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by brom21
Rated: E · Short Story · Experience · #2205294
A young man tells his parents his true desire for his life.
Derick looked down sitting on his bed looking at the document in his hands. It was about his secret desire he had since high school. Now that it was official he had to tell his parents. But their wish for him was always to go to medical school and become a doctor. He had butterflies fluttering in his stomach; it was time to break the news to them.

“Here goes nothing” he said to himself.

He stood and walked out of his room then went down the hall to the stairs. He stopped and took a deep breath. Derick descended the stairs and saw his mom making sandwiches for lunch while his dad sat on the Livingroom sofa reading the Saturday paper.

Derick’s mom was slicing tomatoes then she looked up with a smile. “Hey sweetie. Ready for the big day?”

His father lowered his paper and glanced at Derick. “It’s not every day you graduate from high school. You’ve always done so well. You’re going to do great at med school.”

It was like a ton of bricks just fell on him, crushing his confidence. He peered down and ran his palm down his face.

His mom frowned. “Are you okay hon?”

“What’s that in your hand son?”

Derick paused for a few moments. “That’s what I need to talk to you guys about.”

His mom Trish came around the kitchen counter and put a hand on his back. “Have a seat son.”

Trish sat next to her husband and Derick sat on the opposite recliner.

“Look, I know you both have good plans for me and I’m thankful for it. But there’s something I’ve always wanted to do for years.”

“What are you getting at son?” asked Derick’s father asked as he straightened his back.

Derick showed them the paper. “I joined the Air-Force.”

Derick’s dad Ben reeled back and shook his head. “Wha…how…when?”

“Three months ago. I’m taking a plane to Texas in three weeks.”

“But, I don’t understand. We’ve always talked about you going to medical school.”

“I want to serve my country.”

Trish reached forth and held her son’s hand. “Honey, you could get hurt or even die!”

“That’s what every policeman, firefighter or military member does,” said John with upturned eyebrows.

“But wouldn’t you rather help the sick and save lives? Think of the lifestyle you’d have too.”

“But this is something I’d love to do! Haven’t you seen all my model jets and helicopters?”

Derick’s parents looked at each other and sighed together.

Ben folded his hands and put them on his lap. “This is just all so sudden. It’s a lot to take in. Have you thought this through?”

“Yes. I talked with a recruiter at school a few months back. He explained everything in detail.”

“Okay, how about this; if we all had a group discussion with this recruiter and really talk things out, would you consider other options?”

“Yes. That would be a good idea,” said Derick with a smile.

With Derick’s agreement, a joint meeting was scheduled for Friday at his school with the recruiter in his office.

“It’s great to meet you two. I’m John,” the man said. “I’m sure you have concerns for your son. I’m here to put things in perspective. Most parents are opposed to their children joining the military.”

“That would be accurate enough,” said Ben shortly.

John leaned in over his desk. “First of all, the US would not be a nation without volunteers like your son. Such people are an essential part to ensure the sovereignty of our proud country.”

“But why does it have to be our son?” asked Trish.

“Many parents say the same thing. They figure ‘why my child’ just as you’re doing now.”

“Really?” muttered Trish sheepishly.

“Indeed. Your son is special of a certainty, just like all the rest of the people in the service.”

Ben seemed to let his guard down as he fidgeted his fingers. “What’s the likely hood of getting hurt?”

“There’s really no number to give. It’s rather subjective. But he will be well trained to handle dangerous situations. He’ll be in good hands.”

Derick smiled at the sensible words of John. It appeared to be soaking into Trisha and Ben somewhat.

There was a contemplative silence for several moments.

“Well, I just want you to be sure about this Derick. Do you really want to do this?”

Ben’s son nodded while he looked squarely into Ben’s eyes. “Well, I suppose it’s settled. You seem happy,” he said to his son.

Derick leapt from his seat and hugged Ben. “Thanks dad! You won’t regret it!”

Three weeks came quickly. When Detrick was driven to the airport, he could see a sadness in his parents eyes.

“Send us texts now and then or just call,” Trish said as she hugged Derick.

“Don’t worry, I’ll keep you updated,” he said with a laugh.

“We’ll both keep you in prayer,” Ben said as he patted Derick on the back.

“The Lord will look after me.”

With those words Derick walked into the terminal docking entrance. He peered behind him and waved goodbye.

“I’m happy he followed his dream. Perhaps this is God’s calling,” said Ben.

Trish wiped a tear from her eye. “I think you’re right.”

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