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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2310992
Bard's Hall Contest - A Gift That Means Something To You

Bard's Hall Contest Prompt: A Cherished Gift
Describe a cherished gift you've received that always makes you think about the person who gave it to you.
"According to Greek mythology, humans were created with four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives searching for their other halves."

Plato - Symposium

         On December 24, 1986, I received the greatest gift I could have hoped to receive.
          At the time, I was twenty-three years old and on the verge of being a college dropout and alcoholic. When I looked at myself, I saw a person who didn't see a future. Nothing. I knew I would work in a dead-end factory job cleaning toilets, live alone, and drink every night. I knew this because my dad told me I would.
          I attempted to go to college; however, it was for the wrong reasons. In 1983, I went to get away from my home environment. I started drinking alcohol. I chugged alcohol to the point that after several drinking contests, I was the fastest chugger on campus. During this, classes went by the wayside, and I rarely attended. I wasn't worried, however. I had a foolproof plan.
          I attended classes enough to get the course's gist and read the textbooks according to the syllabus. In reality, I used the books to keep the windows open. Whenever there was a test, I would cram the day before and manage to get a passing grade.
          In hopes of feeling better about myself, I became active around campus. It started with me being a Wine & Dine representative. This entailed learning the proper etiquette of dining: using the correct utensils, knowing what wines go with certain foods, manners at the table, and the art of making small talk. The best part of this experience was all the free wine I could drink.
          After two years, I decided to run for the Residence Hall President. I shmoozed, coddled, and spoke to all who would listen. After four weeks, the election was held, and I easily won. After winning, a party/ceremony was held in my honor. A formal invitation was sent to my parents. No one in my family attended. After the ceremony, I got drunk.
          One of my responsibilities was to write incoming students a letter encouraging them to take advantage of their time at college: study hard, make new friends, participate in activities, and always remember you can always ask for assistance. I sent a standard letter to every new student struggling with adjusting to campus life and spoke with their Residence Hall Coordinator. I tried to answer every question I may have previously had in the newsletter I created for the incoming students.
          After I sent the letter, I forgot all about the individuals and resumed my partying and drinking habits. For all I knew, I could have bumped into one of them while grabbing two pitchers at the bars the same night.
          In February 1986, I received a call from a sophomore girl I'd never met before going out with a few Residence Hall Coordinator friends. I told my roommate I didn't want to talk to her and left it at that.
          The following night, she called again, and I discovered she was the sophomore girl I had sent the last Incoming letter to. She was calling to thank me for the letter. I felt terrible that I hadn't spoken with her before, so I took the call, thinking it would be a quick ten-minute conversation.
          Our first telephone conversation was well over six hours.
          For my part of the conversation, I felt like I had known her my whole life and wanted to know more. We share everything possible about our childhoods, schools, hobbies, parents, relationships, dreams, personalities, everything, and even things that don't have labels. What stopped the conversation was that she had to go to classes. I promised I would call her the following evening. I did.
          This conversation was longer and more in-depth. She talked about her past boyfriends, hook-ups, and mistakes. I told her I was still a virgin by choice. I kidded with her by saying I made Frankenstein look handsome. She stated that she had seen pictures of me in the college library and that I was handsome. I told her I paid to have them all altered. She had a beautiful laugh.
          When our first face-to-face meeting finally came, I was petrified. My whole childhood, teen years, and up until age twenty-two, my self-esteem was based on my father's very abusive nature toward me and my weight through his treatment of me and name-calling. I knew I would repulse her when she finally saw me.
          When we met, it was on the ground floor of her dorm, by the elevators. When she came out, my stomach lurched because she was lovely, and I knew she would get back in and leave. Instead, she came right up to me and hugged me. I was floored. I was speechless. If I weren't trying to impress her, I would've cried.
          As the semester wound down, our relationship grew stronger. We began thinking about summer and the following school year. We decided we would both work summer jobs in our home towns respectively and play it semester by semester.
          During the summer, she worked in the northeastern part of the state, and I worked in the central portion, and every other weekend, I came up to visit her. We both saved for the following semester for the costs of books, fees, and supplies. There was a significant setback for you when your mom took your savings without your knowledge and spent it on herself.
          The Fall semester of 1986 went fast. Our relationship was increasing at an incredible rate. Unfortunately, classes went by the wayside for both of us; however, at that moment in time, we didn't care. I can remember we were up at your Grandparents when we got engaged.
          Time blurs ahead to three days before Christmas. You had a terrible fight with your mom on the phone; the receiver is slammed down, and you turn to me, "Let's get married now."
          In St. Mary's Catholic Church on Christmas Eve, with Father Schmidt presiding, time is slowed for this sacred event. Just my immediate family is present. My mom is next to my bride; my younger brothers are next to me.
          As I look into my bride's heavenly face, I can't believe I have done anything so wonderous, great, and Holy to deserve this vision. I remember she chose me to be her better half. She found me as I found her.

1107 Words


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