E-Jay Kao


Ryan has just finished college and is about to start the beginning of the rest of his life at home in Boston. Ryan, age 23, has majored in creative writing and had the hopes and dreams of being the most well known writer in the world. For the time being, he enjoys playing wiffleball, soccer, basketball, football, volleyball and making movies with his friends. He especially likes going to Red Sox games and cheering as loud as possible - the sort of fan you’d hate but secretly want to be. Ryan has a nice laid-back personality and is always humorous. Although he is sort of weak and can’t throw a ball five feet, his friends don’t care.

After spending months at home, the mail finally came by the mailman in his mailbag. Ryan was to go to California in order to work for Marvel studios, his dream come true. If he could create the coolest character in the world, the whole world would recognize Ryan as a great writer. To California he was going without his friends, family, girlfriend, and the Red Sox.

When Ryan got to his new apartment, he quickly set up what was most important- the video game systems, the television, the internet, the computer, the telephone, and the bed. Right next to his computer was a picture of all his family and friends, there to inspire him when he brainstorms.

That night in Ryan’s dream, he thought of the most creative character he ever came up with- “Super-Agent Man”. His character was a brave super agent, a completely serious person with bulging biceps. The name of the character was Richtapher. Rich and famous, he got all the girls. Compared to Ryan’s life, he is a god. The best part of his character Ryan likes most is that he doesn’t have any super powers. Anybody who worked hard enough could be like Richtapher.

Working all the time, Ryan poured his heart into his baby, his story. The so called- Richtapher was finally finished. Richtapher, “Secret-Agent Man,” sold millions just on the first day.  Ryan couldn’t believe the success. It appeared that people liked the suave, strong, and debonair Richtapher. Ryan came to envy him, growing insane with each aspect of himself that wasn’t Richtapher until he decided he was to become Richtapher in order to beat Richtapher.

The next month, Ryan put the millions of dollars he made into creating his own Richtapher Cave in his own house. The cave wasn’t very intimidating; it was pretty much like a giant living room. In addition to his new living arrangement, he started to change his personality. He wore black all the time and became entirely serious. He also started working out to have bulging biceps.

Ryan was working in his Richcave when his mother called. His brother had committed suicide. The funeral was to be in two days.

When Ryan went back to his hometown of Boston, his friends heard that he was back and told him that they should get together and do all the things they used to do. Ryan and his friends decided to go to a Red Sox game. Ryan did not cheer at all. He felt as though cheering would make the other team depressed and would therefore bring a negative feeling to the other team, very unsuperhero-like. His friends began to suspect something. When they went home they decided to play some wiffleball, but Ryan didn’t like to play with bats swinging at balls, someone could get hurt. All of his friends told him that he had changed into a person that ruins all the fun they have and that he shouldn’t bother hanging out with them until he changes back into the old Ryan.

The day of the funeral, Ryan’s parents wanted Ryan to write a eulogy about his brother. Ryan wanted this speech to be very sensitive and he wanted to include all his feelings and memories about his brother, but he could not do it. After being serious for such a long time, his emotions and memories were locked away in his brain and he could not be open. His old girlfriend knocked and came to talk with Ryan. She explained to Ryan the reason for his brother’s suicide. His brother took things too seriously. High level college courses, and the pressure that was on him collapsed on him and he just couldn’t take it. She told Ryan that if he didn’t stop being a serious idiot he would eventually have no friends.

Ryan spent the hours before his brother’s funeral thinking about what his girlfriend had talked about until finally he cried. He cried for his brother’s death, he cried for his friends leaving him, he cried about Bambi’s mother getting shot. He cried about everything and all the emotion came back into him and he gained what he wanted to say at his brother’s funeral. Everyone was pleased with Ryan’s speech. Ryan’s parents were so proud of Ryan’s speech that they gave him five dollars.

Ryan moved back to Boston and returned to his normal routine of yelling at a Red Sox game,  playing video games and sports with his friends, and making movies. He changed back into his normal clothes. He was an entirely old person again. Ryan realized that, although Richtapher was the coolest person in the world with the coolest name in the world, he didn’t have what Ryan had, his friends. He did, however, keep one thing of Richtapher’s - his bulging biceps.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.