I returned to Trinity College to correct a wrong from thirty years before. The head of the Alumni Association, Lauren Myers, had signed the invitation to the reunion. Figures. She believed the best revenge was succeeding epically and then rubbing everyone’s face in it. I reread the letter, tempted to throw it into the trash, but I decided to go. It was the perfect time.
Lauren Myers stood at the reception desk when I signed in. I forced a smile and shook her hand as I pinned my name badge on my sports coat. “I wasn’t sure you’d come, Wayne.” She exclaimed too politely.
“I wouldn’t miss this for all the world.’ I lied.
I signed in and picked up my small leather carry bag. I hadn’t planned on staying the entire three-day weekend.
In my room, I pulled out the file tucked into my case. I had spent the past thirty years wondering what to do with them. Although my instinct was to throw it away when I received the invitation, I realized this was my opportunity to do what I had to do.
The invitation said the opening reception would be at six o’clock. I had time to take a nap and lay on the hotel bed. Sleep came quickly, but not sound sleep. The young, beautiful, ambitious version of Lauren that I knew in college appeared in my dreams. The version I’d met a few minutes ago remained quite beautiful. Our last meeting together had haunted my dreams for the past thirty years.
“Lauren, You can’t do that.”
“Who’s going to stop me? You?” We had snuck into the university president’s office, and she had several grade documents she’d doctored, replacing the grade sheets in their files.
“Don’t do this. They won’t graduate this year if you change their last semester grades.”
“So, they have to take classes over. They ruined my life. Besides, these three are borderline failing anyway.”
“Come On. They only teased you a little.” I told her.
“A Little?” She retorted, “They made me the campus joke—no one would give me the time of day. Professors wouldn’t even help me after class, and no one would date me or talk to me. They made my life hell!! Now I’m making their life hell.” She went through the files and replaced the folders with hers, keeping the originals. I stood by and watched her helplessly.
At six o’clock I entered the reception. The three men in question were there because I made certain they came. I took a breath and got the crowd’s attention.
“I am Wayne Carmichael, as you know, but what you don’t know is why Roberts, Lee, and Crandell failed and had to repeat the semester when they were supposed to graduate.”
“President Long, here are the original grade sheets for these three.” I looked at Lauren, who was white as a ghost. “Lauren Myers made fake grade sheets and slipped them into their files, removing the correct grade sheet. I was there when she planted them. I tried to stop her at the time. I should have stopped her or told them, but I was too scared. Now I can set the record straight.”
I handed the grade sheets to President Long and walked out of the room. Right is better than wrong.