Another Step Climbed

A very short story about Landon First, a 17-year old counting down the days until he leaves home. This is about the trials and tests he came to face at various points in his two year countdown, and about what he learnt at the end of it all. The main question for him is the one that most people try to ignore:

Today I'm getting my GCSE results.


Well, of course it's not funny, no-one treats this lightly, ever.

But I'm not going to treat this like it's the end of the world.

In fact, for me, this is the only beginning. Just another step towards getting out of this dump. The one that's called School and hopefully the one called Home as well.

Of course I see no reason to call No. 7 Gringit Road my home, it's just my residence, where I sleep, where I do homework that I decide not to do at lunchtime, where I have to listen to Kyle and Gwen argue about my and Julie's future and their 'differences'- more like big fat problems. My biological parents, nothing more, why should they deserve any non-existing emotion from me? 

I've worked every single minute of these past two years on the standard English qualifications named GCSE's. I'm predicted 9 A*'s and 3 A's. That's understandable, English, French and History have never been my type of subjects.

I'm not autistic, I'm realistic.

Why should I bother making friends, when I know from watching Julie that it just always ends up in tears and mild depression? Your friends will move on, maybe not all of them, but they will, eventually, forget about you, and all you will have left is memories, memories that, especially for a long line of First's who have a history of having a faulty memory, will eventually fade away, making you even more upset that you ever forgot them.

But for those who can remember, and do enjoy memories, good for you. There was a time when I wished that I wasn't so void of emotion, that when I heard my grandmother died I could have actually cried, that when my parents celebrated me passing my 11+ test 5 years ago, I would have been as happy as they were.

No I'm not a robot. 

I'm just, running on empty in the emotions department.

It's been two years, one month and eighteen days since I last cried. I just collapsed on the floor on the way home from school and started wailing, it lasted about one and a half minutes. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I won't use hyperbolic metaphors such as 'like Niagara Falls', something people use frequently to describe their crying.

Maybe I will use that phrase one day if I do manage to spill millions of litres a minute from my eyes.

There was no reasoning behind why I cried, I didn't even feel it coming on until about twenty seconds before. Nothing bad had happened to me that day, nothing particularly 'special'. I hadn't seen some soppy movie like Titanic and held my tears for later, it just happened, like a nerve had twitched.

I stopped without ever even pausing to look at those staring at me with an 'Aww!' expression in their eyes. I just wiped my cheeks and walked on.

I can see the doors are being opened now. Everyone's rushing to get inside, others being reluctantly shoved in by their friends. Of course I'll wait until the commotion has died down a tad.

Now it has.

And of course, my envelope is the only one left on the table.

Interesting. I got an A* in French and History as well. Personally I thought my essay on Hitler being the main cause for WWII was a bit too critical.

Oh well. Maybe the marker was Jewish?

Well, I suppose this is all a bonus. I had better get out quick before any acquaintances of mine or teachers start congratulating me on my 'achievements'. 

It’s not that hard guys. Just have to spend a lot less time on Facebook and more time on studying.

Do I sound too parental?

That's okay; society can go and stick it where the sun doesn't shine anyway.

All these cheering and crying faces are not my problem.

Getting away from where I am is all that does, and will ever matter.


The End

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