#father #son #ShortStory #create #life #dreams
“Stop copying him Chris,” the teacher scolded him, “I understand he is your father. But that doesn’t mean you do the same things he does. You don’t have to follow the same path as him if you don’t want to.”
“But I want to. Really”, replied Chris, clearing his throat, knowing full well that his father was standing right besides him.
It was like any other Parents-Teacher meet, Chris being led around by his father to all the teachers, and teachers giving Chris praise for his perfect scores in academics. Only the basketball coach was “You need to do better Chris. Much better”, after which his father would reply, “It’s okay son. Sports is for people who don’t want to earn good money.” The coach would make a grumpy noise and go away.
And of course, this was Chris’ first semester with the teacher, and the first time his father was meeting him.
“Is that so?” the teacher questioned, and Chris came back to reality.
The teacher went to the class cupboard and took out a thin blue colored notebook. It had Chris Martin written over it in black pen.
Chris was stunned. He remembered what he had written in the notebook, which had to be submitted just a month ago. He looked up at his father, held his gaze for a second. His father returned his gaze and smiled at him. Chris quickly turned his face down. Frozen.
The teacher opened the second page of the notebook, and kept on searching for something. He continued on to the third page, then the fourth. Finally, he had found what he was looking for and a smile spread across his face.
He matched his gaze with Chris’ father and asked, “You remember I asked the students to finish a few questions about a month back, and one of them was What do you want to be?”
“No. Sorry I don’t. I let Chris finish all his work by himself, and he does so quite diligently. And now, you can see the results as usual, he has perfect scores”, replied the father with gleaming eyes.
The teacher was surprised. He faced towards Chris and said, “That is really incredible Chris. I doubt any student in my class is able to finish their work by themselves. And you might be the first case. No wonder you get perfect scores every time.”
“Em.. Thank you teacher”, replied Chris hesitatingly, knowing fully well what was to come.
The teacher faced Chris’ father again and said, “Okay. So, I had every student answer a few questions and one of the questions was What do you want to be?, meaning what do you want to be when you grow up. Just like a career based question.”
“Yes, yes I understand. So what about it? I am sure Chris wants to be like me, join the business and take the company to new heights. And I am sure he will”, said the father proudly.
“No”, the teacher replied with a straight face.
The father asked with a surprised expression, “What?”
“Your son wants to be a scientist/researcher in the Aircraft/Space field. He wants to create something new, and make space flight better. Well, at least that’s what he wrote for this question.”, replied the teacher.
“Create something new in the Aircraft/Space field.”, the father repeated under his breath.
He turned down and looked at his son. He knew at once the teacher was speaking the truth. Chris was looking down, knowing full well that his father was looking at him with a quizzical look, and his hands were tightly gripping the sides of his well-ironed trouser.
The father bent down on his knee in front of Chris and placed his hands on his shoulder. “Why didn’t you tell me about this?”, he asked.
Chris was still looking down. The grip on his trouser seemed to have had tightened. Looking at this the teacher intervened, “It’s okay Chris. At the end of the day, he is still your father, he will say and ask you the right things.”
Chris looked towards his teacher and nodded. He faced his father, eyes still down, and spoke slowly, “I… I want to be… a researcher. And create something related to air/space travel. I had this thought when I went to Singapore with you. It was the first time I sat in a flight and since then it has fascinated me. I … am sorry father, I didn’t want to disappoint you because I am not interested in the family business.”
“But you got all the good grades…”, his father stopped speaking.
Chris continued, “I wanted to be the best in the air/space field, and to be a researcher, you need to be very good in academics. That’s why I do better in academics and don’t have such a good reputation in sports. I am so sorry.” Tears were rolling down his cheeks.
His father sighed and patted Chris on the shoulders. “Don’t cry son. I am just surprised that you didn’t tell me about this. Did I become so involved in the business idea that I even created such distance between myself and my son. Okay Chris. I will say this. I want you to become a researcher and create something for this world.”
“Really!”, Chris shouted as he couldn’t believe his ears.
“I am not finished yet. Listen. I will allow it. But I want results. If you waver from the path, I will help you out. But as soon as I see that your interest has faded off then I want you to get into the family business, no questions asked. I also want results. I want you to participate in as many science/space events possible and learn as much as you can.”, the father stopped to look at Chris.
Chris’ eyes were gleaming and he was nodding at every sentence his father was saying.
“You can ask me for anything such as books, cds, project models, and other related things. I will provide them as long as you focus.”, the father finished.
“I will father. I will try my best and be the best. I will create something for you.”, Chris replied with a touch of happiness in his voice.
“You better. I want to be known as the one who created the best researcher in the world.”, the father joked and turned to his teacher. He looked at the teacher and then gazed down at the notebook.
“You can have it. The grades for the work have already been given out, and your son… he topped again.”, the teacher said.
“Thank you. Thank you for everything.”, the father took the notebook, held Chris’ hand and went outside the room.