Level Two. Score.
Level Two. Score.
By Michelle Lloyd.
What was the score? It was an important question in New One’s household. Sports and scores were what mattered most to Dad and it was honestly why Mum thought he watched television or listened to the radio at all.
Scores did not only apply to sports either, results or scores of exams at school were what mattered to New One. It was difficult to always do as well as he thought he should and even harder to anticipate what the response to his school score at home would be, because try as he might, he could never have an expression that did not belie all to his Mum and Dad.
It was on one such occasion that New One had been in a bit of a two and eight about a recent exam score. In his house, Dad had decided that all results were like sporting scores and they were to be celebrated or commiserated accordingly. New One liked nothing more than pleasing his parents but when he felt he had disappointed them, that he truly did not like.
New One came home with his Mum and had avoided her gaze for much of the way. On arriving home he hastily dropped his bag in his rush to get upstairs, he accidently catching Mum’s foot and consequently gained a shout of distress from her. On apologising he tried to explain he was in a hurry but only got a lecture about not rushing about and then to make matters worse, instead of having his all-important after school meet and greet time with Lana, he ran on upstairs leaving her to whine in disappointment. New One felt awful. Lana felt sad. Mum felt confused.
That evening in his desperate aim to avoid all contact with his parents and not give away anything New One missed out on his snack because he would not open the door and pretended he was ill, then he had to give up on his TV time and that was a true sacrifice as it meant him not seeing an important sports match with his Dad (something they both loved to do) and had to listen to Lana whining outside his door. New One did not dare let Lana in for fear that he would indicate to anyone that he was not as ill as he had made out, but he had to say that it broke his heart in the process.
Later that same evening New One’s friend, R V, called but he could not speak to him because he had feigned being sick to his Mum. When Little Herbert called at the door, he was turned away too and all because of the mysterious illness that had kept New One from leaving his bedroom or more importantly looking at anyone.
It was a little bit into the evening when New One finally cracked. He had been laying in bed feeling utterly miserable and when he heard Lana’s compassionate and companionable misery he could prolong it no longer. Out he went to let her in and that was when his Mum, who had already told him that she would be checking in on him, caught him in the act. Both Mum and Dad cornered New One and asked for an explanation as for his strange behaviour.
In the end it all became apparent and New One’s latest test score at school was revealed. While neither Mum nor Dad were happy about his below average mark, they were keen to tell him that how he had dealt with it had not been correct either. Take the example of an all-important game of sports, Dad explained, if the match did not go well the team could not go away and hide. They had to regroup and rethink about what had happened. They had to discuss what had happened and why it had.
It made sense to New One and as he patted and consoled Lana who would not leave his side, he decided that actually what he had done had made matters worse. His family were there to listen, even when he felt that he had disappointed them, it was better to talk it out and sort it out. Even if he felt it was difficult, at least by doing that further hurt and confusion could be avoided.