"Mr. Kellerman, please come to the podium," she called out, a smirk coming across her overly red-painted lips. Shane glared, but not wanting to be in more trouble, he gathered his paper with sweaty palm and took a deep breath as he approached the front.
The room was silent. Some were giving him the 'evil eye,' just waiting for him to mess up so he could never live it down in the hallways of high school. He looked only at his paper. It seemed like such a stupid topic. But, that was what he'd gotten for putting it off until 2 AM that morning. The teacher cleared her throat loudly. "Old bat," he muttered under his breath, though he could have sworn that it echoed around the whole room. "You may begin any minute now, Mr. Kellerman," she reminded in an annoyed tone.
"In the small riverside town of Lexington, Missouri was an old bridge. You may think, 'big deal, who cares, whatever.' But this bridge was the only way to get there from the southern towns. It was nicknamed the Hell's Bridge by those who crossed it frequently. Perhaps because it was only wide enough for two lanes with no room to spare, and the very edges of the road were crumbling and exposing bent rebar. And nowadays the people of Lexington have a special saying: 'never tie your boots on Thursday.'
"There once was a girl who's father had his day off on Thursday. And every week he would take her to the small theater in Lexington. Now, this girl was a bit of a tomboy, and she always wore big lace-up army boots. Her dad was a paranoid freak. Every day he would have plenty of advise for her, which she would often just ignore. One thing was what to do if the bridge collapsed beneath them, or they drove off the side. He told her that they would have to take of their shoes and jackets and swim like hell. Just as a joke, he commented that she would never be able to escape from her boots, which took about thirty seconds to untie.
"As fate would have it, the two had an accident. The father was able to escape, but his daughter was not so lucky.
"You could say the moral of this story is to listen to your parents. Whatever way you think of it…" Shane paused. That was where he'd left off. He looked up at the class, a few of the girls with sad looks in their eyes. He had to finish. "Whatever way you think of it, just remember to open your mind to any advise. You never know when it could save your life, no matter how trivial it may seem at the time."