No, the word didn't pose as the perfect adjective to capture my present feelings at the moment.
Elated. Estastic. Overwhelmed.
Those words didn't cut it either. It was no surprise I couldn't successfully sought out the perfect word to relay my feelings. To express my emotions. They were indescribable. That feeling you get when you've worked so hard for success to come your way and at the end of it all, it comes knocking on your door on request. I couldn't explain it all.
I screwed my eyes tight, arms folded, resting on the window as a bright smile attacked my lips. My dark brown afro-textured mane restlessly sweeping back and forth behind me as the car sped up. The sun rays slapping me hard in the face but still, I basked in it-never pulling my head out.
It felt so much like a dream, one I didn't at all wanted to wake up from. I couldn't believe this was happening. I could still reckon the moment the much awaited letter froze on the computer screen. The exact words typed, the entire content...including the fonts used. Everything.
Dear Miss Reeds,
We are pleased to inform you that you've been awarded a full ride scholarship in regard of your outstanding academic excellence. Know your college fees will get started same month of your course. Your college as well as tuition fees will fall under this scholarship. Your books and related materials will fall under this fee. Your college and tuition fees amount will directly be given to their respective source and a monthly stipend of $1500 will be given to you every month. We require all your related certificates and documents for submission purposes so contact us as soon as possible. Congratulations. We wish you all the best with success in your academic pursuit.
Director of Scholarship Department, Oklahoma, USA,
Oklahoma State University, USA.
A slight giggle escaped my lips, joy taking over me wholly as my hands reached up to keep the sounds at bay. I whipped my head to the side to glance at my brother. Instead, he was already staring at me, a feigned irritated expression plastered on his face. I snuck my tongue out at him in a playful mannerism and turned to look away. I have worked so hard for this. Years and years of sleepless nights finally paying off. The year was already starting off pretty good. I couldn't wait for what the future held in store. More and more surprises? Hopefully.
"Tighten your seatbelts, dears. We are almost there." Dad joked behind the wheel. I caught his eyes through the windscreen as he threw a wink my way. My lips couldn't stretch any more than it already had.
"Oh honey, I'm so proud of you. My little baby is going to college. This feels so surreal." Mum turned in my direction. A pout taking over her lips as she wiped off an invisible tear from her eyes. I threw my head back, laughing.
"Oh mummy, you're acting like I am going away to a distant land. I am just going to college. I promise to visit everyone always, mummy. I mean it."
"But you're leaving entirely to another state. How do you think that makes me feel sweetheart? How do I live without my baby now? Tell me how."
"Mum." I dragged on. "Oklahoma is just a two hour drive from home. You can always come visiting and I'll be as well visiting as soon as the holidays approach. You don't have to worry." I smiled at her, trying to ease her worries.
Jace scoffed beside me. "I hope you never come back though." His finger tips hovered over his phone screen, positioned in landscape. I looked over at my brother and smacked his arm playfully.
Jace is my kid brother. Being a year older than he was, we were polar opposites. We were so different from each other. I was the laid back, reserved, introvertive, shy, nerdy kid who never got into trouble while he was more jovial- bolder- more confident than I could ever be. He got all the attention and utilized it to the fullest. People preferred his talkative manner to my humbled self. I preferred working behind the scenes, backing out from the public eye. It never suited me. It just never did. I hated the attention and luckily, I got none.
"Shut up. I know you will miss me." With my teeth out in full display, I poked his cheek but he squatted my hands away, shooting a glare across.
"Sorry. You're mistaking me for someone else. You're a pain in the ass."
"Jace. Language." Mum warned sternly from the car front. Her head turned in his direction for a minute before going back to flipping the pages of old magazines.
"Jace, what about your last semester result? I never got it. What happened?" Dad inquired, changing gears as he spoke.
He gasped, "Umm...I..It's not...You." I instantly looked away, screwing my eyes at the impending chaos threatening to unleash.
"It isn't out yet?" He pressed on.
"You should do everything you can to work hard just as your sister has done so you could be awarded a scholarship as well."
This isn't going to end well. I can perceive the outcome already and it won't be good.
Jace frowned and I knew forthwith this was it. "Dad." He began. "You're aware I have no interest in all of that but you keep on pushing it. I'm not cut out for all that."
"And it's those canvasses and paint brushes that rather suits your fancy? How are you going to make it out of those things? How are you going to take care of your mother and I when we are older? What's your survival technique with that, boy?"
"I know a lot of successful artists who are doing so great today dad." I decided to jump into the conversation, utterly aware of its impending escalation to something more severe. The two most important men in my life weren't in concord in regard of the younger man's interest in art.
Jace had a huge interest in the artistic part of life. Spending most of his time behind a plain white canvass, he could create something out of nothing just with the help of some few paint and brushes. It always came out incredible, a deep meaning laying behind those bright hues. One could see how much he loved what he does but dad wasn't having it.
"A lot of their good works are being sold off for huge amount of money all over the world. I totally support him, dad. They make good money and are living comfortably."
Jace muttered imperceptibly, "what does he know?" I prodded his thigh, giving away my knowledge of his disrespectful statement. He ignored me, choosing to throw his head out the window instead.
Mum reached to touch his arm, "Darling, let it slide. If he loves to paint, then, let him."
Dad shook his head, standing his ground, "I do not agree with that, dear. Look at Genesis. Already a medicine undergraduate at the famous Oklahoma State University and my only son is hoping to make a career out of mixing colours? Impossible. I can't accept that."
"It's psychology, dad. Psychology and not medicine. Psychology is very different from the latter. It's just the..."
I wanted to deflect his attention from Jace's case but of course....
"Why can't he act like his older sister and make us proud? Is that so hard now?"
He disregarded me.
"And why can't you stop comparing me with Genesis? She is her own person and I am mine. We are completely two very different individuals with obviously dissimilar capabilities and interests. Is that so hard as well? To understand?"
"You can not...." Without warning, the car suddenly jerked, oozing a loud piercing screeching noise against the concrete. It decelerated and sped up again.
"Wh-what's wrong?" Panic stricken, I scooted over to Dad, my eyes roaming around the wheel in confusion.
"Why?" He asked no one in particular. His hands clutched onto the wheel firmly trying to savage the situation. The car jerked again as the engine roared loudly. Fumes and smoke began circulating around the car front, engulfing the car entirety before coming to an abrupt stop.
"Darling, didn't Jacob work on the vehicle yesterday?" Mum's confusion mirrored mine, her magazine papers completely forgotten.
"He did, dear. He did. That's why I'm really confused. This downright caught me unaware. I purposely made sure it wouldn't pose as a hindrance during our trip today."
"Isn't it obvious? The car is an old piece of shit. Probably older than my ass and yet, you don't see the urgent need to give it away. So many breakdowns and more on the way. It's tired of its life already. I mean who still drives a Volvo Classic this days? How many more trips to the mechanic before it damages beyond repair? Get a new one, dad. Oh, I forgot. We are broke. We can't afford one. Now, who's the one unable to cater for his family? Pfft. Pathetic."
My eyes froze, my jaw hung low in an expression of stunned surprise, completely taken aback by his unfiltered utterances.
"Jace." Mum yelled, twirling around to meet his eyes. Hers were full of disbelief laced with disappointment.
"Watch your mouth, kid. Watch your damn mouth." Dad's hard staring eyes shot daggers at his last offspring. His face contorted with venomous outburst.
"I speak the truth and I am being shunned for it. How nice. Great. Just great. Just fucking great." A loud bang punctured the air as I recoiled into my seat in fear. My heart raced faster than a gunshot as pure shock and terror engulfed me wholly. My eyes roamed in search of the cause of the noise and it was just a stone's throw. Dad had angrily slammed his hands hard on the steering wheel in deep exasperation. Eyes squinting meanly, developing a tic. I fear for what would be.
"That was rude and uncalled for, Jace. What exactly has gotten into you?"
"Mum please, cut it out. Just cut it out." He shook his head and involuntarily glanced at me. "what?" I was speechless for a moment. Words at the tip of my tongue, making a U-turn. I gazed at him, unable to speak. He had gone too far this time.
Quickly and unexpectedly, Dad pushed open the door and dashed out, slamming it back into its hinges. He stormed over to the rear seat, spitting with fury. Tugging at the door handle, he grabbed Jace out. I bolted out of the car for the duo in panic. Dad had Jace pinned against the car, his fists squeezing his shirt front into creases. He was brewing anger like tea in a pot, the veins on his head straining hard. He was furious.
It wasn't unusual to witness him in this state with Jace around the block. They just never got along. They never agreed on anything and Jace's impending decision to drop out of high school would no doubt add more fuel to the fire. The thought of his reactions to his son's decision when he gains knowledge would surely add insult to the already bleeding injury. I was stunned myself when he let me in on his plans.
"If you are not okay with the kind of life I give you, then you can as well get the hell out of my house. I would not have a self-obsessed, shallow, unscrupulous knave for a son so get that into your thick skull, boy." He screamed into his face, angry and enraged.
Mum silently reached out for him and touched his arm. I was wordlessly praying he would blow off steam and let it go. We were out in the open, the car parked lazily at the road medial. Few heads had turned in our direction, some poking out from their windows. Horns honking incessantly for our vehicle to get out of the way as the tension within us began to slowly but thankfully dissipate.
Alas, he let go of him, slamming him hard onto the side of the car. I sighed in relief, screwing my eyes. I could just imagine what could have happened if things had spiralled out of control.
I glared at Jace, disappointed at his demeanour. How could he have behaved so stupidly? Dad have done everything he could to make us comfortable. To provide for the little things. Busting his chops till dawn on our behalf, shredding his skin every time he drove a nail into the wall or fixed pieces of wood together like jumbled pieces of a puzzle. Jace's crazy assumptions were only barking up the wrong tree. We weren't wealthy neither were we part of the upper class but we were fine. We were just fine and that's all that ever mattered.
"Take your bags out, Genesis. Your mum and brother would accompany you to the college and help you get comfortable. Take a cab or something but just make sure you get safely into your dorm and on time. Call me when you're settled in. I have to go get the car fixed." Then, he turned to Jace, scowling at him before uttering, "AGAIN."
Dad then whirled to leave, waves of undiminished vexation not far behind.
Thanks to y'all who have managed to stop by. This is my first story here and hopefully, I have managed to get your attention with the chapter above.
If you loved it and would want to read more, please don't hesitate to give me a heart, dears. Tell me what you think as well in the comment section.
Your opinions are greatly required. Help me point out mistakes as it isn't edited. Constructive criticisms are allowed.
Till next update.