The graduation ceremony took place one week later. Monica was valedictorian.
“We’ve all worked hard to
graduate high school,” Monica said. “Some of us have worked harder than others.
“I know that some of you had trouble fitting it. Some of you were even picked on. So, I can only imagine how happy you must be to finally be out of high school.
“For some of us, these were the best years of our lives. We made friends. We went to prom together and we went to parties together.
“Despite what your high school experience was like, we are a massive family. Just like a family, we don’t always get along. Sometimes, we pick on each other like siblings. However, we’re there for each other in times of need. The fact that we see each other in this building for six hours a day, it’s like we live here; it’s like we live in a mansion… or a prison.”
The crowd chuckled.
“Now, we go our separate ways,” Monica said. “We all have plans for our futures. Despite our plans, we don’t know what our futures will be like. Life may not take us where we expect it to. Instead, it will take us to somewhere better. Thank you class of 1993.”
The crowd cheered.
After Martha’s speech, the class of 1993 received their diplomas. After the ceremony, the class said their tearful goodbyes.
Larry and Martha continued their relationship after they graduated. However, things didn’t go so smoothly.
“I’m not doing drugs,” Martha said.
“You’re still smoking weed,” Larry said.
“Weed is not a drug!”
“And yet, you keep harassing people for weed money.”
“So? I pay people back.”
“Really? I gave you a loan of $20.00 last week, and then you asked me for a loan of $10.00 without paying me back.”
Martha pulled her wallet out of her purse and she threw money Larry’s father’s coffee table.
“That’s $30.00 for you,” Martha said. “Are you happy now? Is that all you care about, is money?”
“Is that all you care about, is weed?” Larry asked.
Martha stormed out of the house in a fit of rage.
Larry sat on the couch, watching TV, trying to get his mind off of Martha. Larry kept asking himself, how could he possibly be with a drug addict? But there was something about Martha to Larry. It was like fate wanted them to be together.
Larry’s father, Frank came home and he gave his son a dirty look.
“Vacuum the carpet!” Frank yelled.
“Okay,” Larry said. “Chill out!”
“Don’t you tell me to chill out! I work all day, and the house is the fucking mess. That’s because you don’t do enough around here.”
“If you don’t like how I do things, then do it yourself.”
“Talk to me like that again. It’s a good thing that you found a woman, because you can’t cook, you can’t clean, and you can’t do laundry. But can a drug addict do that stuff?”-
Frank’s personal attack toward Martha pissed Larry off so much, that he punched his father in the face.
“Get the fuck out!” Frank screamed.
“Don’t worry,” Larry said. “I will. It’s no wonder why Mom left.”
Larry ran out of the house and he went to Martha’s house, but nobody was home. I then went to Emily’s apartment, but nobody was home either. As soon as Larry left the apartment building he saw Monica and Emily walking to the building.
“Larry, I tried to call you, but I didn’t know your number,” Monica said. “Martha’s in the hospital. ”
“Martha had a seizure because of all of those drugs she put in her body. She’s going to be okay.”
“I gotta go see her.”
“Visiting hours are over.”
“I normally wouldn’t ask this, but can I stay for the night” Larry asked. “I got into a fight with my father.”
Soon after Larry went inside, he explained to Monica and Emily everything from the fight Larry and Martha had to punching his father in the face.
“So, my parents are fucked up in the head and so is your father,” Monica said. “I hope we don’t end up like them when we’re their age.”
“That will never happen,” I said.
The next day, Larry visited Martha at the hospital.
“How are you feeling?” Larry asked.
“A little better,” Martha asked.
There was a brief silence between us.
“Being in the hospital really woke me up,” Martha said.
“Does that mean you’re gonna get off the drugs?” Larry asked.
“Yes. I’ll go to rehab as soon as possible.”
“By the way, I got you something.”
I gave Martha a photo album. Most of the pictures were of Larry and Martha.
“I love it,” Martha said.
“Happy birthday,” I said.
Eventually, Martha and Larry moved into an apartment together and Martha was pregnant.
During that time, Martha worked part-time while Larry worked 60 hours a week. In 1995, Martha gave birth to their son, whom she and Larry named Steve.