He unexpectedly interrupted his speech, pointed to both Clara and Valden in the second row, urging them to stand. “Speaking of parents, I recently found out I had a father. I never knew him. I’m part Cuban. I feel blessed with two great parents and a wonderful girlfriend. Sometimes, you just never know how life will turn out.”
The crowd exploded into a frenzy, joining Arnaz's parents in a rousing standing ovation. Valden looked at Clara and said—“That boy's special.”
Arnaz was the last to receive his dual degrees, majoring in communication with a minor science.
Valden looked at Clara and smiled— “You did a wonderful job raising him.”
A fired-up and overjoyed Arnaz threw his cap into the air with his fellow graduates to complete the ceremony. He hugged both parents when he jumped off the stage.
“So this means you've forgiven him?” Clara asked, looking on. “Guess it does,” Arnaz boasted.
A bubbly Isis, wearing a short red dress, popped out of the thick crowd to grab her beau, who was busy shaking hands with his classmates. She wrapped her long arms around ‘Naz and planted a kiss on his lips. “I’m so proud of you.”
Arnaz had been going full-blast since the graduation practice two days ago. His body was like a rocket soaring rapidly into outer space. He welcomed the embrace, allowing it to slow down his momentum. He caught his breath and relaxed under the shady oak tree. “Damn, I forgot all about you coming down.”
Clara and Valden joined the couple, and a gushing Arnaz introduced his lady-friend to his new-found father. “This is the love of my life, Isis Rogers. Meet my old man, JC Valden.”
Valden grabbed her right hand and kissed it. “What is a beautiful woman like you doing with someone like him?”