For all intents and purposes our house was amazing. Dad being Assistant Principle and Head of the Humanities Department had its perks. Five bedrooms, two bathrooms (plus an en suite in the master bedroom), a cellar filled with musical instruments and a large garden. I spent most of my time in my bedroom which Dad and Toni had allowed me to choose the colour scheme for. A week of my previous summer holidays was spent Dad at hardware stores choosing desks, bed covers, shelves and paint. It was fun, having paint fights with him in his old jeans, flicking charcoal paint on the white walls, painting the skirting boards crimson and putting up posters. I watched as Dad hung my new guitar stand on the wall as I drilled holes in the walls. The room felt alive with him and me busying ourselves, bickering and wrestling. My Dad was quite liberal with his rules, the posters I had were of naked tattooed girls, spiky-haired metal faced guitarists, and my Tottenham Arsenal FC poster. To be honest I only had the football poster because I knew it would annoy my Dad. “When I was a young lad, Tottenham and Arsenal were two separate London football teams that actually hated each other. Their amalgamation is a crime against nature.” I loved that week.
On this day I huffily barged my way through the door, making tender care to ensure the whole house could hear that I was angry again. Days like this Toni wouldn’t come near me, Henry stayed with his mother, and Grace would find time to admonish me when I had calmed down. I pulled out my laptop and told it to power up. A second after I had spoken the words the small rectangular screen whirred and whizzed into colourful life. As my wallpaper (a picture of Angel Candice, lead singer of ‘As Emily Cries’) settled on the screen I told it to open up my messenger service. I had to get an online conversation with Casey going, she would know how exactly to chill me out. As the app booted up I began to dictate my message to the screen.
“Hey delicious, you there?” Clever laptop even knew to put the question mark at the end of my sentence. I remember Dad laughing that he used to have to actually type into his laptop to get it to write. How laborious must that have been I wonder?
Hey stunna, I am most definitely here.
“How’s your day been?”
Gash stunna heard you got knee deep in shit again with the old man…
“Yeah, the dudes a prick when he gets going.”
Fuck him, sneak out and see me baby.
“Might do, just not tonight I am afraid. I do have to finish this history assignment, plus the music coursework is still not finished.”
And…..Your Dad is a fucking douche. Lewis called earlier wants to speak to us tonight.
“Really? What on earth about?”
He has something for us to do to help. Look, get to mine in two hours, if your Dad starts being a prick again just hit him.
“Careful Casey. I may be pissed with him but the dude is still my Dad.”
Yeah I know sorry. See you in two hours at mine.
The conversation ended as Casey went offline. I sat and squirmed, Lewis had never asked for me personally before. He always hinted that there were big things in the party awaiting me, I could reach the heights that Tommy could not, and I could show Dad exactly what sort of man I could be. Lewis was clever though, he understood I was intelligent, and like my father, I hold a lot of stock in being quick of mind and mouth. I always wanted to believe that there were amazing possibilities for me out in the wide world; I could stand before my Dad and say “Fuck you Dad; this is what I have achieved.” The problem really was that anything I did achieve Dad would really enjoy it with me and be so proud of me he could cry. I knew this even back then, so where was the one place that I could achieve that would really piss him off?