This is a short story I wrote for my English class. Please read and review.

"He was assassinated on a cold, crisp October day, just outside Scranton, Pennsylvania. I remember that he joked with us in the car on the way there, that he wrapped a jaunty blue and black scarf around his neck. We all envied him, because he could wear jeans and a sweater, while we were jammed into black suits. The Secret Service men looked the most miserable, although I could never see emotion behind the dark glasses they wore.

" 'You nervous, sir?' It was a dumb question. He never got nervous, but the Secret Service didn't know him like I did.

" 'No. Thank you for asking, Mr.?' That was another thing people didn't know about him, that he liked to know everybody's name, and he'd never forget one.

" 'Alan Park, sir. Uh, sir?'

" 'Yes, Mr. Park?'

" 'Would you mind signing something for my kids, sir? It would mean a lot to them.'

"He pulled one of his business cards out. 'Would this do?' He held it up so Alan Park could see it.

" 'Yes. That would be amazing. Thank you so much, Mr. President.'

" 'It's not Mr. President yet, Mr. Park. What are your children named?'

" 'Rosie, Sam, and Matt.' He nodded and uncapped his pen. I knew he would write his name, a little note, and then sign it. I had an autographed business card in my apartment.

" 'There you go.' He reached forward and handed Alan Park the card.

" 'Thank you, sir. Thank you so much.' He winked at me and shook his head. That was one of the reasons he'd be elected, because he was so charming.

"The speech was going to be outdoors, but they were kind enough to provide us with a small building where he could get ready. As we drove by, I heard the screams I had grown so used to on the trail, his name and slogan being chanted over and over. He showed no emotion other than a calm smile. I guess after working the job for over forty years, he didn't get excited about hearing his name anymore.

" 'Here we are, Nick. You get out first. That way, if somebody shoots at us, you'll get hit, not me.' It was one of our many jokes.

" 'Sir, I doubt even a military sniper could hit me. I just look like a skinny black line.'

" 'Sir, do you mind moving this way?' A group of black suits formed a tight group around us, to protect him, I suppose, and moved us to the building. He always grumbled about not being able to walk around freely, and blamed the Kennedy brothers for being stupid enough to get shot in the head. It was his blackest joke, because the Kennedy brothers were to him what he was to me.

" 'Just you wait, Nick. Soon they'll have me standing inside a glass box, and I won't even be allowed to shake hands.'

" 'Sir, there won't be any bullet proof glass. We promise.' The Secret Service men did not know his jokes, and I smiled a little.

" 'See, sir? You can still shake your precious hands and kiss your precious babies out there.'

" 'Just wait until it is your turn to go on the campaign trail. They probably won't even let you out. You'll end up making all of your speeches into a web cam.'

" 'Sir, I doubt I'm going to ever run for public office. I like staying in the background too much.'

"Once we were inside the building and the Secret Service men left us, I relaxed. I had only been in politics for about a year at the time, and I still hated being followed, especially since the Secret Service was more than a little suspicious of me. Given that I was fresh out of college, with no military experience, I did not see why, at the time.

" 'We've got fifteen minutes, Nick. Hand me my book, won't you?' Before every speech, big or small, he would always read George Orwell's essay on good political writing. He said it helped him appear to every man, woman, and child. He was right.

" 'Here, sir. How nervous are you?"

"On a scale from one to ten, with one being cool as a cucumber, and ten being wanting to vomit, I'd say I'm about a seven. Maybe an eight.'

" 'What are you usually, sir? A two?'

" 'I'm usually above a five, Nick.'

" 'But sir, you always seem so calm. I've never seen you sweat.'

" 'That, young Nick, is because I invest in a good deodorant and antiperspirant.' He gave his trademark smile.

" 'Sir, I'm being serious.'

" 'So am I, Nick. So am I. It's just years of practice, of not being afraid of being mocked any more. Have you seen the tapes of my first debate on the Senate floor?'

" 'No, sir. I haven't.'

" 'You should. I made a complete fool of myself then. But I learned to pick myself back up and keep going. It's something you'll learn too, Nick.'

" 'Sir, as I've said, I'm not going to run for public office.'

" 'Why not, Nick?'

" 'I don't know, sir. Mostly because I don't really care. Even if I did, I'd be the worst politician ever.'

" 'I don't think you'd be that bad, Nick.'

" 'You've never seen me try to speak or debate in public, have you?'

" 'We're debating right now, aren't we? And I'd say you can hold your own against me. And you know what they call me.' They called him the great Debater, a name I still would love to inherit.

" 'Sir, I think we should get going. You have to be out in five minutes.'

" 'And you are good at distraction, Nick. You win this once. I'll see you after the speech.'

" 'Good luck, sir.' That was the last time I saw him alive."

"I'm sure many of you are asking yourself why I am telling you this story on election night, after I have won? I am telling this story not only as a tribute to the greatest man I ever knew, a man who ran his party with pride and a gentle, but guiding hand, a man who cared about the little man, a man who encouraged me, the college boy who could not speak in public, to run for the most prestigious office in the world. This man taught me to stand up for what I believed in, no matter the cost, and he taught me not to fear a bullet, because a bullet may silence your voice, but your words will live forever. Thank you."

A shot rang out.