That’s what he was, for sure. At least in his own mind. But was it really true. Did his school mates, like him, or fear him. He had the physical capability to deal with anyone, as he was one of the, lucky ones, to have grown tall and broad. He had those lucky genes.
He was not by any stretch of the imagination, a woman magnet. But he attracted enough girls to keep him busy, and the envy of some of the less successful boys in his year. His position as the captain of the high school football team, only enhanced his self esteem, and his popularity among most of his class mates. His keen mind and bestowed intelligence allowing an easy passage through school . The same lessons, that had many of the less intellectually gifted, struggling, frustrated and depressed. Imagining future lives of minimum wage employment, or no employment. Perhaps a life of crime. Who knows.
Beneath the square jaw, the broad shoulders, easy smile and the piercing grey eyes, was a fearful human. He had not shared with another soul, that he was afraid of leaving high school, and going to university. Afraid to leave the small town, he had come to love. Where he knew so many others, and they knew him. Could he cope with a new city, a competitive university. Boy’s, bigger than him. Stronger than him. Better looking than he was. Perhaps more intelligent than he ever would be. He knew his parents had plans for his future. To follow in his Fathers footsteps. Work his way through medical school, travel and build up extensive medical experience and after a time, return to the small town, and become the local Doctor. As his Father before him had been.
That is what his parents wanted for him. But was that really what he wanted for himself. How could he tell them, especially his Father, to whom appearances and to be seen to be successful were of the utmost importance. How could he turn round and tell them, that he did not want to be a Doctor, nor attend university, not now, nor anytime in the future.
‘ What I want is important, not what you want. It’s my needs and my desires for once. Stop living your lives through me. I don’t want to be a Doctor, and anything like that, I want to write, to draw and paint, to be artistic and creative. That is where my passion lies. That is what I want to do. I want to design. I want to play and compose music. I don’t give a damn if their’s no money in it. Or if I’m no good at it. I just don’t care. I just want to be happy’. That’s what he wanted to say. He really did.
Of course he never said it. After he excelled at his final exams, as expected. With great unhappiness, on that final day, he packed his bags, slowly and morosely. He tried to tell his parents, he really did. He uttered a few words of doubt, and fear. But they cut him short, and assured him, it was to be expected, and would soon pass. Stepping out from his comfort zone. That is what he was doing, they explained to him. They would hear none of his further objections and small protests. He did not say much else. As they were his parents, and had by and large being good to him, and expected the best from him, and he did not want to disappoint. They waved him farewell from the front porch. With his head held low, his body language no longer that of the popular high school, football team captain. More that of a sad, disappointed child, fulling the wishes of others, not his own. Under silent protest, he trundled towards the empty highway pickup point for the city bus.
In the warm sunshine a few of the boys from the football team, meet and accompanied him of his trek towards the bus pick up point.
‘ You know, I never really wanted to leave this town, this place, and you guys. ‘
Would any of them understand. Could anybody ever understand, and give him a way out. They too assured him, it would be a good move. For his carer, financially, for his family. The small group waited by the highway, for the bus. He bid them farewell, and as he sat alone on the bus, surrounded by strangers. The bus traveled into the setting sun, it seemed like nobody would ever understand.