Everyone else in the class would answer “here” when the teacher called roll in home room. But not Mark. He would always say “present.” He was the only one who responded to roll calls that way.
“Why do you always say ‘present’ at roll call?” one of the other students asked Mark.
“Because I am present in class,” mark answered.
“But everyone else simply says ‘here.’ Saying ‘present’ makes you sound uppity.”
“But ‘present’ is such an interesting word,” Mark said. It’s more versatile than ‘here.’”
“How so?” the classmate asked.
“Well, for one thing, it means being where you are; being ‘here,’” Mark explained. “It can also mean being in the moment, as being engaged in what is going on. I’m not just ‘here’ taking up space, I am truly ‘present,’ fully aware of what is happening around me.”
“Yes, I can see that.”
“But ‘present’ can also be a verb that means to give something to someone, like when you present someone with an award. Or you can use it as a noun to mean something someone gives you, like a Christmas present or a birthday present.”
“Ah, I get it,” said Mark’s classmate. “Like in, ‘I want to present this present to you.’”
“Exactly,” Mark said. “And it can also mean occurring now, as opposed to having occurred in the past or something that will occur in the future.”
“Wow, ‘present’ is a cool word,” admitted the classmate. “But using it instead of saying ‘here’ during roll call still makes you sound like an uppity asshole.”
Written for today’s one-word prompt, “present.”