Being David This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 23, 2011
I wake up at 7 o’clock every morning. Go to the bathroom, shower, brush my teeth, and hair. This is where I transform. This is where I change. This is where I put on my mask. This is where I become perfect. My mother calls me down to have breakfast with my perfect father. He is the VP of a mega corporation, so basically, successful as h***. And this man expects no less from me. Mother gives me a kiss along with my vitamins as I’m noticing his mood. Then he says, “Your mother told me about that game last night.” I choke on the pills. “ Yeah, the other team was tougher than usual.” I felt the sweat fall from my nose. “ Let me ask you this,” he says. “ Why would a prestigious school want a loser walking on their grounds, sitting in their classrooms, and reading their books?” I reply quickly, “ I’m sorry father, it won’t happen again.” Mother turns around and rewashes the already clean dishes. His dreary eyes glare at me like I’m some sort of wild creature. “ I hope not. Why are you standing there, eat you mothers beautiful breakfast.”

I get into my expensive car, and drive away from my perfect home. Instances like these, where I am truly alone, are moments where I can be myself. Moments where I am not pressured. Unrestrained. Where no one expects me to be perfect. I can only share these seconds with him. He is the only one that understands. He is the only one that knows me. He is the only one I love. Her house is near. So I need to be David again, and be perfect. I get out of the overpriced vehicle as she runs up to me. That same cold kiss she gives me every morning. “Good morning David.” Noelle says with that perfect smile of hers. I open the door for her, like the perfect boyfriend I am, and we drive to school. We smile and laugh at her petty jokes the whole ride, and I pretend to care about whatever she is blabbing about.

Why can’t I be with him? Why can’t I pick him up and take him to school? Why can’t we share a good morning kiss in front of the neighborhood? I often ask myself these unanswerable questions whenever I think of him. But then, like a storm approaching from an abyss, I begin to see my fathers glare and, hastily, I rid of these thoughts of the one person that I share a real bond with. School seems as though it was created by my father. The people are just like him, with their high expectations and strict policies. The teachers want nothing but the best. The students are no better. When we arrive, we walk through the doors, hand in hand, and smile at people I call my ‘friends.’ I tell myself, “ You are David. They see David. They want David. You are David,” to remind myself what I’m supposed to be.

Class is easy, for me at least. The teachers manage to make the subject they are trying to teach more complicated than it has to be. Time in these classrooms, other than the one I share with him, make me want to go away. Listening to all these students talk about meaningless topics annoy me. They are all so fake. My hate constantly grows for them. Why do they follow this way of life? Why can’t they just be themselves? I want to yell these questions in their ear. But then again, who am I to say anything, I have no right.
I can’t even express the love I have for this other human being. I’m exactly like them. In every single way. I think that scares me the most. Fourth period is the highlight of my day. Why, you ask? Because I have class with him. Everyday I thank the higher power that made us alphabetically close, for this is how our relationship was born. It started with the casual nod, then the overused, “ what’s up?” We would share our stresses with each other, since it was one of the exercises in the counseling class. And for the first time, I shared my feelings towards my father with someone. It was not until Mr. Smith assigned partners for a small project, that’s when things really changed. I urged him to take me to his house, but he convinced me to bring him to mine.

So we drove in my perfect car and I was dumbfounded when he knew what was playing in my cd player. I then showed him my little collection and was amazed when he claimed to listen to almost everything that was in there. We talked about how these songs made us feel and named favorites from the top of our heads. That was one conversation I actually didn’t mind having. This was how I knew there was something special. We finally arrived at my perfect home, and passed mother as we dashed upstairs. We decided I’d do the research and he would put together the board. But while we were in there, the way he looked at me, as I sat in that cushioned computer chair, drove me mad. I wanted to turn and ask him why, but I was afraid to find out. He finally said, “ You have different faces you know.” “ What do you mean?” I asked, totally surprised. “ I mean your face changes from when you’re in school and when you talked to me in the car. Its like you’re a different person.” Had he actually see through my mask? Was it possible that I let my guard down with him? “ Why are you saying this?” I said. “ I’m saying this because its scary seeing you change from one person to another so rapidly.” I felt vulnerable. I didn’t respond and continued doing my research while he stared at me. Then there was a knock on the door. “ David? You have company?” It was he, my perfect father. “ Yeah come in. This Is Jacob McKinley. We’re working on a project together.” “How do you do?” Jacob said as he shook my fathers hand. “ Great. Will you be joining us for dinner tonight?” Jacob gave an unfriendly look, “ No, not tonight, David was about to take me home.” My father gave him that same gaze he gives me, and I squeezed the armrest of my chair. “Well that’s a shame, maybe next time. It was nice meeting you.” He said in a sarcastic tone. With a sort of scoff, Jacob said, “ I wish I could say the same.” This guy is crazy, and I loved it.

As we drove out of the driveway, I asked him how he did it. “ Did what?” he replied. “Do that to my father.” “ Oh that? It was nothing. I’ve met others like him. Manipulative. Stubborn. Oh yeah, I hate those kinds of people. And by the looks of that poor armrest, you’re not very fond of him either.” He said this so effortlessly, as if it were nothing. But he was unaware that he just became my hero, and my whole perception of him changed. I stopped in front of his mediocre-looking house, and we sat there for a couple of minutes. “Its nice to see you out of that mask David” he said. Then he held my hand for a moment and got out the car. “What just happened? “ I thought to myself. This intense feeling overwhelmed my heart and all I could do is stare out my window. The answer to that question: I fell in love, right there and then.

I couldn’t sleep that night, and all I could think of was Jacob and my father. My father would never understand, so he can never know. I need to be perfect for him. I need to be David for him. I need to succeed. I need to excel in life. David needs to have a beautiful wife and give his father wonderful grandchildren. Jacob can never do this for me. He can never be a part of my life. Its taboo. So it must be, that I continue my life with the routine of being David.

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