Summary: A boy who never cares about studying, but is forced by his father to take college entrance exam, then he does something that he will regret.
Sam was literally running around the field with his hands spread out like flying after he made a score for his team. It was not an official match. He just played soccer in his neighborhood, but he was surrounded and hugged by his teammates as if they had won a World Cup game.
“I still can’t believe it. I thought you wouldn’t make it considering how far you shot the ball,” Gilang said. He had bragged about his best friend’s skill for the hundredth time that afternoon.
“I told you they are no match for me. Just stop talking, okay? I am really tired.” Although he sounded like he didn’t care, but actually he felt so much joy in his heart every time someone praises him about his soccer capability.
Sam arrived at home when the sun had already set. He was just going to take the stairs when he saw the back of a familiar figure sitting in the living room. “Kate?”
Kate turned her head and jumped from her seat as she saw the owner of the voice.
“What are you doing here? Why didn’t you tell me you were going home?” He couldn’t hide his happiness seeing his sister in their home.
“Surprise!” she cheered in a very girly way. “And of course I must be here since my lovely brother will have a college entrance exam.”
Sam wanted to protest as she messed his hair, but something caught his attention, “Entrance exam? When?”
Kate furrowed her eyebrows, “It’s the day after tomorrow, isn’t it? You don’t know?”
The younger one shook his head innocently, “I forgot.”
It was almost two hours Sam had faced his books but nothing he got, then he decided to take fresh air outside his bedroom. As he got out of the room, his mother called him for dinner. There were many kinds of food than usual. According to his mother, it was because her son needed nutrition for tomorrow’s exam.
“How is your study? Do you have any problem?” His father asked casually.
Sam shrugged, “I don’t even know what I don’t know.”
The head of the family dramatically sighed, “Sam, can you be serious in your study this time?”
“I am, Dad. But, you know,I don’t like study, so why do I have to go to university?” Sam could feel the tension which was caused by himself. Honestly, he wanted to make his father, who owned a course institution, proud of his own son. But he had a dream which has nothing to do with study: being a professional soccer player.
After his father made sure that he could talk without shouting, he said, “If you can’t get into university, I might as well close my own course. I’m educating other people’s children. If I can’t even teach my son well, it would take a huge toll on my confidence level and ability as a father.”
There was something in the tone of his voice that made Sam could not talk back as he used to do.
Sam turned over his paper, his heart thumping hard. He looked around the class seeing the other students who were already scribbling. Finally, he lowered his eyes to the first question. He scanned the next questions, and was sure that nothing he could answer. There were too many X-es in Mathematics, so he decided to do the other subjects, English and Indonesian, looking ahead for a question he could definitely answer and he got around nine or ten questions out of seventy five.
Time had been running for only fifteen minutes. Trying hard not to doze off, he waited the session to end. It felt so long that Sam closed his eyes and buried his face in his hands. He was awaken when the supervisor told them that they had only ten minutes left, so he just filled in the same column of answers.
The bell finally rang signing they had a break before continue the next session for each field of studies, for Sam, social science. Sam came out of the class and was feeling exhausted, so he decided to ditch it and left school, playing with his friends in the field he used to play until afternoon. He knew whether he took the exam or not, it would be the same eventually.
The boy went home with an uneasy feeling for what he had done, but he had prepared himself to tell the truth. He wanted his parents to know that it was not his way. The worst thing would happen was his father kicking him out of the house, and he was ready for that.
As soon as he opened the front door, his mother hugged him and said, “Honey, you must have worked hard.” He looked at his sister showed her thumb and smiled brightly, and for the first time in his life, he saw his father smiled proudly at him. But, Sam was not ready for this. He just walked straight to his room without saying a word. Seconds later, he heard the knock on the door, then his father came in. He was not dare to see him, so he just sat on the edge of his bed, looking at the floor. His father took a seat beside him.
The 45-year-old man cleared his throat before said, “You worked hard today, didn’t you? I know you aren’t good in your study, but I always force you and give you pressure. I am sorry. However, you did well on the exams. As long as you went to the exam venue and did your best, I am extremely proud of you. Thank you, Son.”
Sam could feel his own eyes start to sting when his father brushed the top of his head lightly before he left. At that moment, he really wished he had sat in class for the second session, even though it means he just marked random choice on his answer sheet.
Thank you to Adetya Sarah, Shifa Amali Firdaus, and Annisa Hida Robbiani
Kim, Byeong Wook (Dir.). 2011. High Kick! 3. South Korea: MBC.
word count: (996)