“This is my son Michael.” Father stated to over a dozen of his employees at Techtonic Corp. “He will be interning in the R&D department. I trust you will initiate him into the team just as you would with any other new hire.”
Father made sure that I didn’t lead the easy life that most children of privilege were accustomed to. I understood but sometimes I felt as if he didn’t treat me equally; he was harder on me than anyone else. Most of my friends, on their 16th birthday, got a brand new car. Joey St. Patrick got a brand new Camero that wasn’t even going to be released for another month. Sophia Venito received a BMW convertible custom painted a bright pink that reminded me of bubblegum. For my 16th birthday it was announced that my grades and extra curricular activities, like my black belt in Taekwondo and being captain of my Lacrosse team that I took to the nationals, had earned me an internship at my father’s company. He said it was a close race between me and Charlie Quinn. He was my runner-up to land valedictorian status for our senior year that my father reminded me over and over as each month grew closer to my graduation 2 years from now.
Somehow my achievements were never quite up to par. If it weren’t for my most recent written pledge, that I had handed him to sign over my trust until I was 21 years of age, he probably would have picked Charlie to compensate for my choice. So here I was at this job where I was treated like everyone else only I still had to go home and eat dinner with my boss/dad. Dinners were intrusive already.
The internship was fathers way of allowing me a small income to save up for a car. That’s right. My rich father who could afford to buy up half of the country wouldn’t spend a penny to help. Which meant I had to ride to work with him and catch rides from Joey who obnoxiously reminded me everyday how awesome his stupid car was.
My father has always managed to put me in my place. I calculated that working after school for the next 6 months, while including all christmas money, birthday money, and the money I had hoarded from my grandfather who used to slide me money under the table until he died of a heart attack last month. Since then my father took ownership of all assets, including my trust fund. Not wanting to let me enjoy any entitlement.
Assigned to research and development was the task at hand. On the upside of having to bust my but to prove I deserved to be here, as much as perfect Charlie, I was only given a list of menial task to prove my worth. Dr. Stinson had me cleaning beakers and other glass spheres that had to be treated with mask and gloves. Then he had me sanitizing all the lab tables and every piece of equipment. That gave me plenty of time to think. Time I didn’t want. I thought this internship would be so much more than it was. Challenging my mind and giving me an opportunity to do something great. Not sure how I could do it here while 5 yards away from where the real research was taking place. Dr. Stinson and his crew worked behind closed doors that I wasn’t given access to. He already developed a tendency to look down at me with those beady narrow eyes as if to say I was a waste of his time.
Driving home was quiet and uncomfortable as always. Dinner didn’t offer anymore change. Excusing myself with a headache I got out of playing a game of chess with him. Normally I let him win so that he would stay in a better mood. He looked disappointed in me but I needed the space. Holding my tongue all day was causing my mind to swell. Locking my door I walked over to the circuits on the windows my father had installed as a security alarm. I knew this really was a way to keep me in more so than anyone out. Grabbing my cellphone that I had bought with my own money awhile ago from my pocket safe under my bed frame I opened up a little personalized app I had created during my free time.
Un-scrambling the security encryptions in the house I found his password. Mothers birthday mixed with primary numbers from her maiden name. He changed it every few nights. Disarming the code with the password, it was set to send a signal to my fathers phone. With a few more strokes of the keyboard the notifications to his system were disabled which meant I had about 45 minutes before my father would check on me then retire to his room.
Grabbing my coat I saw headlights hitting my windows. The house next door to us on my side had little privacy to their driveway. Father hated that and was talking about putting up a higher gate. He stopped debating when old man Worthington sold his home to retire in Ireland. The house — understatement — the mansion had been vacant for over two years. The economy was suffering and no one was in the market for an expensive piece of land that required over a dozen staff members to maintain the premise.
Opening the window I stepped on to the roof. This was the only place that made me feel free instead of cooped up. Taking my binoculars with me I looked over at the car. An older, thin man was unloading boxes from an SUV. A slender woman wearing a tight dress was talking to someone who was grabbing boxes out of the car.
The person she was talking to pulled out of the space, holding on to a box, and started walking. My heart-felt as if it stopped and suddenly my ears were ringing.
“Yes mother this place is nice.” The girl rolled her eyes. “But so was California.”
Stepping in closer, awed at the fact I could hear and see from so far away my foot gave way and I felt myself falling as I had leaned in closer than toward my hearing. Trying to grab on to the water drain my hand slipped. Death was waiting below yet I couldn’t muster a sound, paralyzed by the fear as the icy wind rushed pass me as I fell over four stories toward the rock pavement path.
Suddenly I was no longer falling. Instead looking below at where my fate seconds ago had led me. My breath was taken away as I was looking back down at the ground, standing on the roof. Was it my imagination or had I just shifted back?