave a firebrand speech about fighting school administration; I suggested working with them. There was no contest: She was a raven, iridescent and fierce. I was a little brown wren.

“You bought her cheap,” counseled my father. The raven showed her true colors, which betrayed the glamorous gloss of her wings. It was up to me to learn from that.

My father is a wise man.

It’s not his fault if, 40 years later, this pile of anti-trophies took me right back there.

I’d never want to be 17 again. How about you?

5 thoughts on “Day 28: Winning the Last Word

  1. Colton Babcock

    Uh, no. Maybe 37?

    • 35 is what I feel like inside — and then I pass a mirror, and wonder who that strange older person could possibly be.

  2. Mary Jane

    Never ever 17! Still under the clutches of parents and The Good Sisters of Saint Joseph!

    • Sister Mary Herman terrified me the most. She’s the one who told us our guardian angels even watch us pee. To this day I look over my shoulder in the bathroom.

  3. Mary Merewether

    Never in a million years. Eighteen, maybe. Twenty-seven would be better. But, you know, I’m reasonably happy with 61!

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