Summary: When Edward Masen resigns himself to his legacy to follow in his lawyer father's footsteps, he finds something much more than he anticipated. He finds hope and new beginnings.

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Life is a Heavy Burden Sometimes: My Year as a 1L


The world seemed oddly quiet and still as I sat on the back deck of the house. My parents were inside, probably long asleep. They had demanding jobs. My father, the well established and well known lawyer. My mother, the society wife who played her part perfectly.

I was the wayward son who was coming home to fulfill his destiny.

College had been fun while it lasted and the duel history and psychology degree I received all too easy to bluff my way through. Why read the textbook when you could just read the Wikipedia entry for a particular historical period or event?

I'd done my fair share of partying but was no playboy. I'd been drunk more times than I could count, but never black out drunk or drunk enough to do anything stupid. Mostly it was just a bunch of my friends and me at someone's apartment chilling out listening to Hendrix and playing Playstation or something. I was never one for big parties. Crowds made me nervous.

There had been girls in my life. Blonds and brunettes. Even a redhead or two. They all had been special to me at the time, though none of them special enough to consider anything long term. As college progressed I saw friends all around me fall one by one to the lure of engagements and marriage. I wasn't strictly against commitment; I just hadn't found the one I wanted to commit too.

Fate was something I battled against constantly. Knowing what is to come is the harshest mistress one can have. While I was off at college I could pretend that I was on my own and doing what I wanted to do, but once college was over the full force of my future was thrust upon me and it was something I couldn't avoid any longer. A dual degree meant prolonging college and putting off the inevitable.

Problem was that inevitable is just that – inevitable. There is no stopping what is to come from happening.

I'd hoped and prayed that something would change, anything would change. But no, nothing had changed.

With the ink on the degrees still drying, my father had shaken my hand and given me that knowing look.

"It's about time you came home to continue the legacy on," he had said.

The legacy was something I'd carried with me my entire life. His father was a lawyer. His father's father was a lawyer. His father's father's father was a lawyer.

I'm sure somewhere in England there was dusty records on some forgotten shelf with our family name written in illegible script proclaiming court cases and verdicts in our name.

It was a fate I constantly fought against.

If you looked me in the eye and asked me, I could genuinely say I didn't want to be a lawyer.

Problem was I couldn't tell you what I wanted to be instead.

I was like a ship without a captain. Just drifting out at sea. I studied history because I liked reading history books as a child. Psychology because the mind fascinated me. Sure, political science would have been a smarter choice for a future lawyer. Or perhaps writing. Maybe even communications.

But those were degrees that made more sense. A secret part of me wanted to get an aeronautical degree just to really piss off the old man.

Being the dutiful son though, I at least studied something that was remotely useful. Or so I was told time and time again.

Studying for the LSATs, the law school admission test, was something I did last minute. While some people spent months and even years preparing with classes and tutors, I bought one of those review books and didn't crack it open until a week before them exam. I skipped over the sections where the book editors taught you how to answer the questions and instead went straight for the practice questions. I took four of those stupid practice tests. My rough scores were all over the place and quite frankly I liked that.

Maybe once I wouldn't be so damn dependable.

I had a few drinks the night before the test and went in with slightly bloodshot eyes. The girl taking the test to the left of me was likely obsessive compulsive, having pencils that were all the same length and lining them up in the same direction between each testing section. The boy on the right spent the entire exam looking like he was about to vomit from nerves. They looked at me like I had three heads for finishing early and sleeping.

Yeah well, you would sleep too if the girl in the next apartment had a new boyfriend and a set of lungs on her that could rattle the pyramids. Let's just say I knew more about her sex life than I cared to know.

My recommendations were stellar thanks to my father, all of them saying how driven I was and how I was an upstanding member of the community. A few of them were from people I'd never even heard of, so I'm not sure how they could know these things about me.

I almost cried the day I got the acceptance letter in the mail, knowing what it meant for my life. The only other time I'd cried in my entire life was when I was five and found out Santa wasn't real.

Illusions are all we have sometimes.

Lightening bugs flashed out in the backyard, reminding me that summer was ending and fall quickly beginning. I longed to have the kind of freedom they had.

My freedom was coming to a grinding halt.

My name is Edward Masen and tomorrow I start my first year of law school.