Alright, so I’m starting Patrick’s story. For the first time, Patrick’s living away from his pristine home in the beautiful Eastern suburbs of Texas. As I’ve said ten times before, this will be a first person narrative based around his first few months in college, where he learns the world outside of his paradise isn’t as polished and perfect as he thought. Please feel free to critique and give me some suggestions; they really are helpful. Well, enjoy!
I notice the scuff marks painted across my new dorm walls before anything else; not the room’s prison size, or the thin mattress, or even the horrible view, but the stains ruining the white walls. The black lines streaked across the wall aren’t my main concern, though: it’s the two shoe prints. Someone must have pulled their dirty boots off and slammed them against the wall to create such vivid marks. Besides the boot print, there are thirteen other scuffs. Too bad for them, though. I brought White Out just to fix any impurities on my walls. They won’t get the best of me.
My mother pushes passed me, a bit too excited to set up. Empty rooms are like blank canvases to her. But as soon as she gets a good, long look at the room, her eyebrows furrow. My mother’s the kind of woman who focuses constantly on appearance. If something looks out of place, she has to fix it or it gnaws at her. Our house always sparkles from the inside out. She puts a lot of money and effort into it. Well, not effort, unless you count hiring workers as ‘effort’.
“Oh,” she gasps softly. “Well, isn’t this nice? It’s nice, sweetie, right? You have a lovely view of—what exactly is that?”
“I think it’s the lot behind the dining hall.”
“Right, of course. It’s lovely.”
We both watch silently as a man in an apron dumps brown slosh into a dumpster, splashing it on the piles of garbage. Some splatters against the lid.
When he waddles back inside, I mutter, “Maybe I’ll just keep the blinds down.”
“Don’t worry about it, Patrick, darlin’. We’ll make this place good as new. And at least you get a nice view of the sky.”
Maybe it’s all those self-motivation classes she attends, or maybe she’s actually losing her mind, but somehow she manages to extract optimism from every situation. Believe me, it’s exhausting to listen to. When my mother discovered that Mason, my twin brother, crashed into a truck (which cost my father thousands of dollars for our car’s and the truck’s repairs), she just smiled calmly and proclaimed she was happy no one was hurt. Then, whenever my father brought it up at the table, she hushed him and said Mason was a growing boy and it was just a part of life. My father would just glower at her, rubbing the edge of his eyebrow with his pinky.
I glance over my shoulder at him. He lowers his eyes steadily, locking them onto mine. A week before, he bet that I wouldn’t last two weeks in the dorm. I shrugged the remark off, at first. But this room…Besides the scuffs ruining the walls, gunk is splattered across the floor and marks cover the desk. Someone had carved, ‘Eat me,’ in huge letters across the wood. Suddenly, backing out doesn’t seem too bad. I could go home, curl in my bed, and finally start Pound’s Cantos. I’ll never have to think about this horrid place again.
“Wow, you’re livin’ the dream.” Mason suddenly smacks his hand on my back, sending waves of pain down my spine. “You regrettin’ this yet?”
“No,” I lie. Mason grins maliciously at me. He always knows when something unsettles me, and my forced grin isn’t helping my case.
Alright, I’ll admit my expectations might have been a bit too high. After all, I lived in ‘Miles Manor’ my entire life. That sounds awful, doesn’t it? A gold plaque sits right on our stone fence, reminding its readers just how wealthy we are. And I know what you’re thinking–I would believe I’m spoiled and pretentious, too. But I’m not.
“Can y’all get out of my way?” my father suddenly chimes from behind me. We immediately scoot over, allowing him to pass. Patrick Miles II is not a man you want to mess with. He stands at six foot five and can probably fit both Mason and I on one shoulder. A gray, bushy mustache covers the top of his lips and, whenever he speaks, it dances along with the rhythm of his voice. And, like all typical wealthy Texan, he has a five hundred dollar cowboy hat settled on the top of his balding head.
Patrick Miles II has run Miles Oil Co., for nearly twenty-seven years. He intends for me to take over the family business, soon. That’s why he so generously granted me the name Patrick Miles III. And yes, granted is the correct term (at least in his opinion). My name is his gift to me. Here, son, instead of buying you one of those stupid baby boy caps to keep your little baby skull warm, I’m just gonna go ahead and put Patrick Miles III on your birth certificate. You’ll thank me later.
Of course, it also implies I can’t choose my future; my father created a path for me, and if I don’t follow it, I’ll be cut off from the family money. Thanks, dad. I would’ve preferred the cap.
Being wealthy should be a privilege, but it’s quite tedious. Originally, my father laughed when I asked to attend Palixton University, one of the most prestigious universities in Texas. They accepted me and even granted me a scholarship, but all he did was lean back in his chair and laugh until he turned red. Maybe growing up rich infected my father to the point that he couldn’t grasp the concept of living outside of his shelter to obtain an education. He doesn’t appreciate learning, but I’m not like him. I swear I’m different. All I want is to do is devour more knowledge about life and the world before I’m trapped behind my father’s desk. By then I’ll just watch huge men mine oil, while listening to employees complain about customers complaining, then dealing with customers complaining that employees aren’t understanding their complaints. Sounds like my ideal future.
I scratch my eyebrow casually, examining the room once again. With my mother’s touch, it may not be so bad. Another stain catches my eye. Yeah–I’ll be just fine. I promise.