“Not this year!” Billy defiantly proclaimed to anyone within earshot.
So disgusted with the rancorous political season, Billy decided he was going to sit this one out. In fact, he was proud of his protest and would share his plan of inaction with his family, friends, foes, and fellow pedestrians with whom he shared the sidewalk.
“Not gonna do it!” he barked to the mailman.
“Why would anyone waste their time on this election?” He asked rhetorically to no one in particular in the park.
“Never, uh uh, no way,” he even muttered to himself as he settled into bed and slipped into a deep sleep.
“Beep beep, beep beep!” The intense siren of Billy’s alarm clock cut through the air, jarring him awake and almost onto the floor. He quickly dressed, grabbed his backpack, and headed to class, only to find the doors to his community college closed and several students gathered outside.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“The Community College Board shut down the campus,” said a woman next to him, “something about declining enrollment and saving tax payer money.”
“What?! This isn’t right!” said Billy, determined to get to the bottom of this. He was just a few credits from graduating, after all.
Billy pulled out his cellphone to break the news to his mother, but when she answered, he could tell she was upset.
“Billy, we just got terrible news. The school bond failed in my district, and I’m being let go,” said Billy’s mother, who is a music teacher at the local high school.
“Mom, I don’t get it. I never heard anything about the funding bond or community college board elections when reading the headlines on Facebook. It was all bickering and mudslinging, so I didn’t vote!” said Billy, but not quite with the defiance of the previous day.
“You didn’t vote?!” said his mother with surprise.
“Billy, don’t you know that there are so many issues that you never hear about. Those are the ones that affect the lives of the people around you so much more. The presidential race has an impact, sure. But the issues in your home district are too important to ignore. Look at what’s happening to us!”
“I was so wrong, Ma. I forgot that election day is so much more than national politics. Why did I ever think it was a good idea to sit on the sidelines with so much at stake?” Billy questioned, and paying too much attention to his phone, he walked right out into the street and oncoming traffic. A car slammed on its breaks, just before crashing into Billy.
“Beep beep!” screamed the horn of the car. “Beep beep!” Billy suddenly sat up in a panic. The sound of the car horn had morphed into the wail of Billy’s alarm clock. A horrible dream! He looked at his phone. 10:00 am, November 8th. He realized it wasn’t too late; he still had time to weigh in on the issues that mattered most to him and his family. He threw on clothes, grabbed his backpack, and headed toward campus.
“Have you voted yet?” he asked a man sitting next to him on the bus.
“Don’t forget to vote!” He yelled to the crossing guard.
“I did it.” He said to himself almost in a whisper, as he peeled the back off the “I Voted” sticker, and proudly pressed it to his chest, just as his class was about to begin.