Crossing the Line

Áron Antal

Today I got an F in math. This was the final one I needed to have to repeat this year. I knew what this meant. I just don’t want to go home. They would never understand. They say that I have to go to college, because that is the only way for me to have a decent life. Well guess what. I screwed up again. Can’t they understand that I hate school? I want to find a job and have a decent life that way. I always struggled with education, why can’t they understand, why the insistence?

These thoughts and many like them were screaming in my mind, in the same way that the math teacher was screaming in my face. I didn’t care. I just stared blankly at the green board as the class laughed at me. I had got used to it by now.

When I arrived home, I heard them arguing. Great, just what I need. The fact that I just failed math surely will lighten the mood.

–Oh hi there you dumb…

–Hi Dad. How was your day?

–Oh just fine! Even better after I got a letter from the principal. Would you be so kind as to tell me what you were thinking? Can’t you concentrate? How could we raise you this stupid? Where did we go wrong, huh?

–I’m sorry, it’s not your fault.

–It sure isn’t. Get out of my sight.

I rarely talked back, as I was lectured with shouting when I did. But now I couldn’t hold it back.

–You know what? I don’t think you understand me at all!

–What did you say?

–You don’t understand me! You don’t know me! And you judge me without knowing!

–I know you all right; you are a dumb, ignorant, untalented piece of human garbage, that is what you are! I would be glad if you weren’t a failure!

–Okay then, we will see about that.

I slammed my door.

At night I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking: how could I endure this torture, day by day? What really keeps me here? If I really wanted to, I could pursue my dreams. I am an adult now. Why should they tell me what to do? I don’t need them, and I don’t need anyone. I won’t be a failure any longer, I will stand up, even if it means I must leave everything behind.

It was 2 a.m. I started packing up. Put my better clothes in a duffle bag, shoved my laptop on top, and put all the money I had in one of its side pockets. I earned it when I worked at my friend’s dad’s place for the summer. They lived about six hundred kilometers away. They were my destination. I know they will take me in until I can sort things out. Daniel works with his dad at their farm. I hope they have a job.

It took me fifteen minutes to pack up. I went to the kitchen where my dad had his old Chevy’s key on the counter. I grabbed it, then I climbed out of my room’s window.

Technically the Chevy was mine, it was in my name, I paid the insurance, but he drove it, and didn’t let me behind the steering wheel since I got my license. I bought it, but he didn’t have a car, so you can guess the rest of the story.

The night was dark, cold and quiet. I could only hear some dogs barking and an ambulance siren in the distance.

The old Chevy hesitantly came to life, its headlights sparkling in the dark. The sound of its engine tore the silent fabric of the night as I slammed down the gas pedal and rode off into uncertainty. Except one thing was certain. Anything is better than this life.

I should have made this decision much sooner.