“The Paperback Edition”
I was entering my junior year of high school and I had started to think ahead to college. There were meetings with counselors and applications and forms to fill out.
I had always dreamed of becoming an elementary school teacher.
Bobby, who was actually very smart, was causing his teachers a lot of worry. They knew there was a good chance he would not graduate unless he buckled down and hit some good grades this…his senior year.
He was well liked by his teachers and they were all too willing to bend the rules a little for him. It wouldn’t have been the first time.
“Bobby, you have such potential, you shouldn’t waste it,” they would tell him. They had even talked to me…knowing and understanding the strong bond we shared.
But Bobby hated the word ‘potential’. He had heard it too often from his father who had wanted him to start working in the family hardware store immediately after graduation from high school.
For most young boys at that time, that would have been an easy, golden career path…but not for Bobby.
Bobby wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after high school.
“I just want a choice, Sammy.” he had told me so many times. “I just need a little time to think and decide what I want to do with my life.”
But…Bobby needed to graduate from high school…to not do so would reflect badly on the Flanagan name. And his proud father, Jack, was having none of that.
Jack’s plan for Bobby’s future had been decided years ago…his charming son was not going to change it.
And yet… Bobby did just that.