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Play Hooky

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Happy Birthday

ďAre you sure itís a good idea?Ē I asked her as we crossed the lawn toward the parking lot. She just smiled at me and kept walking, leaving me no choice but to follow her. We got into her red car and she turned on the engine. ďItís the last class before the exam,Ē I told her. ďThey usually give lots of information about the test; sometimes they just spell out the questions. We should really be there.Ē I guess I wasnít that convincing because she simply pulled out of the parking lot and started driving. Away from school. It was a beautiful June afternoon. The sky was clear and the breeze was cool and refreshing.
She didnít tell me where we were heading. I doubt that she knew herself. She just drove until we got to the old port. She parked the car and we stepped out, taking our shoes off, feeling the warm sand under our toes. I forgot all about the exam and the class and the reading I had to do for the next day. The only thing that mattered at that moment was she. I donít remember what we talked about that day. I donít think we talked much at all, although we spent a considerable amount of time on the beach since I remember that particular sunset as one of the happiest moments of my life. I studied that night until the early hours of morning. I slept two hours and went to take the test. I flunked, of course. It turned out that besides providing the answers to the exam, the teacher disclosed every possible bit of information and spread some very thick clues about the questions to be asked. I felt so foolish. I should have gone to class. The beach would have still been there the next day.
I spent lots and lots of time during the next two months studying for the same test. The school, in an unprecedented act of generosity, gave me a second chance. I passed the second time but spent two frustrating precious summer months studying.
Itís funny how, after more than ten years, the perspective changes. All the frustration and bad feelings are long gone. Those two long months of constant study are long forgotten. The only thing thatís still fresh in my memory, and will always be, is that after noon on the beach, that beautiful once-in-a-lifetime sunset and her.

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