One sunny afternoon in the middle of October, I reached into my pocket to answer the vibrating noise of my cell phone. Across the screen, read Dad. An anxious and nervous feeling shot through me. I hesitated to answer the phone call.
The phone continued to vibrate in my hand. I stared at it debating. Do I answer? He's going to ask about my grades. What do I do? Why's he calling? Just answer.
I made my voice sound clear and innocent, “Hey Dad.”
His voice was stern, I could immediately tell this wasn't going to be good. When he's angry with me, he uses a voice that makes me cringe and he sarcastically pretends to be excited, “Hi Chad, how's it going down there?”
Even though, I knew he wasn't calling for a friendly chat, I responded in a way that I hoped would make everything sound good, “It's great Dad, been studying a lot, hanging out, going to class, it's good, no problems.” A knot formed in my throat. What a lie.
He didn't waste any time, “Really? That's interesting you mentioned studying a lot.” He paused for a second. It made me panic. What's he talking about? Does he know something? What's going on. The world seemed to go into slow motion. The birds quit chirping, the sun quit shining, and the cars quit moving. He knows something! The terror prevented me from speaking. I stayed silent until I heard my mom's voice join the conversation, “CHAD! We just saw your midterm scores. You're practically failing everything!”
What! How! How! How does she know that? I didn't even know that. Failing?
I had to make it sound like everything was under control. “No guys, I just did bad on the first tests, that's all. College is different than high school, I didn't know what to expect. I'll do better. I'm studying more now.” Please buy it. Please believe me.
My mom's voice made me want to hide. “Chad!” I didn't respond. “Chad, you listen to me. Are you listening?”
“Yes mom.” I was starting to feel agitated. They were getting in the way of my plans.