The Ride Home, Part 03

Part 03: Brian

Brian climbed into this mother’s car, his thoughts filled with a new outlook on his life’s meaning. It was strange how much the events of a single day could change his whole view on life and how much he would be missing out on by not sticking around. I don’t have it any worse than anyone else my age, he thought to himself, I’ve just been blind to the good, only focusing on the bad. It was a fucking lamp for Christ’s sake!

“So, did you study like I told you?” Brian’s mother asked, casting a reproachful look in his direction. That look dared him to say something smart.

“No mother, I wasn’t allowed to the principal just made us sit there all day and stare at the desk.” He replied. He feared his mother was going to blow up and start yelling at him but she merely nodded and started up the car.

“Your father and I were talking Brian.” She paused for a moment, looking both ways carefully as she pulled out of the parking lot. “And we’ve come to the conclusion that public school isn’t the best option for you.” She was watching him out of the corner of her eye to see how he would take the news.

“What?!” Brian exclaimed, “You can’t take me out of school, it’s my senior year!” He was furious. Every time it seemed his life may be taking a turn for the better his mother had to step in and muddy the waters.

“Brian,they found a gun in your locker! A gun!” Her voice was escalating,  a sure sign of a major argument. “What else are we supposed to do? If you were in a private school you would be around children of your own intelligince level, not that, that riff-raff lurking through the halls of that school of yours. We only want what’s best for you.” She ended the last note with an air of authority and finality, indicating the matter was not up for discussion.Normally Brian would have fallen in line, but perhaps that was the problem. Maybe that was what had brought his life to the point where a gun had seemed a reasonable, even desirable, option. No longer.

“Mom, I was going to use that gun on myself.” Brian said softly. There, he had finally confessed the truth. Up until now he had convinced her it belonged to an unnamed bully who had threatened to hurt him if he didn’t hide it for him and keep his mouth shut.

His mother looked as though she had been struck. She jerked thewheel sharply, a horn sounded from a nearby vehicle, she quickly corrected but was visibly disturbed.

“What? Why son? Why would you do such a thing?” Her eyes were wide and she had gone pale.

“Because of you,” Brian replied, “and because of how you push and push, even when I’m at my best.” Tears started to course down Brian’s cheeks. “You make me miserable; sometimes I wonder whether you love me or if you just say that because that’s something a mother’s supposed to say.”

The rest of the ride was passed in silence, each wrestling with conflicting emotions, wondering how it came to this, what could have been done differently, and what could be done to fix it.

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