Glance of a Lifetime
by Frank Powers
Once upon a time, there lived an average family. The patriarch, Joe, had an average job making average money with an average company. The matriarch, Sue, had her own average job also making average money with an average company. Their house was nothing special, as you may have guessed, it was quite average, too. They hosted neighborhood bar-be-ques on the weekends and went to church every Sunday. An average dog and 2 children rounded out their average life.
Sally was like every other girl in the neighborhood. She enjoyed dolls and ponies and annoying her older brother, Joseph Smith, Jr. or Jay to his friends. Jay never really minded his average life. In fact, he’d been quite content as long as he could remember.
One day at his average high school, Jay read about a wealthy man who lived in a giant house and was driven around in giant cars. The man had an important job doing important things for important people. He was so important that someone else had written all about how important he was.
Jay thought a lot about the man and how exciting his life seemed. And it was in those thoughts, dear reader, that Jay decided he no longer wanted to be average. He didn’t even want to be important. He wanted to be extraordinary.
Over the next few years, Jay really applied himself to his schoolwork. He skipped the average gatherings in his parent’s average backyard and studied as hard as he could. He stopped hanging out with his average friends and joined extracurricular activities that would look good on college applications. When the time came, Jay applied to and was accepted to the best schools in the land. He picked the best of the best and entered college that fall far from his average family.
Jay graduated at the top of his class and quickly joined a firm in the field of his study. Over the next decade, Jay rose through the company to become the youngest president in it’s 100 year history, an extraordinary accomplishment by any standard. He made extraordinary money and lived in an extraordinary home where he hosted extraordinary parties on the weekends.
Jay died of an average heart attack on his 35th birthday. There was an extraordinary service attended by extraordinary people to honor his extraordinary life. By the end of the next week, a new president has been named to replace Jay. By the end of the next month, someone had bought Jay’s home. By the end of the next year, no one spoke Jay’s name.
No one except for two average parents and an average sister whose hearts were broken in ways the most extraordinary words could not describe.
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.