I'm sort of in the process of just working on what is speaking to me at a particular moment. That's very common for me right now. --Bruce Springsteen, January 9th, 2014

Thursday, December 31, 2015

"Stay Hard, Stay Hungry, Stay Alive"

Blogging Friends.... One year ago today--yes, on New Year's Eve!!--I started hip swaying/dancing/working out to Bruce Springsteen!! And what an incredible journey it has been!! Damn, what a ride.... I have hip swayed/danced/worked out to Bruce after feeling happily exhausted because we spent all day long watching my beautiful nieces, "Amethyst" and "Opal". {As resulted? I quickly learned that hip swaying/dancing/working out to Bruce helps me unwind and maintains my sanity!! Score!!} I have hip swayed/danced/worked out to Bruce while battling head colds. {Like this week, for example. Bruce is the best medicine.... I am feeling better already!!} I have hip swayed/danced worked out to Bruce despite an insanely busy Summer of watching kids and writing prolific fictional stories. {Because I made him a priority!!} I have hip swayed/danced/worked out during 95-plus degree Summer heat waves.... While flinging sweat literally everywhere!! I have hip swayed/danced/worked out as our old, now-replaced, mini pump slowly sucked rainwater from my formerly flooded bedroom crawlspace.... It had a loud, mournful, wailing sound!! I have spent hundreds of dollars at Amazon on Bruce's albums.... I'm not exaggerating!! I have created "Born In The USA Wednesday". Translation? Every single Wednesday, I hip sway/dance to a Born In The USA-themed Bruce Springsteen Workout!! {Album, live versions, outtakes and all!! "Born In The USA Wednesday" can last a good five hours!! I love it!!} And, as resulted to spending one year hip swaying/dancing/working out {Ahem, ahem, ahem....} cutting loose/performing to Bruce's music? I have lost tons of weight.... No pun intended!! Anyway.... I composed a "song"/poem which expresses how hip swaying/dancing/working out to Bruce makes me feel!! Enjoy!! By the way? This "song"/poem is not set to music. Why? Because I'm not musically gifted. I am just a poet. I'm an artist!! Love you later.

Adelaide Dupont.... I just noticed that you have given several of my fictional stories a 1 + count!! Thanks, Friend!! And during an unplanned, suddenly busy time in my Life when, as resulted, I fell off of the face of the Internet planet, became a loner, {Yeah, I tend to do that....} and have ever since temporarily stopped writing creative fictional stories, you also sent me a comment--through Anna's Blog--expressing your enjoyment of my poem/song "Stay Hard, Stay Hungry, Stay Alive"!! Thanks, Friend!! It feels good to be missed!! So where have I been all these months? {Aside from recently coming out of hiding to send Anna my love, somehow making new Blogging Friends along the way and replying your comments?} More on that later....

As I give credit to whom credit is due, I did not write the line: "stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive".... Bruce did!! It is a line from his song, "This Hard Land". However. "Stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive" is my motto as I hip sway/dance/work out to Bruce.... And it has been ever since January!! So!! I have "borrowed" Bruce's line for the title of my "song"/poem!! Because, why not?! Also, as I give credit to whom credit is due, I did not write the line: "hey, ho, rock 'n roll, deliver me from nowhere".... Bruce did!! It is a line from his song, "Open All Night".... Plus "Living On The Edge Of The World". Both lines speak directly to my heart and soul, especially throughout 2015, particularly!! Love ya, Bruce!! I sincerely hope you do not mind!!

Something that I neglected to mention about this "song"/poem.... It's autobiographical!! Yes, every single word, line, syllable and rhyme is absolutely true!! I did not fictionalize any of it!! This "song"/poem is my Life.... Of hip swaying/dancing/cutting loose/working out to Bruce!!

"Stay Hard, Stay Hungry, Stay Alive"

Written by Raelyn!!

So it all started with Bruce's album, Born To Run;
For dancin' as "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out" plays is fun!!
Then I quickly fell in love with this New Jersey boy;
Now Bruce brings my Life endless bliss, happiness and joy!!
Then I became his fanatic shortly thereafter;
And now Bruce fills my Life with song, music and laughter!!

They say it is the endorphins, but I disagree;
Bruce does somethin', does somethin', he does somethin' to me!!
Yeah, Bruce does somethin', does somethin', does somethin' to me!!
Oh, Bruce does somethin', does somethin', does somethin' to me!!

I whip my hips as the rhythm pounds and pounds and pounds;
I play air guitar at its very first rockin' sounds!!
Dancin' to Bruce is not just a physical workout;
For it exercises my mind, as his songs I shout!!
You know, workin' out should not be fun, so I've been told;
Yet hand-shakin' adrenaline rushes don't feel old!!

They say it is the endorphins, but I disagree;
Bruce does somethin', does somethin', he does somethin' to me!!
Yeah, Bruce does somethin', does somethin', does somethin' to me!!
Oh, Bruce does somethin', does somethin', does somethin' to me!!

I feel things, I become emotionally involved;
For Bruce's characters' heartbreak and grief I must solve!!
When I wrote on my birthday that I'd rock my thirties;
I never expected I'd take it literally!!
I vehemently anticipate dancin' to Bruce;
As I "stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive", I cut loose!!

They say it is the endorphins, but I disagree;
Bruce does somethin', does somethin', he does somethin' to me!!
Yeah, Bruce does somethin', does somethin', does somethin' to me!!
Oh, Bruce does somethin', does somethin', does somethin' to me!!

He sets my heart and soul free, he gives them a release;
Dancin' to Bruce is an escape, makes me feel at peace!!
An escape from Reality, an escape from Life;
When trials and tribulations cut me like a knife;
If Bruce had any superpowers, what would they be?
He takes me away with his brilliant poetry!!
'Cause "hey, ho, rock 'n roll, deliver me from nowhere"!!

They say it is the endorphins, but I disagree;
Bruce does somethin', does somethin', he does somethin' to me!!
Yeah, Bruce does somethin', does somethin', does somethin' to me!!
Oh, Bruce does somethin', does somethin', does somethin' to me!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Life Choices And Consequences"

Blogging Friends.... Uncharted waters. That is what it feels like I have been swimming in this year as a writer, an artist who paints pictures with words. Why? Because I lack a genre. Question. Am I a children's book writer? Answer? No.... That was so 2014. And now I do not know who the hell I am. For these are uncharted waters that I'm swimming in. See, I've somehow always known who I am as a writer, an artist who paints pictures with words. Throughout the course of my Life, I have composed poetry.... I've tried my hand as a "journalist" and written "columns".... I have created children's stories.... During all three above journeys, I've experimented and I thought--well I was so sure--that I knew exactly who I was a writer, an artist who paints pictures with words. Especially throughout 2014. But how wrong was I. Because a year ago last Wednesday, I posted what would turn out to be one of my final fictional children's book stories. Ever. And soon I was headed toward those uncharted waters. I have spent 2015 throwing the word "genre" away. I've written several fictional stories which came directly from my heart and soul. {Even more than last year!! I actually have at least twain fictional stories "in the can" for 2016!! Thus far!!} I have killed off characters seemingly left and right. {Do I have a reputation yet?! I am going for the whole Joss Whedon influence.... Just kidding!!} And somewhere along the way? I was left with a cosmic choice. Either I drown in these uncharted waters.... Or I take up my board and learn how to surf its wild, wild, wild waves!! I chose option number two!! And somewhere along the way? I still may not know who I am. But somewhere along the way? I figured out in 2015 alone exactly what it is that I want to write.... Heartfelt fictional stories. {But not Hallmark movie-like scripts!!} Fictional stories that reach in and touch Readers' deepest, most heartfelt thoughts/feelings/emotions. I think I'm doing it.... Love you later.

PS. I was hoping to post this story last Wednesday.... But editing can take a while sometimes.

Interesting. That one four-syllable word {Uh.... Or three syllable word, depending on how you say it!!} works wonders in describing this story. "Interesting". First off, it sort of expresses my own personal opinions, thoughts, feelings and emotions on today's current shootings that we have all seen happen way too frequently lately. This story was written sometime during last Summer. Now.... I am not going to sit here and express my opinions on gun rights or stricter gun laws. That is a touchy issue for many which has seemingly divided America in half. And this little Blog of mine is neither the time, nor the place, to discuss it!! Thank-you very much!!

This is an entirely fictional story and was not ripped from any real-Life news headlines!!

Inspiration. As a writer, an artist who paints pictures with words, I must seek and find it wherever I can. Apparently? My inspiration comes from Bruce Springsteen's brilliant storytelling and poetic song lyrics!! Remember September's fictional 9-11 book that I wrote? It was inspired by Bruce's song, "Into The Fire" from "The Rising"!! Well.... Bruce has done it again!! Because this particular story was inspired by his song, "Johnny 99" from "Nebraska"!! I. Freakin'. Love. That. Song. And, although I went to great lengths in an effort to avoid stealing anything from "Johnny 99"? Well.... It cracks me up just how much of Bruce's storytelling was infused into my fictional book, anyway!! Because, seriously. I even named my murderer character Ralph!! Read this story. Then listen to "Johnny 99". Or better yet.... Listen to "Johnny 99" first!! Then read my story. I love ya, Bruce!!

"Life Choices And Consequences"
Perspective. It varies greatly depending on person to person. Because everybody who has a mind and an opinion can certainly possess their own viewpoint!! Conservative. Liberal. Christian. Secular. And everybody is entitled to their own opinions. For it's an American right!! Correct? Yet--sadly--nobody in this nation {Or world, for that matter} seemingly agrees to disagree anymore. Because it is always "my way or the highway". Sadly, nobody in this nation {Or world, for that matter} possesses an open-minded, nonjudgmental, unprejudiced perspective anymore.

Those were the exact words of psychology Professor Van Zandt--who is middle-aged--as he spoke to approximately five-hundred college-aged students on a dark, eerie, foggy Saturday morning in November.

"Perspective," he said, "If you kids were to look up that word in an Oxford dictionary Online, one definition would be this.... 'A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view'. Now. I am going to share with you an unfortunate, tragic, sad, true story about perspective. From everybody's diverse points of view."

All ears--and eyes--were on Professor Van Zandt. For he had definitely captivated his students' undivided attention.

"It occurred exactly one decade ago on this very date," began Professor Van Zandt, "November 14th, 2005...."

Christmas. Nearly everybody celebrates that well-known holiday season!! Of course, there are always exceptions. Some people celebrate Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, instead!! And that is absolutely acceptable!! But probably the vast majority of people worldwide still celebrate Christmas!! Local radio stations play nonstop seasonal music!! Santa Claus enters malls everywhere!! People decorate their real--or artificial--Christmas trees!! Some still send out seasonal cards through snail mail and type out holiday newsletters!! Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!! It is a commercialized, consumer-oriented holiday season, so there are seemingly countless sales which occur literally everywhere!! That being mentioned? Even with the Internet readily available, people still enjoy driving toward shopping malls--to purchase Christmas gifts--for their loved ones!!

The holiday season seemingly occurs earlier and earlier every single year!! It used to be that Black Friday sales after Thanksgiving kicked off Christmastime!! This is not the case, anymore!! So on November 14th, 2005, twain thirty-one year old best friends named "Henry" and "Jacob"--who have known each other ever since kindergarten--were doing a little early Christmas shopping at their local shopping mall!! As to be expected, seasonal music was blasting in every single store that they set foot in!! The shopping mall even already decorated it with an enormously-sized artificial Christmas tree!! Santa Claus also sat on his tall, red, throne of a chair, patiently awaiting little children!!

"Look at this autographed photograph of Dory from Finding Nemo!!" said Jacob.

"Really...." teased Henry, with a smirk written on his face, "Did Dory herself sign it....?"

Jacob laughed.

"Ha, ha, ha...." he said, "No, Ellen DeGeneres autographed it!! And my girlfriend, Rosie, is a cosmic fanatic of hers!! Remember? She watches Ellen DeGeneres' talk show every single day!! So, naturally, Rosie loves Dory in Finding Nemo, as well!! What do you think? Should I purchase it for Rosie? Or not?"

"Rosetta will love it...." began Henry, "....But you might want to check out the picture's price tag before making your decision, dude!!"

It was a hefty seven-hundred dollars!!

"Oh my!!" exclaimed Jacob, "I will simply find something less expensive for Rosie!!"

"You can call me sappy," said Henry, "Because I do not care!! But I love it when the mall is decorated for Christmas, man!! It puts me in a holiday mood!!"

"I can't but agree.... 'Sappy'!!" said Jacob, with a smile written on his face, "I enjoy the shopping mall's Christmas decorations, as well!! They are oh-so festive this time of year!!"

Meanwhile, Henry and Jacob searched store, after store, after store, after store for the "perfect" gifts.... But alas, to no avail.

Jacob sighed.

"I haven't a clue what to purchase Rosie," he said, as they aimlessly wandered the shopping mall together.

"Well, it is not even Thanksgiving yet," encouraged Henry, "Right? You have lots of time, dude!! Don't worry about it. Hakuna matata, man!!"

"You do not understand!!" said Jacob, "Rosie and I are nearing the one year mark of when we participated in our first date together!! So I must find something doubly special for her!!"

"You know what, dude?" said Henry, "I have an idea for the perfect Christmas present to give Rosetta!!"

"Do tell," said Jacob.

"A ring!!" said Henry, "You know....? An engagement ring? Because--wow--you two lovebirds have been dating for one year now?! Holy smokes.... Where does the time escape to?! Outer space?! And I obviously know that you two love each other!! Without a single doubt in my mind!! Maybe you should finally get up the nerve to propose, man? Huh? Overcome your fear of rejection? Because you already know that Rosetta will say 'yes'!! Am I right? You can even surprise Rosetta on Christmas Day--"

Just then--in the crowded mall--a tan-skinned, black-haired, young man suddenly leapt out of seemingly nowhere, pulled his gun's trigger, and shot Henry!! Time instantaneously stood still. Henry screamed like a little girl, as he was obviously feeling agonizing pain. Red blood freely gushed through the bullet hole which was located in his chest. As resulted? Henry's blood instantaneously seeped through his white-colored Superman t-shirt. He collapsed to the cold, germ-infested, tiled floor. And Henry's body fell hard with a resounding thud. Meanwhile, the unidentified shooter pulled his gun's trigger several more times, while shots hauntingly echoed against walls. As resulted? He shot--and murdered--five more unsuspecting shoppers.

"Henry!!" yelled Jacob, "Oh my.... Henry!!"

Instinctively? Jacob dropped to both knees and--with one arm--he supported his best friend's heavy head. Henry simply lie there, weeping. He also groaned, as his body obviously felt searing pain. Henry did not speak. He repeatedly clutched one now-bloody hand to his chest, where the bullet was located. Instinctively? With his free hand, Jacob dialed 9-1-1 on Henry's cellular phone, as he did not own any.

"Hello?" said the 9-1-1 dispatcher, "This is Annemarie. How may I help you?"

"Hello ma'am!!" said a frantic Jacob, "My best friend has been shot in cold blood--"

Just then, Henry nodded off.

"No, no, no, no, no!!" yelled Jacob, with panic rising in his voice, as he frantically slapped Henry's cheeks, "Do not fall asleep!! Henry!! Stay awake!! Henry!! Don't you dare fall asleep--"

"Where is Henry's bullet--or bullets--located?" Annemarie calmly interrupted.

"In his chest, above the heart--" answered Jacob.

Just then, Henry began to drift off into a deep, deep, deep sleep.

"Oh, no, no, no, no!!" yelled Jacob, as his own heart pounded hard, "Do not die on me!! Henry!! Do please stay with me!!"

"Okay," said Annemarie, "Calm down, sir. Where are you? I just need an address and our emergency crew will be on the way shortly."

"We are at Mall 38," began Jacob, "On 7575 S.E. Harrison Street. We are located right outside Barnes & Noble. Do you need a zip code?"

"No," Annemarie confidently answered, "We can find Mall 38!!"

"Do please hurry!!" said a still-panicked Jacob, "I am no doctor, but it appears that Henry is going into shock!!"

Annemarie hung up her telephone. By then, Henry's eyes were closed tight and he was anything but responsive.

"Henry!!" yelled Jacob, with a sense of urgency in his voice, "Awaken!! You will not die like this!! Henry!! Wake.... Up!! The paramedics will be here shortly, I promise!! Henry!! We still have so much Life left to enjoy!! Can you hear me?! We still have countless adventures to enjoy!! Can you hear me?! We still have so many plans!! Can you hear me?! We were planning to travel together and hike up Mt. Everest on New Year's Day!! Remember?! Can you hear me?! We have girlfriends to romance and--hopefully--wed!! Can you hear me?! We were going to be the best men at each other's weddings!! Can you hear me?! We were even going to raise our future children together!! Can you hear me?! Please do not die!! Can you hear me?!"

"You're my irreplaceable best friend....!!" continued Jacob, as wet, hot tears streamed down his face, "You cannot die....!! Remember all of the positive, negative, wild memories that we have created together....? Can you hear me....?! We only attended school together from kindergarten to college, for Heaven's sake....!! Can you hear me....?! Henry....!! I will forever remember the first time we met.... I stole your cookies in kindergarten--which made you angry at me!!--but we have surprisingly remained best friends ever since....!! Henry....!! Can you hear me....?! Henry....!! You were the drummer with a thunderous rhythm in our small, experimental, three-man, basement/garage rock and roll band during high school....!! Remember....?! Can you hear me....?! We smoked our first--and last--cigarettes together.... Which, was your insane idea....!! Can you hear me....?! We even partied a bit during our college years--which was also your insane idea--me, I simply came along for the wild, wild, wild ride....!! Have you any clue how many hangovers I helped snap my best friend out of....?! Henry....!! Can you hear me?! Can you hear me?! Can you hear me?! Can you hear me?! Can you hear me?!"

But Jacob's emotional, heart-pounding, urgent, frantic, blood-pressure-rising, adrenaline-producing panic was--tragically--all for naught. Because by the time ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars arrived? Henry was dead. He passed away in Jacob's very arms. And, although five other victims obviously died, there were--miraculously--four survivors!! Police did indeed catch the murderer {Who swiftly became nationally-known as eighteen-year old Ralph} and successfully arrested him. He committed his crime alone.

Throughout the course of time, Ralph was scheduled for several different trials in court. Which Jacob faithfully attended!!

Perspective. It varies greatly depending on person to person. There was the perspective of bitterness and unforgiveness from Jacob.

"Ralph murdered my best friend in cold blood!!" Jacob abruptly stood up and angrily said during a trial, "Henry is dead. I will never see him again. Henry is gone. I will never create new, unforgettable memories with him ever again. Because Henry is not coming back. And to worsen matters? Ralph also murdered five more innocent people in cold blood!! He even deliberately tried to kill ten unsuspecting shoppers!! I demand justice!! I desire an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth!! Ralph deserves the death penalty!! Execute him!! Execute him!! Execute him!! Execute him!! Execute him!! Now!!"

Ralph shamefully hung his head.

"Calm down, sir!!" ordered a middle-aged, silver-haired, deep-voiced Judge Morrison.

"Ralph," questioned Judge Morrison, "Why did you decide to open fire inside Mall 38? What, exactly, were your reasons, excuses and perspective for committing this murder, son?"

"My 'father'--I will just call him 'Joe'--used to beat me physically as a kid growing up," Ralph eventually answered with bitterness in his voice, "He always did it while Mom worked hard to bring our money home. 'Joe' was such a deadbeat. He never even worked one day in my whole Life. See, the beatings were done secretly, behind closed doors. Mom never, ever knew--because I would not even dare tell her--I always lied that the constant bruises on my body were from being clumsy. But Judge Morrison, I am no klutz!! 'Joe' also verbally and emotionally abused me. He said every second of every single waking day that I am a cosmic failure whose worthless Life will never amount to anything."

Ralph paused.

"Well, he was right. I guess I am a cosmic failure whose worthless Life will never amount to anything...." Ralph said, as he blinked back wet, hot tears.

"My 'father' was always drunk when he physically, verbally and emotionally abused me," continued Ralph, "Some daddy dearest, huh? Then, during my teenage years, 'Joe' drove away and never--ever--came back home. Now. I could have easily said 'good riddance' to 'Joe'. However. His abandonment of our little family broke Mom's poor heart into a billion pieces. And who was there for her? Me!! Not 'Joe'. I was there for Mom. I had to be strong and brave. For Mom's emotional sake. I had to provide comfort and pick up the pieces of her broken heart. But let me ask you something, Judge Morrison. Who was going to pick up the broken pieces of my heart?! Huh?! So unresolved anger and resentment toward the world brewed in my poor, shattered heart. Judge Morrison, I am not saying that this sad, depressing, true story makes me an innocent guy. I definitely deserve punishment for what I've done!! Mom raised me better than to become a murderer. Nonetheless. I could not do a damn thing about these negative thoughts, feelings and emotions which are always eating away at me. Because I just don't know how!! So, yeah, I bought the gun. Then, yes, I planned to take my anger and resentment out in a massacre at Mall 38. So there you go. Judge Morrison.... My reasons, excuses and perspective. To everybody who is sitting in this courtroom.... That was my whole Life story in a nutshell."

Perspective. It varies greatly depending on person to person. There was the perspective of grace, compassion, and empathy toward Ralph that suddenly washed over the entire courtroom. For after his truthful story? There was not a dry eye in the courtroom!! Ralph's mother, Angelina--overcome by emotion--of course wept uncontrollably. Jacob wiped away wet, hot tears. Even professional, firm, no-nonsense Judge Morrison became choked up!!

"Wow...." Jacob whispered to himself, "All excuses set aside--because the murder that Ralph committed was obviously wrong--he has certainly lived a hard, cruel, unfair Life!!"

Perspective. It varies greatly depending on person to person. There was even the perspective of forgiveness toward Ralph from Jacob. For after his truthful story? Any anger that Jacob initially felt was suddenly blown away.

"Judge Morrison?" asked Jacob, "May I say something?"

"Yes," answered Judge Morrison, "Go right ahead, son."

Jacob bravely looked straight at Ralph. Their eyes met each other's.

"Ralph," said Jacob, "You expressed your sad, depressing, truthful story. Now it is my turn. You expressed your perspective and point of view. Now it is my turn."

Jacob paused.

 "Ralph...." Jacob slowly continued, as wet, hot tears streamed down his cheeks, "When you opened fire inside Mall 38.... My best friend and 'blood brother' was shot.... When your gun's bullet pierced through Henry's heart.... He was then abruptly taken from me.... When you proceeded in your massacre.... All of our hopes, dreams and plans were--literally--shot down.... And now....? All I am left with is an entire Lifetime of memories...."

Ralph looked down at his handcuffed wrists. He appeared sincerely ashamed and regretful for the murder that had been committed.

"Ralph...." Jacob slowly finished, as he wiped away wet, hot tears, "At first, I was livid at what you had done, and rightfully so.... But now that I have heard your truthful story.... I forgive you!! I do mean that."

"Wait. What?!" said a shocked Ralph, as he blinked back wet, hot tears, "You forgive.... Me?"

"Yes," Jacob confidently replied, "I do."

Crime always has its consequences. Whether it be incarceration. Community service. Or the death penalty. Either way, crime always has its consequences.

"Everyone is faced with choices in Life, son," Judge Morrison told Ralph, "Whether they be good decisions. Or bad. Ralph.... Your father may have both physically and verbally abused you. Ralph.... Your father may have abandoned you and your mother. Ralph.... You may have battled some cosmic, negative, thoughts, feelings and emotions. However. You could have asked for professional help with sorting through these cosmic, negative, thoughts, feelings and emotions. Because there are some very good psychiatrists available!! But you did not ask for professional help. Correct?"

Ralph regretfully nodded his head "yes".

"Well, son, that was a choice that you made. Correct?"

Ralph regretfully nodded his head "yes".

"Instead, you bought that gun. Correct?"

Ralph regretfully nodded his head "yes".

"That was a choice that you made. Correct?"

Ralph regretfully nodded his head "yes".

"Because you certainly did not have to buy that weapon!! Correct?"

Ralph regretfully nodded his head "yes".

"Then you took out all of your anger and resentment toward Life in a massacre at Mall 38. Correct?"

Ralph regretfully nodded his head "yes".

"That was a choice which you made. Because everyone is given bad decisions in Life. And many--if not most--of which bring about consequences. So Ralph? I hereby sentence you to death."

Perspective. It varies greatly depending on person to person. There was the perspective of a Mother's unyielding love which came from Ralph's Mom, Angelina.
"No, no, no, no, no!!" she screamed, as wet, hot tears streamed down her face, "Give my son a second chance!! Please!! Please!! Please!! Have you no mercy?! Judge Morrison.... Do you not believe in the concept that people change?! Huh?! Please do not take my son's Life this way!!"

"Calm down, Mom," Ralph flatly said, "Do not waste your energy on me!! I am better off dead."

"Nooooo!!" screamed an inconsolable, heartbroken Angelina, "Nooooo!!"

Angelina created such a disruption, that twain police guards were forced to carry her out of that courtroom. She screamed, sobbed and protested the entire way.

Ralph shamefully looked down at his handcuffed wrists.
On December 14th--precisely one month after Ralph opened fire inside Mall 38--the sad, dark day of his execution arrived.

"Do you have any last words before your death penalty?" asked Policewoman Heather.

"Um.... Can you report this back?" asked Ralph, "Because I want everybody--especially Mom--whose Lives were forever affected by my bad choices to hear it!!"

"It is not customary," said Policewoman Heather, "But I will make an exception just for you."

"Uh.... Thanks...." said Ralph, as wet, hot tears streamed down his face, "Here are my last words: Policewoman Heather, if you can kill a guy for the negative thoughts, feelings and emotions that are always in his head....? I am sorry.... To everybody.... I am sincerely sorry for all of the emotional, mental, and physical pain that my actions have caused.... Judge Morrison is right.... I should have sought psychiatric help.... But I did not.... And Mom....? I am sorry for letting you down.... Please do not ever stop loving me....!! I am so sorry for being a disappointment to you.... Alright, Policewoman Heather.... Those are my last words...."

And then--just like that--Ralph was executed.

On New Year's Day {In loving memory of Henry!!} Jacob and Rosetta hiked Mt. Everest together!! Once they reached the top, he finally proposed to his lover with a beautiful, heart-shaped, garnet ring.... Which is her birthstone!! As to be expected? Rosetta accepted Jacob's proposal!!

"Perspectives and viewpoints," said Professor Van Zandt, "From Ralph's sad, depressing, true story. Or Jacob's anger, which eventually transformed into forgiveness. From Judge Morrison's wise speech about Life choices and consequences. Or Angelina's heartbreaking plead for her son's second chance. Kids, I understand this unfortunate, tragic, sad, true story about these such differing perspectives firsthand.... Because I am 'Jacob'...."