She hears the garage door open and a car pull in, she freezes and her blood runs cold. Dad’s home. She continues to type away as the door to the garage slams open and as heavy feet beat the tile floors all the way to the kitchen entrance. The thundering stops, she looks up.
“What are you doing?” he demands.
“Homework, how was work?” she answers.
“Fine. I saw your party invites.”
She doesn’t answer, because she knows. She knew when she asked Mom if it were okay. She knew, but she did it anyways. Not to hurt him or spite him, but because she was her and so what if she wanted to do a goofy face. She was graduating with a 4.0 GPA, she was offered countless scholarships, a spot on the college rodeo team, and a new start, despite learning disabilities that made it nearly impossible to get into high school. She did the impossible and finally succeeded, what was the harm in a goofy facial expression?
“I’ve told you countless times not to make that face.”
“I’m sorry, I thought it would be funny.”
“Well, its not and you know it. You did it because you know I hate it.”
“I did not and there are other pictures, not just the bad one. Willem did it last year on his card, why can’t I?”
He ignores he. “You know what, you’re too emotionally immature. You’re not ready to go off to college. You’re not ready to move out and be on your own.”
She can’t speak.
“I’ve decided not to invest in you going to college. Why bother? You’re just going to screw it up. You won’t know what to do or how to take care of yourself, nonetheless a horse! Your mother does everything for you, you don’t do shit.” he says, aiming his finger at her.
“And you think going to a community college will help?” she chokes out from behind the laptop.
“Yeah, I do actually,” he answers with eyes ablaze.
“You think I’ll let you throw away everything I have ever worked for?” She asks, tears streaming down her face. “I did not cry my eyes out every night for 12 years, I did not persevere, and I not did push myself and take honors classes in vain. I cannot count the nights I sat alone in my room studying when I could have been out with friends. I didn’t come all this way to get sent to a community college because of your impulsive decision based off a goddamn picture.” She aches with rage.
“It’s not your decision to make, it’s not up to you. You’re ungrateful, you’re immature, and you are too dependent on us to go anywhere else.” He roared back.
“Willem was no different, you let him go to the other side of the country for school! Did he get scholarships? Did he spend 14 years of his life taking care of something beside himself? Well I did and I have! But you’ve never cared to see that. You can’t just take away everything I’ve earned. You’re the one who needs to grow up. Not me.” Virginia finished as her brain spun and her body shook.