Chapter 5

It took everything I had in me to keep my eyes fixed on the winding road ahead of me, as I drove home from school. The spring interim reports had just been released online, and I was getting a D in honors pre-calculus. Never in my life had I ever been a D student, or even a C student for that matter. Especially in math. I could not control my feelings of dread and despair as irrational thoughts circled through my mind.

“How could I be getting a D? A D is just one step away from failure. I am a failure. At this rate, I will never amount to anything in life. I might as well just end it all right here in my car… just swerve off the side of the road and into a tree. Okay Erika, that is insane.. you cannot do that.. snap out of it! What am I going to tell mom and dad though? Especially dad? He is going to be so disappointed in me. I do not want to be a disappointment.”

When I reached home my mom said, “I see progress reports are out.” I hastily responded, “Yeah, I don’t want to talk about it.” She retorted, ” Your dad is definitely going to want to talk to you about it when he gets home.” I was halfway up the staircase to my room, when I shouted back, “I know, I know, I know!”

As soon as I got to my room, I jumped into my bed and hid under my covers. I was so exhausted, but I could not sleep as my heart palpitated with terror. I just remained there in my bed, anxiously awaiting the inevitable.

A few hours later, I could hear the garage door opening. He was home. I frantically jumped out of my bed, and hid with my body flesh against the floor, so that he would have to  enter my room and walk around to the other side of my bed in order to find me. I lay there on the ground trembling with trepidation as I heard my father’s heavy footsteps climbing up the staircase. I could feel my eyes beginning to water, as I listened to the sound of his dress shoes tapping against the wood floor as he approached my room.

I heard a soft knock on the door. I remained on the floor and I did not dare to say a word. He opened the door, and sternly said, “Erika!”  Within just a few seconds, I found myself staring at a rather large pair of black leather oxfords. I promptly removed myself from the floor, and sat down on my bed.

“I heard you received your progress report,” he announced composedly, “Not good..I’m guessing?” I stayed silent and nodded my head. He responded, “So let’s hear it.” I gave him a brief run through of all my other classes, before addressing the pre-calc situation. “And what about math? How is pre-calc going?” he inquired. I could not even him look him in the eyes, but somehow I managed to force the words, “I am getting a D,” out of my mouth.

As I looked up, tears began to stream down my face. “Does that really surprise you?” he retorted. I did not answer him. “Do not just sit there and feel sorry for yourself. You’ve barely applied yourself so far this semester. Maybe if you stopped being lazy, and spent less time sleeping, you would produce different results.” he rebuked.

“I am just so mentally and physically exhausted. I cannot do this anymore. I do not have enough energy to focus. Whenever I try to focus, I cannot help but get lost in my thoughts. I just wish it would stop already, but it never ends. Sleeping is the only way I can escape,” I sobbed uncontrollably.

He countered concernedly, “You just need to stay in the game. You have less than two months until the school year ends, and then you will have plenty of time to rest. Mom and I will get a tutor to help you, but you need to do your part as well. You are nearly an adult now, and ultimately, it is up to you to decide what kind of future you would like for yourself.”

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