The Trouble Within

Ricky Saunders felt his body tremble as his father's voice boomed throughout the neighborhood. He didn't think he had to go home until five o'clock, and it was only four. Will, his neighbor, looked up with him with a half pity and a half question look in his eyes.

"Hah, well, I guess I got to go then," Ricky tried to play it off like a joke, but Will wasn't getting it. "Yeah, alright, see you later then," he replied. Ricky walked down the icy sidewalk to his own house. It was an ugly, maroon colored house with bright blue shutters.

"How dare you leave your bike just sitting in the middle of the yard!" Wade shouted at him. Ricky knew his father wasn't asking a question. "I tell you every day but do you listen to me? No!" He was screaming now, his cheeks had turned a shade of dark pink with rage. Then he kicked the desk and lit a cigarette. "I swear I don't know what to do with you anymore, Ricky. You don't listen to a single word I say. Now go and do your stupid homework."

Ricky remained silent, which was a safe thing to do when his father went off like that. He slowly walked out of the room, the quietly jogged downstairs. He sat down on his stiff bed and stared at the blank white wall. There was a small, but strong, high pitched chirp coming from out the window.

"Hey Rick, you okay?" Will said as he walked beside him on their way to Science the next morning. "Yeah, I'm totally fine," Ricky stared at the ground. Some tall, lanky, boy shoved passed them. "Gosh, what a jerk," said Will, a little too loudly. Tall Lanky Guy turned around. "You got a problem with me walking?" he threatened, staring them down. "Whatever, its no big deal," Ricky mumbled under his breath. "No big deal? It's a big deal, alright, how 'bout we settle this after school?" the tall guy questioned as he pushed Ricky into a wall. "I honestly don't want to fight you but…" Ricky started to say until Tall Lanky Guy punched him in the nose.

"What makes you think you can get into fights at school?" Wade shouted at Ricky later that day. "I don't think you realize how frustrating it is when I get a call on my lunch break saying that my son got into a fight with some punk." "Listen, Dad…" Ricky stammered, "It wasn't really a fight, he just punched me."

"I don't care what it was!" his father screamed. "It all sounds like bad news to me! You know, ever since your mom died you've been getting into loads of trouble." Ricky finally got what it was all about, why his dad was getting so upset all the time. But he couldn't bring it up now. He slowly turned and walked toward his room.

"Your mother would not be proud of you," Wade said in a loud whisper. Then something in Ricky snapped. "How would you know Dad? You never spent a single minute with her! Let alone me! You just would come home when dinner was ready and leave it at that! You never cared about us, you never thought about us! You were too busy with your so-called job!" Ricky felt a big amount of energy leave his body, and he felt another surge of energy building within and fighting its way to get out. He turned and ran out of the house.

Wade stood there, speechless, not a single thought was running through his mind. He was in awe of Ricky's braveness and courage.

Ricky walked down the same icy sidewalk until he found himself facing Will's house. He knew he couldn't go back, not now anyway. Slowly, he made his way up the path to the door and gave three long knocks. Will opened the door and looked at Ricky's expression.

"Hey, Rick, come on inside."

After Ricky told Will about what had happened, Will put his arm around Ricky and said, "Don't worry, you did the right thing, we can go talk to your dad in the morning with my parents." "Okay," Ricky said, and that was that.

Ricky had a hard time sleeping that night worrying about what he said and how the conversation would go the next day. Finally he gave in, fell asleep and got the rest he needed. He woke up the next morning with a fresh day, and a chance for a fresh start.