"News is the first rough draft of history."

The Voice of the College at Florham

"News is the first rough draft of history." - The Voice of the College at Florham

Short story: A complicated past in a small town

CHRIS BEDELL
Staff Writer

A gust of wind howled in the background as Liam walked up to the bar. He was currently standing on the massive acres of the Ridge Brook Country Club. It was the annual Founder’s Day Party. Liam grabbed a pre poured glass of champagne that was on the bar counter. The liquid fell into his mouth as a burning sensation pricked his throat. It wasn’t long before the alcohol trickled down into his stomach. A scorching sensation lingered for another moment. Continue reading

Personal essay: Student reflects on an emotional summer

CHRIS BEDELL
Staff Writer

It was Friday, May 23, 2014. I had been home from Fairleigh Dickinson University for over a week. My dad and I sat in chairs in my mom’s hospital room. Her latest visit to hell was due to a combination of factors related to her declining health.
A woman in a white lab coat shuffled into the room. I knew who it was immediately.
After a minute or two of general conversation about how my mom felt that day, it was time for my mom’s oncologist to have “the talk.”
“I think that it’s time to stop treatment,” she said. “You are getting all of the nasty side effects of the chemo but none of the benefits. It’s time to focus on getting you home and having hospice.” Continue reading

Story: Friends are not always forever, phony doesn’t cut it

CHRIS BEDELL
Columnist

Stefan Paine. He has two distinct personalities. One incident will be burned in my mind forever though.

It happened six years ago one morning during the fall semester of my sophomore year at Davidson University… I walked up the gigantic stairs to the academic buildings as I felt the humid breeze against my face. Once I got to the top stair, I bumped into Stefan.
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Personal Essay: I Have a Dan Humphrey Complex

CHRIS BEDELL
Columnist

People might knock the television show Gossip Girl, which was a show that ran for six seasons from 2007-2012 on the CW Network, but there is actually a lot of truth to the show. For instance, one of the main characters, Dan Humphrey, lives in Brooklyn and constantly feels like an outsider on the Upper East Side. It doesn’t matter that he has an on-again-off again relationship with it-girl Serena van der Woodsen and is best friends with Nate Archibald. The fact is that Dan is always carrying a chip on his shoulder simply because he feels like he never fits in.

For example, one of the show’s main antagonists Blair Waldorf constantly criticizes Dan even though for a while she never really knew him. And it didn’t even matter when Dan became a successful writer; he was still looked down upon since, as Dan mentions in the last episode, the Upper East Side was so elite you couldn’t even buy your way in.
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Personal essay: The day that forever changed my life

CHRIS BEDELL
Columnist

Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. It was truly the day that changed my life.

The morning started out like any other. I look forward to talking to my parents and I called them around mid-morning from the Student Center at FDU. I could not help but feel a little surprised after I was told to call back in an hour, though. Initially, I shrugged it off to the fact that I might not have called at the most opportune time to chat and didn’t think much of it. But as I look back on the whole ordeal now, it made total sense. Little did I know, the biggest bombshell of my life was about to be dropped on me.

I called back in an hour and was still looking forward to talking to my parents.

“I have some good news and bad news,” said my mom.
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Short story: Conclusion to a dystopian nightmare in Aklava

CHRIS BEDELL
Columnist

Woman after woman lined up and put their heads on the podium and then subsequently lost their heads.

That night when I was back in my bedroom I was restless since the image of the women lining up and then having their heads chopped off still haunted me.

The next morning after my Dad went to work and my Mom went to the market to get groceries, I heard a knock at the front door and I assumed it was Julian.

Boy, was I wrong.
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Short story: Cecily Jones’ coming of age in a not-so-tolerant community

CHRIS BEDELL
Columnist

Sex outside of marriage just wasn’t frowned upon in Aklava, it was against the law. Hell, it was even punishable by death. Although, teenage girls were sometimes shown mercy. All forms of birth control and abortion were also illegal – usually punished by jail time and sometimes by death when Chieftains wanted to make an example of you.

The sad thing was that even though the law technically applied to everyone, men were usually given a free pass. The double standard against my gender was nervy, although I guess it wasn’t totally surprising.

But where do I, Cecily Jones, fit into this? Well, let’s just say Aklava isn’t the best place for a seventeen year old girl to come of age.
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Story: The date that never should’ve happened, but fortunately did

CHRIS BEDELL
Columnist

While Damien was at the Blue Crest Café out on a date, his mind drifted back to 24 hours earlier when his best friend Andy had called him and told him about the date he had set up for him.

“Hi Damien,” said Andy, while Damien waited for him to get to the point.
“What’s going on?” asked Damien.
“What are you doing tomorrow night?”
“Nothing. Why?”
“Good, because I already told someone that you would show up at 6:00 p.m. at the Blue Crest Café for a date.”
“YOU DID WHAT?”
“You have to go. Besides I already told the person you would be there,” said Andy.
“Dammit Andy! You know how I avoid relationships at all costs.”
Damien drifted back to reality when Eva asked what he was going to order.
“I have no idea. How about you?” asked Andy.
“I’m not sure either,” answered Eva.

Damien glanced at Eva. She was thin, blonde and seemed slightly above average height for a woman. She didn’t seem to have any nervous habits such as biting her nails, which was good. Maybe she wasn’t a psycho, after all. He could only wonder what she thought of him.

They glanced at the menu and both decided to order Fettuccini Alfredo when the waiter came to take their orders. Unfortunately for them, there was an awkward silence while they waited for their food. But after several minutes Damien decided to be brave and talk.

“I have a confession,” said Damien.
“And what’s that?” wondered Eva.

“The only reason I went out on a date with you is because my friend Andy pressured me. I normally don’t like to date. I just prefer to stay focused on my career ambitions and write my novels,” said Damien.
“That’s right! I forgot that Andy said you were a published novelist,” remarked Eva.

“It’s just that I don’t really see the point of dating if you are just going to set yourself up for disappointment. I mean I can accept that I’m not that good looking but that doesn’t mean I have to endure continued rejection.”

“You’re rather frank aren’t you?”
“Well I don’t really see the point in being phony.”
“Did someone hurt you?” asked Eva.
“What do you think?”

“If it makes you feel better, even I have had my fair share of dating blunders. But what separates people like you from me, is that at the end of the end of the day I have moved on from my past relationships.”

“It’s hard to move on if you never get closure.”
“Fair point.”

Once the food arrived the conversation was actually enjoyable. Damien even found out that Eva was trying to become an actress, but had been unable to launch her career yet.

An hour later, the check had been taken care of and they were about to leave the restaurant when Damien glanced at Eva but was unsure if he should say what he was thinking.

“What is it?” inquired Eva as it became obvious that something was clearly on Damien’s mind.

“Nothing, forget it.”
“Just tell me.”
“I was wondering if you want to go out on another date?”
“Yeah, maybe I would. That actually would be nice.”

Half an hour later as Damien was in his bedroom and was about to fall asleep his phone rang.

“Hello?”
“It’s Andy. I just wanted to know how your date went.”
“It was fine.”
“That’s it? You aren’t going to tell me anything else?”
“Eva seemed really nice. Anyway, maybe I am too cynical about love and relationships, but I would appreciate it if in the future you wouldn’t meddle in my life unless I asked you to.”
“Okay, fine.”
“She agreed to a second date!” blurted Damien.
“That’s wonderful,” remarked Andy.

After Damien hung up the phone once he was done talking to Andy, he began to realize that even though he still had his reservations about dating, it was time for him to step out of his shell and take a chance on the fact that he could possibly fall in love with someone.

After all, Damien was getting pretty tired of the fact that his life felt like a tragedy.