Home At Three O'Clock

January 15, 2010
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I pull into my driveway and look at my house. All the lights inside are off and it is pitch black. I see no one moving around inside, and I hear nothing, but this is probably because it’s three o’clock in the morning. I want to leave the car parked in the driveway, but I always park it in the garage, so if I leave it out, my mom will be suspicious. Opening the garage makes a thunderous noise; I have definitely woken someone up. I look at my garage door opener and press the button nervously, knowing that at that moment that I have made a mistake. My parents are bound to hear the garage open. They will catch me, but I hope to God they don’t.
I park the car in the garage, get out and then close the garage. As I walk into the house, I try to be as quiet as I can be, shutting the door behind me slowly and softly. I quietly walk into the kitchen towards my room. I look around, and thankfully, there is no one to be seen. The coast is clear. I have gotten away with it, or so I think. Then I hear a loud creaking coming from upstairs. Someone is up. I am busted. My mom comes down the stairs and immediately enters the kitchen. She flicks on the lights, and at that moment I can see that she is not very happy. She glares at me disapprovingly, and I can’t look at her. I have no idea what I should do, and I don’t know what I should say. I am speechless. She walks over to the table, pulls the chair out, and sits down. She looks at me again, and I try not to look at her. I look everywhere but at her. I glance from wall to wall. I look outside into the quiet darkness. I am terrified of what is about to happen. My stomach is in knots, and I feel like I am about to be sick. I want to be anywhere but where I am right now. Finally, she ends the awkward silence and speaks to me in a loud, stern voice.

“Where in the world have you been all this time?” my mom yells.
She surprises me with just how angry she sounds. Her eyes continue to stare at me; they never leave my face. I don’t know what to say. I am so nervous.

“I was just with my friend’s mom. It’s not a big deal,” I explain.
She seems very upset; she just keeps sitting there glaring at me as if I had just killed someone.

“It’s not a big deal?” she exclaims. “Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“What’s the big deal? It’s only three o’clock in the morning. I was just with my friends playing video games and I completely lost track of the time.” I answered her calmly. I really didn’t know what the big deal was. I was home a little late. But the car was fine, and I wasn’t doing anything illegal. I was just hanging out with my friends. But in reality, I know that I have made a mistake and that I am wrong. I am just defending myself, but I know that she is right and I am wrong. I just don’t want to admit it to her.

“You don’t realize how much trouble you are in, do you?” she howls. “You came home at three o’clock in the morning, you were using my car, and you didn’t even call us once. Why did I buy you a cell phone if you are not even going to use it?”
She is really angry now. I haven’t seen her quite like this before.

“Mom, I don’t really know what your problem is right now,” I shouted at her. “But I really don’t think this is as big of a deal as you smoking.”
Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, I immediately think. But she has upset me and made me feel like some sort of a criminal. She just sits there dumbfounded and shocked at what I’ve said. She doesn’t know what to say.

“You have been smoking for years and we have tried to get you to stop and you don’t listen,” I state to her boldly. “It’s bad for you, and it makes you sick, yet you continue to do it. I don’t understand it one bit. It seems really stupid.”

Still she just sat there in silence. I cannot tell if I have made her madder, or if she was listening to me. Suddenly she speaks again.

“I can’t believe you would bring that up right now,” she shouts. It was a personal decision that I made a long time ago that I regret, and that has nothing to do with you. And don’t you dare call me out at a time like this.”

“But you are ruining your life by smoking,” I tell her. “What were you thinking when you started smoking? It was probably the dumbest and stupidest decision ever. You need to stop or it could end up killing you. Is that what you want to happen?”
She glares at me as if I have just crossed the line. Her face was turning red. I can see her becoming more and more upset. Then she spoke again.

“It was an awful decision that I made and I regret it more than anything,” she starts. “But this isn’t about me at all right now. This is about you. I know this isn’t the first time you have been out this late and I know that you have been sneaking out as well.”
I stood there shocked. I didn’t know what to do or what to say. My face starts to turn pale and I begin to sweat. I wonder how she knows that I have been sneaking out to meet with my friends.

“Well, would you care to explain that to me?” She asks. “I have heard you come in late numerous times now, and this is the last straw.”
I don’t want to answer her. I don’t feel like listening to her anymore. I turn my back on her and begin walking towards my room to go to bed.

“Where do you think you are going?” she asks me. “This conversation is nowhere near over. I asked you a question and I want you to give me an answer right now or you are grounded.”
I was fed up with her now. I still didn’t think I had done anything wrong. It wasn’t as if I was out getting drunk or doing drugs or causing chaos. I was at my friend’s house. There was no reason I should get grounded for that.

“Are you serious?” I question. “What am I being grounded for anyway? I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Well for starters,” she begins, “You came home at three ‘clock in the morning without letting me know where you are or what it was you were doing or if you were ok. Now you are arguing with me and showing me attitude. I think that’s a good enough reason to ground you. Maybe next time you will call me or you will just come home on time.”

“This isn’t fair at all,” I yell at her, “Of course I’m going to argue with you considering I did absolutely nothing wrong in the first place. And on top of that, you never even told me a time to be home, so how am I supposed to know when to come home?
She just sat there laughing now, looking at me like I was stupid.

“I can’t believe you would say that,” She said, “You should now when you are supposed to be home. I tell you to be home no later than twelve-thirty every night. I shouldn’t have to tell you that anymore.”
She acts like she was is so smart and she knows everything. She thinks she is right about everything and that everything I do or say is wrong.. And I am sick of it. I can’t stand listening to her anymore.

“Whatever, Mom,” I start, “I guess you are just right about everything so I don’t even see the point of arguing with you anymore. I don’t care anymore; you can ground me for all I care. I’m going to bed.”

“Ok, if that’s what you want,” she snarls, “We will talk about this more in the morning.”
I walk out of the kitchen in a furious rage, glaring at my mom, leaving her sitting in the kitchen alone. I walk into my room and slam the door behind me and lock it. I am so upset at my mom I can’t think about anything else.

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