Footsteps are falling, softly at first, then louder. The steps are getting closer, and louder, you are starting to get scared. You are running and the footsteps are following you, always getting closer, and louder. The pounding in your ears in almost unbearable, you run faster than you have ever run in your life. Looking over your shoulder you don't see me, but I am here running after you. Please stop running away, there is no need to run. We can work every thing out.
It was all years ago now, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was going to a small private school in the Midwest. The school was about 200 students in grades K-8, a small talented and gifted (TAG) school. I became disenchanted with my teachers, friends and family. I could no longer stand being with them. My teachers all seemed stupid, my friends boring, and my family more of pain than they were worth.
It was mostly my family that was the problem, but I will get to them later, first my teachers.
My teachers assigned boring, time wasting homework. They all expected me to just sit there and do the work because they said to, not like I was interested in it. I did not like my teachers and they all acted like they were better than us, the students. I remember them as monsters, and witches, but then again I was young, and maybe they are not all that bad. I did not do the monsters' homework, and I slept in the witches' class, finally I was sent to the principals. They glared at me while writing up a form about me. Then it was put in my file and I had to stay in their office and do my work, at least for that hour. I would go home at night and fight with my parents about doing my work, but they come later, on to my friends.
All my friends were boring and they never did anything. Anything 'cool' and rebellious that is. All of them were mama's boys, so they never did anything fun. None of them had anything intelligent to say, all they were interested in were their grades. Most of my friends did not even care if they learned anything; they just wanted to see the low letters on the piece of paper at the end of the marking period. Granted, I was not too concerned with grades or learning myself, but I cared more about learning than most of them. I was not a very good student though, because I felt like I knew most of the things that my teachers were trying to teach me. That covers my friends, and teachers.
My parents were the major problem, they were always bothering me to do my homework, and do my chores around the house. I could not stand them and as a result I started to spend less and less time at home. Always looking for an excuse to leave, like to go to the library, which was a really good excuse because then they thought I was studying and they would usually let me go. I spent as little time at home as I could, I came home to eat and sleep that was about it. Even when I was home I would avoid my parents, occasionally talking to my brother, other than that I would keep to myself. I would spend my evenings watching television if I could, or playing on my computer. Always playing a cat and mouse game with my parents, trying to lead my own life without them knowing. I started going to school less and less. I know everyone has skipped a day or two, but I'm talking about a day or two a week, where I would miss at least half a day of school. I lived within walking distance of my school, it was only about two miles away, so if in the morning I did not feel like going to school I could just stay home. My parents would have already left for work and so there was no one around to make me go.
I continued to withdraw into my own world, a place where I could hide from my family, friends, and teachers. My parents did not fully realize what had been happening until they saw my report cards. Thee day I came home with my grades, my parents were home from work early, and they wanted to see how I was doing in school. It must have been that weekend, I was taken do see a 'family counselor' who had a specialization in 'adolescent learning'. I was taken to see him, I think his name was Mark, every Friday afternoon for many months, until the end of the school year. During that time Mark and I grew to know each other. I hated him and he hated me but he was not allowed to show it. I would always try to bother him when he was in his office talking to my parents. I would go up and knock on the door and ask where the bathroom was even though I had been in the building many times before and knew exactly where it was. I also would stand outside his door and try to listen to what they were talking about, the only problem with that plan was that when the door opened I was standing there with my ear to it. Though most of the time I could hear the conversation wrapping up and could go back across the room and play with the toys in the corner. It seem that playing with the toys in the corner is mainly what I did at Mark's office and I'm sure that it was costing my parents a lot of money for me to play with the toys. After many months of 'family counseling' with little or no results, my parents finally gave up. I though that I was going to be free to continue skipping school and avoiding my parents. That however was not the case, at the end of the year, I received a letter from the directors of the school. The letter very politely asked me not to come back the following year, because "The work you have been doing is not of a level on par with the rest of our students, nor is it consistent with the expectations of this learning institution. We wish you the best of luck wherever you may end up." It had really happened, I had just been thrown out of a school. I never thought it would happen to me, that is the type of thing that happens to the 'bad' kids, the kids that no parent really wants to have. There I was, a trouble child with no school to go to, parents that hated me, and boring, dumb, friends. What a predicament, but not to worry, my parents thought that they had a brilliant idea: send me to military school for the summer and see what happens.
My parents had gotten a copy of the letter from the directors of the school. When I came home that afternoon my parents were both there waiting for me. I was confronted and told of their plan to send me to Culver Military Academy for the summer. That actually did not sound too bad to me, I thought that I could handle the military, and this would get me away from my parents for six more weeks. It was the next piece of news that really got me mad. They planned to take me out east looking for a boarding school when I returned from Culver. I did not want to take a trip with my parents, and I did not really want to go to boarding school. Believe it or not, I really wanted to get away from my parents but somewhere in my mind I knew that I was not ready to leave home yet.
The night before I was supposed to leave for Culver, I left home. I was finishing packing my things for the drive to Indiana the next day, and my parents had gone to sleep. I quietly packed a small duffel of clothes and food and left through the back door. On the kitchen counter I left a note to my parents, it read "I HATE YOU! I HAVE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HOPE YOU DIE, ALL I WANT IS YOUR MONEY." At the bottom I signed it 'your son, the one you hate', and then I left the house. I did not think I was ever coming back. I closed the door on my family and my past and I just started running. I ran for hours, I was so exhausted. As I ran the only sound I could hear were the beating of my heart and the pounding of my feet below me. Footsteps falling, louder, louder, louder! The steps kept coming, it seemed like they were chasing me. I looked behind me and saw no one. I pushed on even harder and faster, running away from home. It was not until years later that I realized that I was not really running away from home, but myself. I was really running away from the past I had created. I wanted to just run away and leave all my mistakes behind. It was days before I came home again, and when I did my parents yelled at me and the sent me to Culver Military Academy anyway.