16 August 2018
English 103 – 3162
Essay #4 – Final
Rough Draft Word Count = 1334
Final Word Count = 1111
Time seems to just trudge along in the congested auditorium of Cactus Community High School. The stench of hot and sweaty bodies seeps out from the seeming corpse bodies that occupy the auditorium seats. It was a typical scorching day in the small Arizona town, as the temperature was a blistering 107 degrees. Chester was the only one who wasn’t breaking a sweat, as he was just relaxing in his seat, creating a checkerboard pattern on his Rubik’s Cube. He was waiting to give his high school graduation speech.
Chester Williams was always the overachiever of his class. He always received straight A’s on his report cards, and he has never scored lower than a 95 percent on a test. He was a genius. Being born and raised in a very poor and unstable family, it seemed as if his intelligence and academic excellence were going to go to waste. Chester’s father, Bill was a raging alcoholic, who constantly abused his family, and never kept a stable job. Chester’s mother, Janet, was not much different. She too abused drugs and alcohol, but not quite on such a large scale. She was a selfish, middle-aged woman, who did not seem to care about the well being of any of her three sons.
It was finally graduation day, and the luminous desert sun that glared through the auditorium windows was frying the graduates alive. There seemed to be an aura of nonchalance in the air since most of the graduates did not seem to care that they were completing another chapter of their lives. Most of the students did not plan to obtain a postsecondary education anyway, because they themselves did not feel like they had the intelligence to do so, let alone the money. That was the mindset that most of the residence of Tumbleweed, Arizona had – A sense of indifference and pessimism.
As Principal Smith was up at the podium giving his speech on how proud he was of all his students, Chester was hundreds of miles away in his own little world. He couldn’t help but daydream about what his new life was going to be like working for Microsoft. He imagined himself living in a quiet, gated neighborhood ninety miles away in Scottsdale, or in a huge extravagant mansion somewhere in Beverly Hills. He felt like his opportunities for success were endless and he just couldn’t wait to break free from the chains he felt that the school was fettering him to.
“And now, without further ado, please welcome our very own Chester Williams to the stage. Come on up here Chester.”
Chester, without even realizing it was his turn to take the stage, continues to daydream about his future while subconsciously messing with his Rubik’s Cube. He was completely zoned out.
“Chester, what are you doing?” nudged Mitchell, Chester’s best friend.
“What?” replied Chester, confused as to why he knocked him out of his trance.
“It’s your turn to go up there”
“What do you mean?” replied Chester, even more, confused than before.
“Don’t you remember? You have to give your graduation speech now! Don’t tell me you forgot about it!”
Chester looks down at his lap, looking for note cards that didn’t exist, and then looks back at Mitchell. “Ah, Crap.”
“Chester, how’re we doing?” said Principal Smith, who was starting to become impatient.
Mitchell nudges Chester again. “Come on, just go up there and wing it. You’re good at improv anyways.”
Chester took a deep breath. “All right.”
As Chester made his way up the stage, he was greeted by the clapping of only a few hands, then with a handshake by Principal Smith.
“Knock ’em dead, kid,” said Principal Smith. Chester gave him a half hearted smile and then took the podium.
Chester gazed out into the sea of people and tried to come up with what he was going to say. He was about to speak in front of an audience of 500 people that didn’t seem to care whether he gave a speech or not. After about five seconds or so, he had his speech planned out. He was ready to go.
“Hey everyone, good morning” he started. “Let me just start out by saying that it is a great privilege to be speaking in front of you today and that I am honored to have shared these past four memorable years with such an amazing group of people.”
A few people start to clap, but then it quickly dies down. Chester continues.
“Now there are many of you whom I have become rather close to during our time here at Cactus High, and I just want you all to know how truly thankful and blessed I am to have developed those friendships.”
Another sea of feeble claps fills the auditorium, but this time with a little more oomph. Chester continues again.
“Now most of you might be watching me up here thinking ‘oh great, now this guy is going to be up here preaching about how important grades are and how awesome he is for being the valedictorian, and blah blah blah.’ Well no, that’s not what I’m going to do. Instead, I just wanna tell you guys much I deeply appreciate the time that we shared together and that it was true.
Thank you so much for standing with me throughout these years and I hope that you are successful in achieving whatever you choose to pursue after high school. God bless you, everyone.”
As Chester exited from the stage, a sudden violent swarm of clapping engulfed the room. He did not expect this at all. He waved to the crowd as he marched back to his seat and then sat down to continue his Rubik’s Cube. He was congratulated by Mitchell upon his return.
Chester moved to Palo Alto, California a few weeks after his graduation in hopes of making something spectacular of his life. Since Chester had always been such a remarkable genius, he had received a full scholarship to Stanford University, where he majored in accounting. He completed their accounting program in less than two years and then moved to Redmond, Washington to apply for a job at Microsoft. He was confident that he would not have any trouble getting a job there.
After interviewing for an accounting position there, Chester learned that his chances of getting a job there were pretty much guaranteed, given all the information on his resume was correct. He was, however, questioned as to why he wanted to be an accountant when his resume proved that he could be something so much more. He told the interviewer that his father was an accountant and wanted to continue the family tradition. This satisfied the interviewer.
The following morning, which was a Tuesday, Chester received a phone call from the interviewer saying that he did, in fact, get the job. He was to start the following Monday and was expected to live up to what his resume claimed he was. This was an ample amount of time for him to move and settle in.
When Monday finally arrived, he was shown to his desk where he was expected to work every day. It was a tiny cubicle that had barely enough elbow room to move your arms. But it was adequate for Chester though. He was used to working in such small spaces when he did homework back home.
Throughout the day, Chester was introduced to so many new coworkers that he would soon call friends. They were all very warm and welcoming for the most part.
“That’s a nice coat you got there Chester,” said Cameron, a tall and skinny man who was in his forties. “Is it leather?”
Chester glanced down at his coat and made his response. “Why yes, it is. I got it at Men’s Warehouse for fifty-percent off! So I couldn’t resist.”
“Hey, that’s pretty neat!”
A few minutes later, a man by the name of Bill Richardson walked up to Chester’s desk to bother him.
“How’s it going there, Chester?” asked Bill, trying to make friendly conversation.
“I’m doing all right man, thanks,” replied Chester, not even turning around to see who it was. He was busy organizing papers that were stacked on his desk. Then, he turned around, realizing he was being kind of rude. “I’m sorry, what’s your name again?”
“It’s Bill,” he replied, “but everybody around here calls me Billy.
Chester smiles at the tall and skinny man. “I’ll remember that, Billy!”
There is a brief pause, and then Billy starts another conversation.
“Say you seem pretty young to be a Certified Public Accountant.” How old are you exactly?
Chester was very pleased to answer this question. “I’m eighteen,” he replied with a subtle hint of arrogance in his voice.
Bill looked at him astonished, then responded back. “Well I’ll be darned, that sure is something.”
Chester showed him a smile of pride and then gave him a compliment. “Oh, come on, you can’t be that much older than me! You gotta be what twenty-five?”
Bill snorted graciously, and then replied back. “Nope, I’m thirty-four!”
Chester’s jaw dropped slightly out of disbelieving, then smiled. “No way, you do not look that old! I’d say you’re like twenty-three at the oldest!”
Bill responded to that with a chuckle and a warm smile. “Hey, thanks, little dude!” Bill glances at the Dell Computer on Chester’s desk, then asks, “Wait, so how in the world did you get this job if you’re only eighteen? I mean no offense, but that’s kind of a young age to be working with such large and important numbers, especially the dollar figures Microsoft uses.
“Oh don’t worry man, none taken,” said Chester. “I know I can handle it I’ve worked with large numbers like these at Stanford, so I’d say I’m well prepared.”
“Well that’s good,” replied Bill. “But how on earth did you get into Stanford if you’re only eighteen? That’s incredible!”
Chester smiled and tried to prevent his pride from showing. “Well I don’t mean to brag, but I skipped the sixth and seventh grade when I was in middle school, and then I went to Stanford for two years and got my degree there. It was certainly difficult but it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t handle.”
Bill is impressed with what he is hearing. “That’s good to hear, Chester. We need more Stanford grad like you in this office.”
Chester gave him a half hearted smile, then turned around to get back to business. Bill had no idea what Chester’s intentions were.
About four weeks after Chester settled in, the end of the month came, and it was time to total up Microsoft’s earnings for the month. After countless hours of journalizing transactions and crunching numbers, Chester was finally finished. He had successfully embezzled two-hundred dollars from his employer. After doing some triple checking of his work for any errors or possible leaks in his operation, he closed his books and nonchalantly put them back in their places. He was trembling a little bit, but not because he had any guilt. He had suddenly felt a rush of satisfaction that he had never felt before. This soon became a bad habit that eventually turned into an addiction.
Three months later was the end of the fiscal year, and Chester had already embezzled ten-thousand dollars from Microsoft, what he thought was pocket change to Microsoft. He never knew how easy it was to simply open up a new line of credit and use it as his own secret personal bank account. And all he had to do was call it “Miscellaneous Expenses”. He was confident that no one would ever find out, especially since he figured he was just a minute worker and working in a massive colony that happened to be a successful Fortune 500 Company. He figured nothing could possibly go wrong, but that was about to change.
“Mr. Williams, may I please speak to you in my office,” said Mike, the regional manager of the office. His voice had a vibe of stern seriousness in it, and he did not even make eye contact with Chester.
“Uh, sure Mike. Is there something wrong,” asked Chester, appearing to be oblivious and showing much concern.
“Just come here.”
For the first time in his life, Chester was nervous. He knew exactly what he had done wrong and had a feeling his boss knew about it too. His stomach turned upside down and he felt like he was going to puke. He knew there was no way to get out of this alive and keep his job. He felt that his life was over.
After walking into the spacious office, Chester’s heart skipped a beat as he was greeted with a cold grim stair by a bulky police officer, who was standing erect in the corner of the office. He had a look on his face that was so stern and serious that you could have sworn he was a British Foot Guard protecting the Queen of England. Right then and there Chester wished he could have died right away from the minor heart attack he was having. He had no idea what he was going to do.
“Have a seat, Chester,” said Mike, making himself loud and clear for his employee. We have something very serious to talk about.”
“Uh, okay sir,” said Chester, with a trembling in his words. “Is there something wrong here sir?”
Mike tried looking at him with cold and bitter eyes, but then quickly looked away, as if he did not want Chester to see the emotion on his face. After a quick deep breath, he turned himself back around and swiftly started firing questions at Chester to get a reaction out of him.
“Why were you early this morning,” was his first question. This startled Chester. He had just remembered that he had snuck into the office at two o’clock that morning to retrieve some booze that he left in one of the ceiling tiles the night before. He couldn’t risk getting caught drinking at his apartment, especially after his last bust, so he mostly kept it at the office for safe keeping. But this time he forgot that they were doing some kind of official inspection, where they were probably going to check the desks and office space and stuff for anything inappropriate, or so he thought. He didn’t want to risk it, so he snuck in. And while he was at it, he stole some of the food that was left in the fridge overnight. He had to do this early in the morning to ensure that no one could possibly see him.
“Uh, what do you mean sir,” replied Chester, trying to stall a little bit. He was twiddling his thumbs when he asked this.
“I noticed you walked in at five fifty-five, and your shift doesn’t start until six.” Mike paused for a brief moment, then started again. “Would you say that’s abnormal?”
Chester’s fear eased into confusion and he didn’t know how to respond. “Uh, what do you mean, sir,” asked Chester respectfully.
“Would you say today is rather warm for the season,” asked Mike, trying to remain as serious as possible.
“What brand of underwear do you wear?”
Chester began to feel very uncomfortable. “I don’t think that’s any of your business, sir,” replied Chester. Mike began to chuckle and so did the cop standing behind him. Chester is beyond confused.
“Michael, what’s going on,” demanded Chester, still shaking from before. He looks over at both men, demanding answers with his eyes.
“Do you know what day is today,” asked Mike, still chuckling a little bit. He had to wipe some saliva off his mouth from all the laughing he did before.
“Uh, New Year’s Eve,” responded Chester, giving them his only possible explanation.
“Yes, that is true,” responded Mike. “But back where I come from, today is December Fool’s Day, which is kind of like the April Fool’s Day we have here in America, except this one takes place on December thirty first.”