I don't know why I thought of it, but I recently remembered something that happened when I was maybe 15. I was still living at home, but it was a very tense atmosphere. I always felt like there was a clear division of rooms in the house, where each family member could safely go.
My dad has his bedroom and one living room. My brother and I had each of our rooms and the other living room was shared. The kitchen was neutral territory. We steered clear of each other and rarely spoke. I used the computer most often or holed myself away in my room all the time, reading a book. I was already failing school and covering my tracks with a lot of lying.
My dad, bless him, made a last-ditch attempt to revive our ailing father-daughter relationship by suggesting one Friday, that he and I took a road-trip. Why don't we drive down to San Francisco just the two of us and catch a musical? It did sound nice. But I said no.
I didn't like the idea of being away from my beloved chatrooms for a weekend, and more so, I didn't like the idea of maintaining a conversation on the way down there that would inevitably lead to questions regarding school.
I remembered this recently and wondered idly, what would have happened if I had taken that road trip? Would things have gotten better between my dad and me? If we'd talked about school, could things have changed in some little way, enough to turn around my education issues? Was it some major crossroad that I was at, not realising the importance of my decision? Who knows? I could have just been left with a great memory, or it could have been the weekend disaster trip that I thought it might be at the time. I will never know now. But some part of me wishes I could take it all back and have a little faith that things might have worked out.