God! This was long and he was bored. Well he never likes sitting too long, or standing too long if there was nothing for him to do. So many other things he could be doing..like..like... But he couldn't think of any. And those five rum-n-cokes weren't helping either. At last...the line up for the diplomas. He kept it together pretty well, till he saw the celebrity guest speaker. John Houseman was a special favorite for his work in The Paper Chase, both movie and TV series. "Tdhey come in hrere wid a SKULL full of MOOSH..and go out thienking like a Law-yer..hehe..ha.." He stumbled, gave Mr Houseman a wink, then collected his cum laude diploma in Ancient and Medieval History and Literature. As useless as a used tissue now, he thought....
No one was here to see him graduate..that was part of the problem. Everyone else had family and friends to share the moment, but no not him. Nobody gave a damn. Dad was dead, Mom was drunk or stoned, and the kind people who had raised him had put him out the summer he turned 18 with a slap on the back and a "good luck there, kid!" Oo...he had tried to fit in places..any place really but it never worked out. He got disgusted with the worst and self-sabotaged the best. It was his way, after all.
At the core of it all was her. No, it wasn't her fault, even he at his worst knew that. It was the fact that she had been taken from him and he could do nothing..nothing! What a fool of a protector he had been. He couldn't save her even though he had...had... Aah, he could not think about it, it was a black hole on his soul that could never be repaired. He had tried to find her. Even braving the two hour drive to Bethlehem as soon as he got his licence. But the less said about that the better. Gone to California was all he had learned. California! Might as well be Timbuktu or Outer Mongolia. He could never find her now, and even if he could, he was no longer the person she had known. He was a lonely, angry young man with no prospects and no friends. Nobody would want him; nobody would need him. He was beyond the pale of salvation this time.
When it was all over he tore off the gown and left it in the trash. In the lot, after a great struggle he found his car. Wait! Someone...no, two people were following him. What did they want! leave me alone dammit! But the words somehow didn't come. he unlocked the door, but he still felt their eyes right on him. All right...fine then! he turned to let them have it, both barrels of his ten years of pent up frustration and inadequacy. But what he saw amazed him beyond his dreams! A slender blonde woman stared at him with the bluest of eyes, reading and judging his very soul it seemed. And she did not turn away! The girl, about nine or ten he supposed tossed her brown hair and blinked her happy brown eyes as she pulled away and did a little dance in the lot. He could not speak..what could he say? The woman smiled and said at last. "Hello Sammy, ...this is our daughter."