Just like any normal kid, I’ve used my parents as my inspiration to achieve great things in life. I did my best to score the highest back in primary school and graduated as valedictorian.
During that time, I went to stage with my head held high and my chest forward. I was proud to say the least. Opening the folder which contained my speech, I scanned the crowd. There, I found familiar faces: my teachers, classmates, some of their parents, siblings, and schoolmates. Something’s amiss, I thought. Oh yeah. My parents. They told me that they were busy and wouldn’t be able to attend my graduation ceremony. They said that they are proud of me for graduating. They told me to get home early. After the first paragraph did I realize that this podium isn’t a blessing; it’s torture. This speech was not an opportunity to brag and be proud; it was a huge reminder that I was alone. Trying to fight my tears, I concluded my speech with the cliche “As a chapter ends, let’s start a new one with heads held high knowing our dear Alma Mater equipped us not with knives but long swords covered in poison.” Then, I went home.
When high school came, things got a bit different. I’ve learned how to make friends, both good and bad. As they say, high school is the time to learn anything and everything. I’ve learned how to smoke , drink, determine good from bad friends, steal, cheat, have sex, and a whole lot more. That, however, doesn’t mean I’ve neglected my studies. After four years, I’ve graduated as valedictorian once more. This time, I wasn’t even surprised not seeing my parents among the crowd. In fact, I didn’t even included them on my speech despite them saying congratulations on a text message.
Right after high school, I decided to move out despite lacking money to support myself. I did all possible ways to earn money while studying; worked part time, sold stuff, gambled, did assignments for a fee, and all the other sidelines you can think of. Well, except prostitution. That just doesn’t ring any good bells with me. After four years, which honestly seemed like decades, I was finally able to graduate. Then, the god of fortune finally smiled on me.
I immediately got hired and slowly rose through the ranks after a couple of years. Until one day, we all went home for a Christmas dinner. By then, I was already a manager of the branch I’m working at. With nostalgia feeling my heart, I opened the door of our house and was greeted by my younger brother. He’s wearing some ragtag tank top and boxers. Nothing did change, I thought. He never finished high school and just depended on my parents. My mother was sitting on the sofa talking to her “honey” on the phone with that irritating, trying hard, and forced sweet tone. She’s asking him to send more money. My father just went out of his room and smoke leaked out. His eyes were bright red and his face are droopy. He probably smoked cracked. My stomach belched and I told them “Merry Christmas”. The purpose of my visit has been accomplished. I do my best so I won’t be a useless creatures like them. These achievements are literally all on me. They don’t deserve anything from it. With that, I left and drove back to my condo. After all, my friends from high school who had connections underground has set up the biggest, meanest, and wildest party with overflowing booze, coke, and prostitutes. “I’ll make money rain down tonight.”