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Friday, January 18, 2019

Microstory 1020: Ruth

My time is very valuable, so I hope we can keep this interview short and efficient. A little bit of background. For the record, my name is Ruth. I’m class secretary, and hope to one day become a real secretary. Not as in, assistant, but a cabinet member. That may sound like too lofty a goal for a small town girl born to a middle class family, but I know what I’m doing, and I’m right on track. I have high aspirations for my life, and I don’t need this scandal getting in the way of that. For the record, I had nothing to do with what happened by the river that day, and was not at all involved in Viola’s death. For the most part, she was a diplomatic person. She loved to be loved, and she was willing to change her entire personality to fit in with whoever she happened to be around at the time. My God, I’m so sorry. Whomever. Get it together, Ruth. Anyway, my point is that I may have been the only person in the whole town that she didn’t like. We were quite similar—she and I—except that I have more trouble connecting with people, since I’m so mindful of order. We weren’t friends, but we were very close. This is our story. She was a lot more fun and relaxed, and people liked being around her, but I too care about the people around me, which is why I want to serve my country. We competed in everything, from grades, to sports, to the position of class president. We both lost out to that ineffectual, feckless cad, Riley, because he promised the school he would put brawndo in the water fountains. It’s not a real drink! Even he meant it as a joke! Whew, sorry about that. Calm and centered, you are worth it, Ruth. Well, no one ran for class secretary, so our apathetic principal decided to let Viola and I fight for the position once Riley took the top spot. She would have told you that she gave it to me to be nice, but I negotiated my way into it. She didn’t realize what she had really lost until later, so she’s never forgiven me for it. Our rivalry would have gone beyond the walls of this school had she survived through graduation. On a personal level, I am most upset with her murderer for taking that motivation away. Her tailgating me pushed me to be my best, and drove me to reach my goals. Oh dear, was that a terrible thing to say? Of course her death is sad on its own, and requires no selfish feeling of loss, or particular qualification. For the record, I did not dislike her as she me. I felt nothing but admiration for her. While she lacked the discipline to realize her own potential, I lack the social grace that she possessed in spades. The truth is that I miss her as much as anybody else, even though we were frenemies. I can only hope that she carried even half the amount of respect for me as I do her.

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