How hard and uncomfortable this seat feels is the only thing that matters to me right now. It is a flood, the way the rap music from the earbuds of the high school boy opposite me seep into the cracks of my subconscious. In this one bus ride, my last bus ride, the only thing I can think about is the bass of the song and just how much I actually do hate siting on this bus everyday, twice a day.
But, I mean I just don’t understand why this is necessary, though. It was ONE party. My parents are just going to drastic measures! The Academy? Really? Shooting me into East Jesus Nowhere in outer space is not what I need. Honestly, I’m a good kid. I clean my room, I walk the dog and complete my brain uploads. Why exactly they think sending me off to some ‘school’ is a good idea is a mystery to me. Apparently this is they way they learned as a kid. Being taught by a person? Having to sit in a lesson all day? It all makes no sense.
I have two days. It’s two days until I have to board an intergalactic flight to my doom.
I meet up with Jeremy at Mario’s Pizza.
“The ACADEMY?! You must be kidding me. You’re yankin’ my chain, right?”
“Unfortuately, I am neither kidding or yankin,” I match. “It’s happening, dude. I might doubt it if not for the fact that my dad has been talking non-stop about it.”
Jeremy leans back in his chair and shakes his head with his typical smirk, “You are in for it, man. I’ve heard they have no internet!” This was something I hadn’t heard before. No internet? I gape at him; that is unreal. Jeremy seems satisfied having shocked me with that tidbit.
Later on that night, Mom comes in to talk to me. I couldn’t handle any more tears. Luckily, she looked stoic instead.
“Now honey, you know this is going to be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You know that Itzahseekret is a very different planet than ours. You’ll need your--”
“I know mom,” I interupted, “my winter coat. We’ve been to Ryland for holiday, it’s basically the same planet, right?” She nodded, but she bit her lip as if she wasn’t so sure I really did understand. Mom just hugged me gently as if she had never done it before and left me to “my own devices” as Dad called it. She doesn’t really want to send me to the Academy. My dad is the one. He believes in learning your lesson to fullest extent; whereas, Mom just follows along thinking it’s what is best for me.
I loaded up my Digi-screen and the holographic image splayed out in front of me. I came to a plain website, probably a free, not to mention ancient, Geocities site. I skimmed over a short text describing the school. Something about books and something called a classroom, I think? Finally, I found a photo. The actual Academy was not quite what I expected in terms of aesthetics. I thought at least it would look modern, maybe made of all glass or something cool. Not quite. It was ordinary in all aspects like the kind of stuff you see in 2000’s movies. The inconspicuous rectangluar shape and unassuming brown color did not give me any indication of what was inside.
I spend the rest of the night and the next night searching the internet for something to cling to. I’m used to knowing exactly where something is and exactly what it looks like from my Digi-screen. I don’t go anywhere without checking it. The lack of information keeps me awake. With no luck, my ceiling offers no repreive. I wake up knowing no more than what Dad and Jeremy have told me. The bus route and people on it that I know by heart do not seem as alien anymore.
I wake up on the day I’ve been dreading since I was caught doing it. Don’t make me bring it up again, ya know, the party. My mom flips my light on without saying a word. Dad’s been waiting for something like this. He went to the Academy too, so technically it’s legacy. In his day, it was some sort of honor.
“Made me a man!” he recounts to me for, I’d safely say, the billionth time.
Now, it’s pure punishment and that is exactly the point--punishment. Breakfast is a quiet event on all fronts. I imagine the house will be this way when I’m not here. As Dad and I are leaving, my Mom doesn’t say much but just looks me in the eyes with tears in hers. She hugs me for about 4 hours before my Dad finally beeps his car horn to wake up the whole neighborhood. Different though, Dad talks the whole ride. He is beside himself with excitement.
“Sound as if you’re happy to be rid of me.” I tell him.
“No,” he answers, “just happy you screwed up enough to convince your mother this is good for you. The Academy will do you some good.”
As we approach the flight station he gets more serious. “Kid, be good for once and don’t make your mother and I have to come get you.”
I don’t know what it is; my parents think I’m a hooligan. I think they read some parenting book that says as soon as I hit 17 I must be close to criminal.
Dad just claps me on the back and drives away. Not that I expect much else, we have a no nonsense relationship.
He warned me about the flight days ago, though, and hell it is. The turbulence is horrible and I now am aware that I do in fact, get space sick.
Parker, Steve. "US Flag | Flickr - Photo Sharing!" Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing. Web. 13 Jan. 2012. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparker/2427517816/>.
Designs, SmartBoy. "The Sparse Planet | Flickr - Photo Sharing!" Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing. Web. 13 Jan. 2012. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/smartboydesigns/3797823072/>.
Fotography, Sarai. "Outer Space Simulation | Flickr - Photo Sharing!" Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing. Web. 13 Jan. 2012. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/wingsofahero/3374370563/>.