The Boy (Chapter II)

1:28 PM


     "If you keep up this level of writing, David, I can pretty much guarantee you a job at one of the top newspapers in this country."

      The entirely bald professor peered over his lowered bifocals with a hawklike stare. Having left the world of journalism after a highly prestigious career, he had slotted into a cozy, Ivy League professorship. There, he'd continued to use his powers of persuasion, only this time, it was to mold the minds of the next generation. With a reputation as a star maker, and powerful contacts throughout the editing world, a recommendation from Christopher Hardman was well worth its weight in gold. 

      "Just remember one thing,” the aging man said as he cleaned his glasses with his shirt in a classic power move. “It’s not what someone says, or how they say it. It’s not  about context or even the truth. It’s all about what you want heard. Your voice is the only one that matters." 

      As he left the professor’s dark office, the sunlight hit David’s eyes like a dagger. The man’s morals were questionable indeed, but catching the eye of the “wrecking ball,” as he was generally known in the writing world, was no small feat. Who would have thought an article in the college paper would have caught the attention of the one man whose approval he had specifically come here to seek? 

    The world was opening before him. International correspondent, political journalist, whatever he wanted was within his grasp. At the clever age of 21, David Seymour had gotten his first big break. He'd have to tell Jessie. After all, it was her friend in the Finance Department who’d spilled the beans about the scandal that was about to make his career. 

    Glancing at his phone thoughtfully, he realized he hadn't heard from her in a couple of days. There had been absolute radio silence ever since she'd left for her parents. Though she wasn’t a clingy girl, that was strange even for her. Changing direction, he instinctively made his way towards her place. He had just enough time to drop by her dorm before the next class. 

     Though in some ways an unlikely match, David and Jessie were already an unstoppable team in the college world. Their mixture of wit, light-hearted charm, and bracing intellect, coupled with the love of a good party, had made them the undeniable power couple of their year. He was a classic over-achiever with light, slightly curly brown hair, clear blue eyes, and a charmingly cheeky smile that always seemed to get him out of trouble.  

     And although she wasn’t traditionally beautiful, there was a beguiling Ann Boleyn-like quality about Jessie. Hopefully, he was no Henry VIII, he laughed to himself inwardly as a couple of Freshmen  girls gave him flirting smiles from the campus lawn. 

    She was the only woman that really got him. He’d had his pick of girlfriends in High School, but Jessie, she was something else. She had intellect, drive, and a passion for literature that might have even matched his own. What had started out as a keg party romance, had surprisingly flourished in the cool light of day. Beyond all that, she was his best friend. Even though the likelihood of a lasting relationship with two such career-driven individuals was slim, he was determined to enjoy the ride. 

    Making his way up the stairs and to her door, he knocked swiftly then called out, 

“You in there, Jess?” 

Silence answered him. Deciding to try the door, he slowly swung it open only to hear a clunk. There, lying sprawled out and pale, was Jessie.


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