Still a little excited from hearing Alex’s news, Lilith hurriedly ate her food and excused herself from the table – wanting to get back to her room and hang out with Alex. Angela knew that now would be the perfect opportunity to tell her mother and father what she had been debating in her mind for weeks now.
“Mother?” Angela politely asked.
“Yes, dear.” Mary-Sue replied.
“I need to tell you and father something, but I don’t know how you’re going to react.” With this sudden revelation, Mary and Daniel went quiet and looked at their daughter with eager eyes.
“You know you can tell us anything.” Daniel reassured his daughter.
“Alright.” Angela took a deep breath and casually said, “I don’t want to go to University.” Looks of shock now replaced the looks of eagerness on Mary and Daniel’s faces, as they tried to fathom why their straight-A daughter wanted to turn down the opportunity of further education.
“Why on earth not?” Mary-Sue asked.
“It’s because of him, isn’t it, you don’t want to be away from that boy.” Daniel was quick to judge.
“No, daddy, Dustin plans on going to college.” Angela replied, as she sighed and thought about how he was going to take the news.
“Then I don’t understand, just what on earth do you plan to do?” Mary-Sue queried.
“I want to take out a year to travel – outside of Pleasantview.”
“Travel!?” Mary-Sue exclaimed.
“Certainly not.” Daniel immediately responded.
“Daddy, you don’t understand what kind of an experience it is to see the world with your own two eyes. I’m sick of reading about the world in books, I want to see it for myself. I’ve talked with my guidance councillor, and my geography teacher, and they’ve told me all kinds of wonderful places that are already just on the edge of Pleasantview. I can’t help thinking what wonders lie even further away.”
“You’re telling me a teacher has been encouraging you to flutter away your education for a sight-seeing trip?” Daniel demanded.
“Of course they wanted me to go to college too, but I explained how I feel like I’ve learnt everything there is to learn. I’ve been getting straight-A’s since practically kindergarten. I know everything about the real world – except how to live in it.” Daniel huffed and puffed, as he just ate his spaghetti, but Mary-Sue had a look of understanding in her eyes.
“She does have a point, Daniel.” Mary-Sue piped up, causing Daniel to drop his fork. “Learning can only teach you so much before you crave to get out into the world and try it for yourself.”
“No! I will not allow my daughter to waste the best years of her education, just so she can go travelling and collecting out-of-town trinkets. And that’s not to even mention the dangers of travelling alone – you’re still a teenager.”
“But I’ll be a young adult, next year.” Angela debated.
“That’s still too young, even if mentally you’re a year ahead of everyone else your age.” Daniel replied.
“But you’re only thinking about the negatives. I’m not dumb, I’m not going to accept rides from a strangers. I’ve got my destinations planned, and I’ve been e-mailing an online friend who says I can stay with them in a place called Strangetown. Everything is rock solid, and you’re ruining my dreams.” Angela began to sob.
“Don’t turn on the waterworks, Angela, I’m not going to change my mind. If you really don’t want to go to University, then maybe when you’re an adult and have been earning a steady income, you can come to me and ask again.” Daniel finalised. Angela left the table without excusing herself and stormed upstairs to her bedroom. “Well, clearly, she’s just as mature as she makes out.” Daniel sarcastically remarked, as Mary-Sue scowled at her husbands stubbornness.
“I hope you’re proud of yourself.”
“You cannot tell me that you actually want her to leave Pleasantview and go travelling around foreign cities?” Daniel asked, astonished.
“Why not? I think it will be a fantastic experience, and I know we’ve raised our daughter well enough that I can trust her to be sensible.”
“I bet you wouldn’t say the same about Lilith.” Daniel sneered.
“Daniel, I will not have another one of our conversations turned into a debate about favouritism. I have always tried to treat the girls exactly same, and whilst I wouldn’t be as confident as I am with Angela, I wouldn’t just turn down a request like that from Lilith point blank. What you’re doing is exactly the reason why Lilith turned into a rebel in the first place. Do you want to see Angela do the same?” Daniel sighed and surrendered to his wife.
“Alright. I’ll listen to what she has to say, see if her plans are solid. But I doubt it will change my mind.”
The evening turned dark, and Mary-Sue coaxed Angela out of her room. “I can’t face him again. I’ve said everything I could, what’s the point of making him even more angry?” Angela asked.
“You know that your father always says the first thing that comes into his head. Now he’s had time to think it over and I’ve had a talk with him, he just might surprise you.”
“And you’re okay with it? I mean, me not wanting to go to University.”
Mary-Sue hugged her daughter and reassured her that she valued her daughter’s independent decision. “Thank you. I just hope dad feels the same.” Angela sighed and walked to the living room.
Daniel was watching sports – as usual on a Sunday. Not sure if she should disturb him whilst he was enjoying himself, or take advantage of his upbeat mood, Angela hovered around the doorframe.
She wanted so much to be able to fulfil her dreams of seeing the beautiful sights that the world had to offer. She was resenting the fact her father couldn’t see that, and how he was only focusing on the negative sides. She did understand his worries, but was quick to point out that if you go around thinking like that, then what’s the point of even stepping outside your front door? Feeling a little more confident, and seeing there was a commercial on, Angela cleared her throat and asked if she could come in.
“Of course, unless you think the door will get lonely!” Daniel joked. Well, Angela thought, at least he’s in a good mood.
“I kind of wanted to talk some more about what I asked you earlier, but I didn’t want to be yelled at again.”
“Oh, Angel!” Daniel replied, using Angela’s nickname. “Come sit down, right next to me.” As instructed, Angela came in and sat down next to her father.
“I’m sorry I stormed off in a tantrum. It wasn’t very smart of me. I’ve been trying to prove how mature I can be, but I just seem to keep contradicting myself.” Angela replied, thinking back to this morning.
“You are smart. Your a helluva lot smarter than I was at your age. And you’re so mature.” Daniel complimented his daughter.
“Maybe not, I know I’m asking a lot from you, but even if you just say ‘I’ll think about it‘, then I’ll be happy.”
“I was wrong to say no so quickly before. I am going to think about it.” Daniel said.
Angela froze, kind of not believing what she had just heard. “Are you serious. You’re not just saying that so I’ll shut up and you can get back to watching the game, are you?” Daniel laughed and reassured his daughter that he would not stop thinking about her travelling request.
“Oh!” Angela clenched her fists. Daniel looked on confused, had he said something wrong?
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Angela kept on repeating, as she threw her arms up and around her father. Being squeezed into the corner of the couch was not very comfortable. Daniel lifted his daughter up, so they could stand and embrace.
“Thank you so much, daddy.” Angela purred into her father’s ear. She knew he could still say no, but short of Daniel finding out about what had (almost) happened last night, there was nothing Angela could of think of that would persuade her father to change his mind.