Written By: Shahrose

“Harold,” said his mom one day, “Son, you should stop wasting your time outside with your friends; you should concentrate on your studies instead.”

“Mom, you don’t have to lecture me, I’m not a child anymore; I’m eighteen. I’m wise enough to know what’s good for me,” said Harold, angrily, while wearing his shoes.

“Is this an acceptable way to talk to your mother? Are you in your senses? You are the eldest among your siblings and you are setting a bad example for them,” said his mom with a very disheartened voice.

“I’m not in the mood to argue with you right now. I will be back in a few hours. Bye,” said Harold as he slammed the door and left the house.

Harold’s mom and dad did not live together because they got a divorce when Harold was only eight. Harold and his three younger brothers lived with their mom. Harold’s mother does two jobs in order to feed her children. Her only wish is to see her children study and get accepted into good universities. However, Harold is giving his mom a very hard time. Harold has been caught twice smoking weed by his mother. Harold has been hanging out with his cousins from his dad’s side, who are a bad influence on him.

“I’m back,” said Harold, a few hours later.

“Son where were you? It has been five hours since you left. I was so worried about you. You should have at least made a phone call,” said Harold’s mom.

“Ain’t nobody got time for that,” Harold whispered to himself.

“Harold! Come and sit here… Look, I can tell by looking at your eyes that you were smoking. Why are you doing this to yourself? I know you think that I’m your enemy and I hate you, but that’s wrong. I love you, son. I don’t want you to ruin your life. Just tell me one thing: what benefit am I going to get if you study and become a successful person?” said his mom while tears came in her eyes.

Harold had nothing to say, so he went to his room to sleep. While he was lying on the bed, he was thinking about what his mom said to him, his current situation and what was going on in his life. He was pondering about why he has to go through all these glitches. All his friends are living with their parents. He blamed his parent’s separation for his current situation. Besides that, one of his cousins from his dad’s side was going England to study law. Moreover, most of his cousins were already in universities. Harold as being young and immature, he couldn’t exactly figure out why his cousins were giving him free weed and why he was doing terrible in studies. For a moment, Harold felt really bad for his mom and he wanted to make her feel good by putting a stop to all the bad actions and by studying hard. However, his feelings were temporary and he fell asleep.

The next morning, Harold’s mom woke up Harold and his brothers up for school. Harold woke up with a severe headache, and he saw a missed call on his phone by his cousin. He got out of his bed and closed the door so no one could hear him. He called his cousin and found out some shocking news. It was that one of his cousins got arrested last night while selling marijuana. Harold acted as he didn’t care and started to get ready for school. It seemed that his mom’s lecture had some good effect on him. Harold and his brothers continued with their routine, got ready, ate breakfast and left for school. On his way to school, Harold’s friend called him and forced him to skip school. Harold didn’t want to skip school but his friends kept insisting him by saying that they will smoke weed, go to a restaurant to eat lunch, and will have a lot of fun. His friends didn’t stop insisting until Harold’s refusal converted into a yes. Harold met his friends at the park behind the school. Including Harold, there were six guys. Meanwhile, they started planning where they wanted to go first. It was decided to smoke some marijuana first and then go to a fast food restaurant for lunch. While everyone was smoking, Harold threw away his weed after inhaling it twice. This was an odd thing to witness; a guy who is really addicted to marijuana suddenly throws away his marijuana.

“Yo, are you okay? You just wasted one gram of weed,” said one of his friends in an annoyed manner.

“I just don’t feel like smoking today. I want to spend some time alone. I will meet you guys in McDonald’s in half an hour,” said Harold while putting his bag back on.

When Harold was leaving he heard one of his friends whispering to another friend,

“Bro, the way he was talking on the phone and the way he acted now was kind of weird. He might be upset.”

“I’m pretty sure that his attitude is changing because of the separation of his parents,” Harold’s friend replied.

Harold was speechless and to avoid reality, he left. After half an hour, Harold went to McDonald’s where he saw his friends sitting. After ordering his food, he joined his friends. They were gossiping with each other and in the meantime, Harold’s eyes rolled out of his sockets when he saw a guy sitting at the table right in front of him studying. Harold couldn’t just sit there and watch him, so he went to that guy and started talking to him.

“Hi! You probably don’t know me but I just came to you because I saw you studying in a restaurant. I think you are hard working and studious,” said Harold.

“Thanks man. I have to work hard because I’m my mom’s only hope as my parents got divorced two years ago. I want to graduate from a good university and get a good job. I work part time to help my mom financially,” said the stranger who Harold had complimented.

Harold felt ashamed. At that instance, he realized that he is not the only one who has upheavals. Now he knew what to do; what was wrong and how to deal with his problems. He said bye and wished that guy good luck and then left McDonalds without saying anything to his friends. He went straight to his home where he saw his mom who was about to leave for her work. His mom was quite shocked to see Harold home as he was supposed to be at school.

“Mom! I want to talk to you,” said Harold.

“Yes son, what happened? Is everything alright?” said Harold’s mom in a worried voice.

“Mom I’m really sorry for all the pain I made you suffer through. I’m sorry for skipping school today. I’m sorry for all the problems you had to go through because of me. Mom I promise that from now on I will quit smoking and I will start studying really hard. Please mom, forgive me. Just give me one chance,” said Harold while crying.

“It’s okay Harold. I trust you. I know you won’t let me down. I love you. Everything is going to be alright” said his mom while hugging him.

Harold asked his mom if she could give him a ride back to his school. His mom dropped him to school and he went to attend the rest of his classes.