When your only choice is hope.
You ask yourself again. Why am I still here? You’ve done your part. You’ve done your due diligence. There are other companies looking for people with your skills. Your relationship is going nowhere. You both know it. Your neighbourhood is suffocating you. You know you have to get out.
You don’t want to end up like aunty Sally’s children. All 4 grow up and still living at home. Johnny tried to get out. He was away for a few months. But he came back. He looked a little worse for wear. Maybe he just got hung up with the wrong crowd.
You tell yourself you can do better. You just need a break. You’ve been scanning the job section. Something out of town. Yeah, it’s time to get away from this area code. You’re from the hood, but not part of it anymore.
Your mind is somewhere else. They told you that you had potential.
Can they stop talking! These voices don’t want to go away. STOP, you say out loud. It’s only you in the room. You have trouble sleeping at night. You don’t want to end up a failure. It’s hard though.
No one understands.
Maybe you should go for a run. That always helps. To quiet the voices. You put on your running shoes and take off down the road. The cool breeze of the afternoon sun is refreshing and your mood starts to lighten. There must be a way out. You start to think of possibilities. Your marks were not so bad.
You’ve sent off several applications to universities out of state. No-one has gotten back to you yet. There is only a small chance of getting in. They’ve raised the bar. You need near-perfect test scores. Who gets that? No-one you know.
Even though you need the money, you know that you need to finish your education. You had to stop because you ran out of money. The IT support job at the local ad agency brought in just enough to keep the lights on and to keep you in the neighbourhood.
You had bigger dreams. You know you have to figure out a way to finish your schooling and feed yourself. Luckily it’s only yourself that you have to feed. You know Johnny has to feed himself, Rowanda and little Tristan. Thank God you had a narrow escape. Rowanda’s sister was all over you at the Spring dance. Clearly, she knew something you didn’t. You made it through the chicken wire by a hair’s breath. Carlo was not so lucky.
As you run down the road you see Mr Clarke’s Nissan coming down the road. Mr Clarke is the headmaster of the town’s only high school. He’s been driving the same Nissan forever. You wondered before how much he gets paid. He is the smartest man you know, but in his eyes, you always see a hint of sadness. As if someone or something dear to him is lost, lost forever. You don’t want to end up like him.
While you are daydreaming you don’t realise that he as past you and slowly brought his brown Nissan to a halt just a little further away from you. He jumps out and has a huge grin on his face. Adam, I’ve got something for you he smiles. You wonder what it could be.
Good Afternoon, Sir, you greet. He takes out an envelope from his jacket pocket and hands it to you. It’s a letter from the university. Mr Clarke could not contain himself.
Full scholarship he yells!
For a moment the sadness disappears from his eyes. There is something new there.
It makes two of you.