Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bittersweet Interruptions - Prologue

Twenty years ago
“Young man, it’s your turn now. Again, the word is destiny,” said the female mediator to the nine-year-old boy standing on the wooden stage at the regional spelling bee. The best student spellers in thirteen consecutive counties were competing against each other today. Besides the multitude of Florida participants, there were students present from as far away as Dapper City, Georgia.

The well-dressed, mahogany-skinned young boy took a deep breath and began. “D-E-S-T-I-N-Y, destiny.” He smiled with satisfaction, knowing that he’d gotten the word right.

The caramel-skinned young girl beside him felt her shoulders sag. I forgot the ‘I’, she mused sadly, remembering how only seconds earlier she’d been asked to spell the exact same word. Except she’d spelled it D-E-S-T-O-N-Y, the way she thought it sounded to her.

“You’re right, young man!” the mediator confirmed above the joyous cheers resonating from the audience. Then the young girl was politely escorted off the stage by a kind-faced adult as the young boy’s parents were called forward for the presentation of the winner’s award.

As the young boy was given the enormous shining trophy among flashing camera lights, he turned around and looked into the sad face of his former opponent. The look in the girl’s chestnut eyes pained him and took away a huge chunk of the joy of winning. Although this pain was a lot different from the broken leg he’d suffered last summer, it was no less intense. Furthermore, even though the mahogany-skinned lad loved being the victor, a part of him hated that the chestnut-eyed girl had lost.

The young girl hated that she’d lost, too. Especially since she’d correctly spelled bigger words than that before. Then as her parents consoled her backstage, the caramel-skinned lass vowed to never forget the correct spelling of that fateful word again. D-E-S-T-I-N-Y.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

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