Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 23 of the 250 Word Prompt

"A disenchanted young man sets out on a cross-country trip in a last-ditch attempt to avoid following in the footsteps of his father."

Kevin pulled the wad of cash he had been saving over the last year from his pocket and started sorting through the crumpled up bills.  He laid out the $135 for the one-way bus ticket to Norman, OK, and the start of his new life.  Or what he hoped was going to be his new life.  Tucked safely into his backpack was the letter from the admissions office at the University of Oklahoma, welcoming him into the Class of 2016.  Neatly folded into the same envelope was the rejection letter from the Athletic Director thanking him for his interest in joining the football program, but effectively taking a pass on the kicker.

The letter of acceptance to the small Washington State college was lying on his desk, where he had left it this morning as he made his way out of the house before dawn.  He was taking only the clothes and few mementos he could carry in his backpack and a large duffel bag.  He wanted nothing else from the house where he had grown up.  He especially wanted nothing from his father – not after the conversations they had been having lately.

And by conversations, Kevin meant his father talking, yelling, spitting, but always demanding that Kevin give up his dream of being a Sooner football player, and “take the bird in hand.”  The conversation always ended with, “It was good enough for your old man – it’s good enough for you!”

That’s were Kevin vehemently disagreed.  He was determined NOT to be like his father.  It made Kevin sad, and more than a little embarrassed, to watch the eye rolls as his father started in about the glory days at the junior college down the street, going into agonizing detail of how he had thrown the winning touchdown in the playoffs.  Everyone had heard it before, so many times that his buddies would mouth the words and mimic his father’s expressions as he gave his soliloquy.  

The bus driver called for people with tickets to Norman to begin boarding.  Nestled into his seat, Kevin checked his watch.  He had two days before try-outs started, and he a singular purpose - to prove the Athletic Director had made a serious error sending him that letter.  If Kevin was going to be relegated to a life of re-living glory days – his glory days were going to be something worth talking about.  

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