Tacky and a waste of time would be what Maverick would have called this gathering of parents and greasy haired students, all these cherry faced fools believed that they were all somehow special and that they would all get careers as doctors, or lawyers.
Maverick of course was not a big enough idiot to think that he had a chance out there in the real world or that he actually found hospitals and courtrooms he would like to invest time in.
Ballarat was slowly turning into a cesspool of unemployment and a drug capital.
With the council rising rates on useless improvements such as opening and closing pools, with outlet stores and home businesses closing down commuting to Melbourne was the only place to get a job.
Already Maverick had gathered a number of contacts for his mighty collection of horde illegal junk.
He already cornered the market on the porn video and dvd, a tactful endeavour in which he bought over four hundred copies of some vintage porn and sold them at an exorbitant price when the law forbidding X rated movies to be sold in Victoria came into being.
This business move had cost him a few cartons of smokes and six hundred bucks, which ended in a profit of two and a half thousand dollars and was still going up. Not bad for somebody that got an average score in maths and a below average in economics.
As he listened to the principle giving the yearly speech about going into the bright and shining future while somehow keeping a straight face, it strangely occurred to Maverick to divert some imagination to his future.
Now that he was nearly old enough to be tried as an adult and that school was out of the picture as a business front, he would have to actually go out there in the work force and learn a trade.
University did sound like an idea but the job market sucked, and now that the façade of youth was disappearing the cops were going to eventually see him as a possible smuggler of illegal goods.
The thought of becoming a chemist did appeal to Maverick but he quickly pushed the idea aside, if dealing with a twitchy customer such as Lockie was anything to learn off, Maverick wanted to stay away from a clientele that believed the next door’s yard dog was an undercover cop.
So what other forms of occupation could somebody with the morals of shoebox get under such restraints?
So many choices and consequences with the addition of a dead end tossed in for good measure.
It wasn’t to say that Maverick would have not taken a nine to five job if given the opportunity; after all money was his ultimate goal and not getting a prison sentence was good thing to stay away from, but what else was there?
This is what some would call a moment, a moment in time when reality separates outward in any number of possible outcomes.
For example, in five percent of all universes past this point Maverick and Nancy get married, where in seventy percent of those end with devoice with some slight variation between each choice.
What is interesting is that in eighty nine percent of all the universes that involved Maverick, many of them included moving or collecting either objects or people.
Taxi driver, repo agent, bus driver, smuggler, courier, weapons trafficker, and an assortment of other occupations where thing A gets to place B without Maverick getting killed by any number of reasons.
And though Maverick himself hated most of those career paths, he was surprisingly good at them and in some of these realities he had even gained a name for himself.
The other eleven or so percent included Maverick dying of some cause that ranged from a gunshot, to a falling brick, to a zombie apocalypse. Only about 0.001 percent of all other realities included Maverick going to prison before his first job.
Maverick, like most of us knew nothing about his possible futures so enjoyed what comforted bliss you could gain from not knowing the future.
What he was sure of was that his future had Nancy somewhere involved in it and that was okay with him.
Up on the podium Nancy took charge. God she was beautiful, and her C-cup buddies jiggled nicely.
“They say that the future is bright.” Nancy said.
The sound of Nancy’s voice ripped Maverick from his ponderings and forced him to divert a large portion of his focus on the young woman who was now standing in front of the podium.
The other portion of his brain was trying to tell itself to evolve as to give Maverick x-ray vision so he might enjoy his girlfriend talking slightly more.
Nancy’s tone became serious. “I’m afraid that the future is not all is going to be rainbows and glitter stickers for many of you.”
Maverick could see the principle’s frown from his seat and smiled, from her display in the library he predicted that Nancy had decided to drop the act and drop as many f-bombs as she could.
This was the reason she had invited him to graduation, to watch her say everything that had been killing her about this stupid institution and burn everyone that had ever gone against her.
He pictured her reciting about how many of her teenage friends had abortions since she met them, how many boys had made stupid advances on her.
Some part of him thought she was going to tell everyone how she was the one who had spread all those emails about how Shirley Jospho had sex with half the cricket team.
So many things that Nancy could do to those who had wronged her or bored her in the past, and now that she held the senior class’ attention all anybody could do was listen.
It was for this reason that Nancy had insisted that Maverick bring with him his video camera, she did not want to waste this big reveal without documentation.
Maverick just hopped she didn’t go too far with her spiteful fun, some part of him would feel kinda sorry for the party she was going to destroy and he didn’t want her getting stabbed or something because of a small joke.
Nancy leaned forward, her face cast a shadow of seriousness which Maverick thought of as odd.
“Many of you will grow up to be lawyers and doctors, men and women who will make life better for the rest of us. I see several people right here and now who could do amazing things if they put some effort into their work.”
Something seemed to have come over Nancy as the sentenced was let out, she held her head and a cold sweat took her. For a moment Maverick thought she had made the awful mistake of getting high while performing this speech.
There were a few murmurs and whispers from the parents including those from Mr and Mrs Harrington who were at the front row and had been looking on at their daughter with pried, but now appeared to be worried over Nancy’s health.
Seeing that something might be wrong the principle got off his seat and sought to find out what was wrong.
Nancy held him back with a hand gesture, “Just a bit of a headache.” she said with a smile Maverick knew was more fake than her promise to her parents to stay a chaste little girl till she married.
Maverick grimaced, had she chickened out? Well he couldn’t blame her; you don’t want to go burning every bridge you have ever built.
He would not have been laughing if Nancy said something about him, like their sex life or that pregnancy scare they had a few weeks back.
Any way, what mattered now was that they were both free to enjoy those few years of being called a teenager without the school thing being a handicap.
After taking in a deep breath Nancy seemed to have settled herself. “But some of you, some of you will grow up to be complete deviant assholes that only think about how to make life miserable for the rest of us.”
Where exactly was she going with this? Already the principle was thinking about pulling her from the stand for the inappropriate comment.
A part of Maverick’s mind had shifted gears and was telling him to either run, or go up into a book depository and re-enact the JFK assassination on his girlfriend, but why?
Nancy drew herself up to her full height. “For the last two years, I have been a victim of sexual abuse.”
Gasps echoed throughout the hall, shock ran through students and parents alike. Eyes turned to Maverick with an equal amount of pity and sympathy showing, but Maverick himself could not return the gazes as a part of him had died.
A deep rage was building below the surface. Who could have down this? Which dumb son of a bitch would be the focus of Maverick’s wrath? Another student? A teacher maybe? Perhaps even a parent?
All he could do was listen with his mouth opened in terror at what pain Nancy must have gone through to say such words.
At the front of the room Nancy’s parents were equally shocked and mortified of what their daughter had just claimed.
Their little girl had been hurt, been ruined by a monster. For what Maverick felt he knew it was nothing compared to the loss, the pain, and the rage that had crept into their hearts, slowly crawling up their throats and transforming into an howl of emotion.
Still, Nancy kept her eyes straight ahead.
She did not falter and did not flinch as her world was being torn apart by her own hands and actions. “For the last two years this bastard has blackmailed me into being his girlfriend.”
With this single sentence Maverick felt his heart stop and do a double take.
“I was like any of you. I wanted to try smoking and fit in and I thought it would make me popular. Then I met Maverick Kenning and things went to hell real fast.”
The shocked and very pale Maverick Kenning was in a bit of a crises right now, his inner angle had found his balls and had just gone up to his inner demon with a catastrophic right hook.
I told you so, you bloody moron. Maverick’s good side seemed to say right before it gave its letter of resignation, it was not about to take the heat for this one.
On the ground, having no idea what just happened, the inner demon with the broken jaw held out his hand to Maverick. Run! But Maverick couldn’t, he was a dear caught in the headlight of a redneck driving a bulldozer.
Unable to move, in shock, and mentally crying out to his mother to wake him up before he wet the bed; Maverick sat there and accepted that almost all of the people in the room wanted to castrate him.
Drinking in the silence Nancy continued, “It started as harmless fun, for a cop of my breasts I get a few smokes. He seemed fun and had a bad-boy quality about him.”
She stared up at a light above and a tear shed its way though, and with that single tear, Maverick’s fate was sealed the sniffle that followed that tear was just the icing on the cake.
A delayed reaction to the shock Maverick entered a trance. He did not remember the staff moving to take up ambush positions around the exits, he did not recall the mixture of disgust in the room, he didn’t even feel Nancy’s secret boyfriend wrapping his arms around his neck.
All Maverick could see was the lying harlot’s face as she shamelessly sobbed into the principle’s arms.
Staring at her and her award winning performance Maverick almost believed her. His mind thought back to a time they shared and tried to find the moment where he had attacked her.
Was it the time where he grouped her chest for smokes?
No, Nancy was the one who suggested the trade. In fact, Maverick had lost hundreds of dollars on the bargain when she had convinced several other girls in her clique on how to score some free packets.
Some of these girls even asked if he had some special items like real diamonds and jewellery, items they would have gladly traded for some private time with their own form of barter.
After Maverick finished picking his jaw off the floor having heard of such a proposal from a number of girls he thought were as pure as virgin snow.
Which just went to show how innocent he was and how far women would go to get the thing they wanted.
Most of the girls who were in on the deal were just as shocked as anyone to hear what Nancy had to say.
They had flirted with Maverick and remembered how he had turned them down because of how much he didn’t want to turn his girlfriend into a vengeful bitch.
Was it the first time they had sex then? Maverick would admit he was clumsy and Nancy was a bit drunk, but she wasn’t that drunk and he would like to have thought he wasn’t that inexperienced to come off on forceful.
Maybe it was when Nancy thought about getting a bit of money and posed for some adult photos and used him because he trusted his photogenic eye, which was probably Maverick’s first indicator that he should run for the hills else he was going to go to hell.
Of course he wasn’t stupid enough to actually keep the photos; no, he had at least some level of brain power after those few weeks of seeing Nancy try on several costumes.
He had left the photos and negatives with her, after all she wouldn’t be tempted to show them off to her friends or put them on line for some pervert to see.
Was there any indication that Maverick was forcing Nancy into doing something that she didn’t ask him to do?
A few things came to mind, a suggestion for a threesome with Nancy’s older sister, a lap dance, asking if she could dye her hair blonde.
He might have pressured her into sex a few times by withholding some smokes but nothing she couldn’t fix by kicking him in the jewels for.
It was a well-known fact that Nancy studied karate while Maverick was more into avoiding conflict where he could.
She had demonstrated her kung foo mastery by dislocating his arm when he brought up the threesome with the sister talk, while he displayed his ability to avoid a situation when his mother and general practitioner asked how he got a dislocated shoulder in the first place.
It was just another little tell that Maverick might want to invest in a safer alternative to dating her.
This line of thought continued until Mr Harrington sent his foot into Maverick’s stomach.
The last thing Maverick saw was Mr Harrington’s sweet, beautiful, and spoiled daughter in the arms of her mother. And was it his imagination, or was that a smirk mixed in with those sad, innocent eyes?