“I do not wish to labour in vain!” That defiant cry shattered the silence of the afterschool halls. Two teens were looking at a haphazardly stapled page on a board labeled Drama.
“Come on Ryan, understudy ain’t that bad.”
“Ariel, be realistic, the lead is Mr. Perfect-Attendance himself, George Woods. He has yet to be absent, sick or ill.”
“Stranger things have had and could happen.” Ariel replied, grinning awkwardly.
“Ya, strange like how that elusive role slipped through my fingers. ‘Oh woe is me! for I am undone’ .” Ryan spoke while turning his face to the heavens “Oh loss be gain, I wish it were so.”
“Save it Shakespeare, Selene is coming.” Ariel whispered, whipping his brow.
“Oh great Moon, Selene, how can it be that the vile Mr. Perfect-Attendance has found favour in your sight. Whilst I your most humble servant have been left a meager share,” Ryan spoke bowing low.
“About that….It’s just that George fits the costume better.”
“I failed by cause of him fitting the costume better? What happened to artistic merit?! What about…”
“It got cut with most of this year’s budget.”
“Budget?” He raised an eyebrow. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but according to the student bulletin, this year’s budget is very much the same if not larger.”
“Well look at the time.” Selene said glaring at her naked wrist, “The VP wanted a word at just about three minutes ago. Ciao!” Selene rushed into to the nearest room slamming the door behind her.
“Selene, can’t we talk more on this?” Ryan opened the door, “it’s that I really….” No one was in the room. “Ariel, didn’t she go this way?” Ryan turned around to an empty hall. “Ariel? Alas! Have sight and sanity fled?” He looked at his watch, 17:45, “Nah. It’s just late.”
Ryan started heading out of the school. Upon exiting, his eyes narrowed at a distant figure. A rather thin teenager of average height, Ryan called out to him “Mr.… George. Fancy meeting you here.”
“What do you want Ryan…?” He sighed rolling his eyes and remaining fixed in place.
“I was just wondering if you would consider maybe possibly letting me have the lead.”
“Ha.” He laughed a cold dry laugh, “I won that part.” He spoke with a slow and condescending tone to Ryan as if he were a child “Moreover, there is little—no scratch that. There is nothing that you could possibly do or say to change my mind”.
“Really?” a whisper came from Ryan’s lips.
“You really think you have a chance at changing my mind? My family’s filthy stinkin’ rich. I could buy thousands of whatever you could offer, not that I would want whatever your measly funds could muster.” A long sleek black Rolls-Royce pulled up. “And just in case you were wondering, I don’t plan on getting sick.” He left Ryan in a cloud of dust and sorrow.
Ryan, dejected and tired, began trudging homeward.
He came to the front of his house; a warm yellow glow drifted outward drawing a smile from the once frowning lad. Scents of warm food wafted out of the open windows lifting his spirits. He hastened toward the...