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John’s phone began to ring, he sighed when he looked at the caller ID on the screen.

‘Hello Da, I wasn’t expecting to hear from you until tomorrow.’ John put his phone on loudspeaker, he still had papers to finish.

‘Just wanted to check you’re ready. I know it’s only lunch, but your mother was so disappointed she couldn’t go to your graduation.’

‘Aye, I’m annoyed too. Normally I never eat from the college vending machines, but the first time that I do I get food poisoning from a ham and cheese sandwich.’

‘Never worry, you can’t control when you get sick. Just make sure you have that certificate ready for us to look at tomorrow.’

‘No problem, I’ll have it ready by then.’ John winced almost as soon as he said it.

‘What do you mean you’ll have it ready?’

John would have to think fast.

‘Isn’t it ready now?’

‘I bought a presentation case for the certificate today, I wanted to surprise you and mum tomorrow, I just need to put it in the case and then you’ll have something to hold on to.’

‘For a minute there I thought there was something dodgy going on,’ said his dad. ‘So, we’ll see you tomorrow. What’s the parking going to be like around your place?’

John pretended to listen for another half hour as his Dad droned about parking, rain, and school buses. If he got off the phone then John could concentrate on his forgery, his parents would be so disappointed if John didn’t graduate. Bet the University never even considered their feelings before taking away my chance.

After lunch John took his parents back to luxury apartment they paid for and he’d forgotten to clean. He grabbed the certificate and opened a window. John couldn’t help smiling as he admired his handiwork; inside the presentation case it almost looked real.

‘I’m such a proud father today, John, you’ll always be the first to graduate from our family. I’m just going take a picture to show your Uncle Charlie. Did I say he can get you a management position in his factory? It’s a good start for a college man.’

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