She doubled over as her stomach cramped again. No. No. She was late. It was graduation. She was Valedictorian. She had to be there. If she could just get across that bridge.
But it hurt…

Years of hard work, dreams, hers, her parents’, they were finally coming to fruition. Everyone was happy. She was happy. She had to be happy.

Just one blip, one moment, she should simply forget it. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe she was over reacting. One moment shouldn’t overshadow a million other.

She should keep her focus on the path, on moving one foot in front of the other. Why wouldn’t they move? It was like someone had filled her insides with lead…

As she cast her eyes upwards, her breaths became gasps, her heart thumping, like seeing a traitorous foe who had once been a lover, and she crumpled down. A used rag. A broken doll. All she could recall was that one moment, that one moment playing in loop, blanking out all other.

A party. Her short dress. Too short. So loud, the music was so loud. Everyone was drinking. She was drinking. Why did she wear a thong. Laughter. Jeers. It hurts. He was her boyfriend. They were her friends. O God, it hurts…
It hurts…

In response to Sunday Photo Fiction of September 17th, based on a photo by John Robinson

8 thoughts on “The Valedictorian

  1. Brought to mind an experience I had…went to a bosses party…and I drank to much and ended up…loosing it in his master bath toilet – because the guest one was occupied. Trying to be more than I should have…

    But your gal – she’s thinking (in my opinion) she doesn’t deserve her honor because of her one bad experience. Loosing control is never fun. But we need to learn and persist and move forward. I think she still deserves her accolades.


    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. True. Ever so often we allow one bad moment to rob us of the many good ones. I don’t know how her story ends but I’m rooting for her to get up, dust that evening off, and go forward to claim her due.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent story, but the comments confuse me.
    I assumed that things had got way out of hand at the party and her boyfriend had rather taken advantage of her.
    And that she was now suffering from that sickness that befalls mothers-to-be.


    1. When I write the story feels pretty clear to me. But every reader interprets it differently. And that in itself is so amazing. (I refuse to see it as bad writing!)
      What I had conceived was a girl who had been taken advantage of by her boyfriend and his friends and now she couldn’t bear to step into what were once safe and haloed grounds. Campus rape is unfortunately so prevalent.
      I guess the stomach cramps gave the story a myriad of interpretations.


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