by K.A. Franks
A father and son struggle to relate to one another after losing their sole connection.
So it looks like I got in trouble again today. I got called to the principal's office on account of my 'failure to attend classes regularly' - or at least that's how the school counselor explained it. But dad says my recent deliquency is just the result of coping with the new and unfamiliar adjustment of having to be brought up by a single parent. Leave it to him to diagnose me in a way that makes it sound like the two of you just got a divorce or something.
Sometimes I wonder if he even remembers what happened at all. And the worst part of it all is that sometimes I think that if I didn't know any better I'd think you ran out on us, too. Sometimes I even wonder if you running out on dad and me would've been for all of us - better than what actually happened.
I was twelve when my mom died. You'd think that my dad (Dr. Benjamin Stevens), being the renown psychology professor that he is would've known how to deal with it more efficiently. If not for his own benefit, than at least for the sake of his twelve-year-old's. But then again, I guess there's a reason teachers teach and don't do. For the last four and a half years my dad has officially branded my current behavior as 'acting out.' Though for the life of me I can't come to a conclusion as to why.
What Happened Was...
"Fight, fight, fight, fight," chanted the crowd of kids that had now formed a circle around me and Jeremiah.
"You're dead, Stevens," Jeremiah threatened, right before his fist lunged towards me.
"Oh, yeah," I said as I swerved to the left. "Well from the looks of things right now I'd say my chances are looking pretty darn good. Wouldn't you?"
"By the time I'm finished with you, you're gonna wish you still had a mom to go home and cry to."
Suddenly, it were as if something in me just snapped. I leapt towards Jeremiah and began wailing on him with all that I had. By the time someone from the crowd had finally notified our school's assistant principal, Jeremiah Lockwood's face had become so swollen that he was nearly unrecognizable.
Sitting in the office, I began to regain somewhat of the composure that I had lost in the past hour.
"Dylan Stevens? What on earth are you doing in here," the secretary asked as she entered the room.
"No idea, Melissa," I shrugged as I rubbed my bruised knuckles. "You?"
"Oh, well I was on my way out when Principal Davidson asked me to come back in here to keep an eye on some delinquent. I mean who in their right mind would get into trouble right before it's time for school to get out," Melissa paused, as she suddenly realized that I was the only other person in the room.
"Hey Mel, you think Principal Davidson would mind if this delinquent ran to the little boy's room real fast?"
Melissa shook her head, "Here," she said as she wrote me out a hall pass. "But be quick about it."
I ran my aching hands underneath the cool water in the sink, before splashing a few droplets of it on my face.
"Ow," I moaned as I gently dabbed at my hands with a paper towel. As I waved my hand in front of the paper towel dispenser, I couldn't help but wonder why life wasn't that simple. With only one brief motioning of my hand, I suddenly had a new paper towel.
Damn it, I thought, I better get back.