By Nawaf Almahdi
Every family feels happy to see their child finally graduate from college, but if you are me, a person loathed by every person you’ve met in college for past four years, you wouldn’t expect your mind to snap in two; unless you are Superman, then that is a thought for another time.
I sat in my seat, looking at the crowd of professors, parents, and relatives of the graduating students as I hear their inane cheering. I sat in the middle row, and I took deep breathes as I awaited the moment for the ‘champion’ of the university to approach the podium and spew their cliched lines of a ‘speech’ for the next 5 – 7 minutes.
I got my diploma alright. Now it is my turn to finally talk. The ‘champion’ walked to the podium like they’ve won the goddammn Nobel Prize, and the next thing was a bullet doing the tango with their brains, blood showering the podium like soapy water on a rack of dirty dishes. Screams in various pitches filled the room like a panicking flock of pigeons ready to be slaughtered, I held the podium’s microphone to my lips, bellowing “ALL OF YOU SIT THE F*CK DOWN!!” a bullet flying in the air, silencing everyone in sight.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the audience if I may” I started with a cleared up throat, swatting away the blood stains from my black graduation gown.
“Tonight I would like to address some of the problema I have been encountering on a daily basis for the past 4 years in this academic shithole. I do not understand the uppity attitude of most professors by showing off their knowledge instead of helping students with weak grades; because let me tell you, if you intend on belittling those who seek knowledge from someone like you, you have learned nothing about neither teaching nor what academia is abouut. To the honor students who think they are better than everyone else on this campus, just because your Grade Point Average is higher than Mount Everest, it will guarantee neither you getting your dream job nor friends in this life, because I do recall that being nice does not break down your fragile ego. To the Student Clubs & Organizations, I do not understand why do you find joy in breaking down my soul with impossible and futile tasks just to either open a club or join one, I honestly hope the bullets I am carrying with me would silence your oppression and favoritism towards students with connections. To the board committee and members of the Student Council, I don’t know why you idiots still live in your fantasy world thinking you run this business operation known as the ‘university’? You are nothing but pawns to the President of this institution; an educational figure who uses your tuition money to go to Hawaii and the Maldives every Summer with no regard for the well-being of students who truly deserve help. To the young ones who are listening to this speech, don’t be fooled by brochures of a university that claims to be knowledgeable in building your future, because your destiny is only yours to shape, not a committee of baby-boomers who are technologically illiterate and ill-mannered to those who are less-capable than them. I bid you all an unsafe trip back your homes.”
As the SWAT Team barged into the auditorium, throwing cannisters of tear gas in an attempt to take me down, I shouted one last sentence to my parents who were sitting in the middle row “Mom! Dad! I finally did it! I shot the Valedictorian!” No longer than a few seconds passed till I felt a sudden hit on my forehead, tasting heavy iron liquid dripping from my head to my nose, tasting more of it from my throat.. was that blood? Yes it was.. my limbs shut down as the crowd in front of me turned into white and black dots, collapsing on the floor, hearing “Target’s taken down. Clear the room now!!”
Mom.. Dad.. I’m sorry, but I had to do this.. your constant screeches about my grades rang into my head again and again like a churning church bell, I can’t hear anything but that.. no, please don’t fade! I don’t want to go now! I want to.. hear your screeching one last time.