Thursday, March 7, 2013

High School 1958 vs 2012: Darlene's Toolbox

As talked about in this post, I am going to write my own versions of that idiotic "High School 1958 vs 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012" thing that has been plaguing the internet. Please enjoy my interpretation of nonexiestant Scenario 11...

Darlene finds $5000 in a toolbox.

1958: She knows this money must have belonged to her grandfather, the owner of the toolbox. She has fond memories of helping him in his workshop when she was a little girl. However, pressure from her parents forced her away from her favorite place and into grandma's kitchen to be a proper lady. Darlene knows she should give this money to the family, but she also knows that if she does, she'll never see it again. Oh sure, she might get a new dress and formal etiquette lessons, but that would be it. Her older brother will be starting college next fall. The family has enough money to pay his way, but with this, he could get into a more expensive school. And her? She'll never get to college. This is a traditional family with traditional post WW2 values and her parents would never let her shame them by leaving her assigned role. No, better that she keep this money a secret and use it to further herself. Deep down, she feels that this is what her grandfather wanted. Why else would he put it in the toolbox he always let her use when she visited?
          Darlene takes a deep breath and hides the money. She tells her mother she isn't feeling well and won't be down for supper. Her mother tsks and reminds her not to be late to Mrs. Jenkins's tea social tomorrow. Darlene grimaces a smile and quietly shuts her door. She swiftly packs a suitcase; a couple pairs of work clothes, a nice dress, appropriate shoes, her favorite books, some writing tablets and pencils, and her grandfather's toolbox on the bottom with most of the money tucked inside. She slips out the window and climbs down the trellis as she did so many times when she and her brother were little. She feels a momentary pang about leaving her family, especially her brother, behind, but vows to make it up to them.
          Darlene boards a bus headed for a small city two states away. As the long miles roll past, she writes in her tablet. She writes to her brother, telling him how much she looks up to him. She writes to her parents, telling them not to worry about her. And she writes to her grandfather to thank him for his gift. She hopes somewhere he is watching out for her and wishing her well on her journey.
1968: Darlene walks across the stage to receive her PhD in nuclear physics. She looks out at the crowd and sees her family beaming in pride at her. As she takes her diploma, she whispers "Thank you, grandfather," tears filling her eyes.
           Suddenly, a piercing howl fills the air. Frightened people look up to see a plane barreling out of the sky, flames shooting from its windows. People scream in panic and fear, running for their lives. Darlene shouts to her family, but can't be heard through all the noise. She runs as hard as she can, taking cover in a nearby drainage structure, the safest place she can find. The plane crashes, sending fire, smoke, and debris across the campus. Darlene feels the heat of the flames and hears the wails of people dying. She holds herself tight and sobs, drainage water soaking her robes. A lone square cap floats by, smouldering.
          Darlene's brother barely survived, but her parents, along with many others, perished. The discovery of an overlooked fault in the fuel line is the cause. A secretary discovered the fault, but because she was female, she was dismissed. Even though this secretary had an engineering degree, sexism in society prevented anyone from taking her seriously. Despite knowing the real cause, Darlene feels a great sense of guilt; if she hadn't brought her family there to see her triumph, they would still be alive. She vows to make it right.

1978: It's been ten years since that horrible accident. Darlene hasn't let it stop her in her vow to put it right again. Her brother, paralyzed from the accident, is her best friend and helper. He has savvy financial skills and helps Darlene build her dreams to atone for her guilt.

2012: Darlene is now the CEO of a global multibillion dollar corporation build around the airline industry. She hosts fundraisers in her lavish mansion and crusades for the downtrodden. She campaigns for strict airline safety standards and gender equality in the industry and sciences. Strangely, she is never around for sightings of the mysterious feminist vigilante known only as Snatchwoman. When asked about the vigilante, Darlene just smiles and says "There's a little Snatch in all us women."

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