I wrote this very small story, just cause of the 4th coming up. Hope you guys love it.

Leo and Jed are in the Oval Office, it's about 11:00 am on the 4th of July. They have been talking about their plans for the day. Jed is busy giving a speech that night at some fireworks festival. The staff is all supposed to show up to this and have a good time, or so ordered the President. But as we all know, just because the President orders them to have a good time, doesn't mean they will.

"Leo, it will be fun. When's the last time you went to something like this?"

"Including this year?"

"Yeah."

"Never, sir."

"See, that's why you should go. If not because you are my chief of staff, because you are an American citizen."

"Thanks for pointing that out, sir."

"Come. Have fun. Do I have to make that an order?"

"No, sir. I will come."

"And you're going to have fun?"

"I will try to have fun."

"If I find you tonight, and you are not having fun, I'm gonna send my wife after you."

"I'll have fun, sir. No need to go to such drastic measures." This prompts the two good friends to share a much needed laugh.

****************************

Later that day, around 5:00, Josh just finished with a stack of papers. He handed them to Donna, and set off for Sam's office, where he found Sam finishing the final touches on the speech to be given that night.

"Hey Sam, what's up?"

"Just about finished here, give me a minute."

With this, Josh decided to sit down, and true to his word, in one minute Sam was finished.

"Ok, what do you need?"

"I was wondering if you are taking Mallory to the thing tonight?"

"Mallory's mad at me right now."

"So you're gonna need someone to hang with?"

"Are you asking me out?"

"Sure. You gonna accept?"

"Sure, why not?"

"Cool."

Just then, CJ walked into Sam's office, asking "What time does the thing end tonight?"

"How many times do we have to tell you CJ?"

"As many times as it takes for me to remember."

"At 8:30 the President gives his speech. Then at 9:00 it should be dark, if it is, that is when the fireworks start to go off. They are expected to last a good thirty minutes, no more than fourty five."

"Cool. And how long do we have to stay?"

"I suppose we can leave after the speech, why? Hot date tonight?"

"Yeah right. I just figure I'm gonna be really bored, and will want to duck out as soon as possible."

Toby opened his office door and saw the little gathering in Sam's office, and decided to stick his nose in. "What's going on in here?"

"Just talking about tonight."

"Sam, did you finish the speech?"

"Yes, yes I did. Cathy should have it."

"Ok."

"So Toby, do you have any plans tonight after the festival?"

"Josh, I don't see how that's any of your business. What I do in my personal time in no way effects you or this office."

"Easy fella, I was just curious. I was thinking we could all go out for a beer afterwards of something."

"Count me in Josh," Sam said.

CJ also chimed in with, "Yeah, me too."

"Count me out," said Toby as he walked over to Bonnie's desk took a huge stack of papers and disappeared into his office.

****************************

Sam, Josh, and CJ are all standing off to the side of the stage as the President gives his speech. Periodically Josh pats Sam on the back when he hears a really good line.

"So has anyone seen Toby?"

"He was here earlier, but I think he left already."

"That sounds like a good idea, you guys want to duck out too?"

"Sure." CJ and Sam both said, as they turned around and walked towards all the parked vehicles.

****************************

Leo, true to his word, showed up to the festival, as if he had any choice. He even tried to have fun, but the rest of the staff was goofing off just a bit too much for Leo's liking. Just then, as he was backing up, getting ready to turn around to leave, he bumped into a little girl who was singing along to the song over the P.A. system.

"Well she lit up the sky that fourth of July By the time that the firemen come They just put out the flames, And took down some names And send me to the county home Now I ain't sayin' it's right or it's wrong But maybe it's the only way Talk about your revolution It's Independence Day

Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing Let the whole world know that today is a Day of reckoning Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay, it's Independence day"

"Well hello there." Leo said bending over, as he saw tears building up in the little girl's eyes. "My name's Leo. What's your's?"

"My name is Jessica."

"Jessica, why are you crying?"

"This song. It happened to me, a few years ago."

"I'm sorry, I haven't been paying attention to the song. What happened to you years ago?"

"My daddy tried to hurt my mommy, but then he went away. Then my mommy killed herself, she burnt our house down. It was even on the 4th of July too, just like in the song."

Leo filled with emotions, said "I'm so sorry. So you probably hate today just as much as me."

"I love today. My mommy did what she had to do, it was the only way she could be free. It's weird that it happened on the same day the country got freed. Don't you think mister?"

"Yes, weird."

"So why do you hate today?"

"I fought in a war years ago, and on this day, one of the guys that fought with me was shot and killed by the enemy."

"Why did he die?"

"He died for this country, for you and me."

"So those fireworks, those are kinda for him, kinda like saying thanks?"

"I never thought of it that way before."

"I bet your friend is in heaven with my mommy. And I bet they're looking down on us right now. You're friend is probably sad that you aren't having any fun." The little girl said as she turned around for a second, then fixed her gaze back on Leo. "That's my new mommy and daddy, they're ok, but it's weird living with a new mommy and daddy. I better go now, it was nice talking to you mister. I hope you have fun tonight."

As the little girl ran off to join a man and woman waiting her arrival, Jed and Abbey walked up behind Leo.

"Who was that?"

"Huh," Leo said as he turned around to face his friends, "Oh, that was just a little girl I ran into on accident."

"Leave it to you to harm innocent little girl's, Leo."

"Yeah."

"So Leo," Abbey began, "are you having any fun?"

"Well, I wasn't at first, but now, I think I'm starting to."

THE END.

 

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