Arriving at home after work, you allow your body to slouch. It sags into a chair, soaking in the presence of the house.
Another day of menial tasks in abysmal working conditions. Not like you can do much about that anyway. You're on schedule, but they still refuse to pay you.
Your dad sits in a room dimly lit by a lamp, watching TV. *Another criminal incident in this town.* Your mom isn't home yet, but it's better to start this way.
After contemplating your decision for weeks, you finally built up your resolve. This is your dream — your chance to advance and further your career, and if you miss it, there may not be another opportunity.
You've mulled over this, over and over again, listing all the pros and cons for months now. *It will be fine.*
You get up.
[[Dad, I'm moving out.]]"What are you talking about, Max?" he replies, confused.
Your parents always knew you strived for independence. At 20 years old, you feel it's the right time. The problem: it's not a simple move.
You've decided to move to another country, and you never talked about this possibility with them before.
[[I'm moving to England.]]
[[I'm old enough to move out.]]"Dad, I've been thinking about this for a while. I'm moving to England. This is what I want," you state resolutely.
His eyes widening, he turns the TV off and sighs, massaging his face using his index fingers for a few seconds.
"To England?!" he mocks. "And how do you plan to do this?"
You've been thinking about it for weeks now. It's a risky move, after all. You would have to quit work to go back to school; however, it's not just any school. You've been accepted into Cambridge.
[[I'm going to Cambridge. I'll need help.]]
[[Dad, please try to understand.]]"I'm already 20 years old," you reply impatiently. "I'm old enough now to move out and live my own life how I choose to!"
Moving out is one thing. Moving to a country you've never been to before is on an entirely different scale. Your parents have always been supportive up until now and you only hope they'll continue to do so once they learn you're going to England.
Especially when they learn you've been accepted into Cambridge.
"I don't doubt you are," he counters. "But where do you even plan on going? You already live close to work and there are no available places closer than home to move into — none that you could afford anyway."
[[I've been accepted into Cambridge.]]
[[You just don't understand.]]"I'm not staying here," you assert. "Not when I've been accepted into Cambridge."
You can see the shock in his eyes. He knows this is big. Stability is obviously good, *but you're not even being paid.*
"Max..." he struggles. "I don't know what to-"
In an unexpected move, he gets up and hugs you. You know he gave up on his dreams for this family and it was hard on him. He can't deny you your opportunities to grow.
Your mom arrives and he backs away.
"Is everything okay?" she asks, worried. You turn to face her.
[[Mom, I'm moving to England.]]
[[You know how I’ve always wanted to move out.]]"Dad, I've been accepted into Cambridge," you rejoice.
He is taken by surprise but he doesn't speak.
"I've been saving some money from work," you quickly add. "But I'll need some help from you and mom."
You can see he's trying his best to be supportive, but it's not very convincing.
"About half of the cost," you answer timidly.
He stands up, letting the TV remote fall into the ground and make a dull thud.
"You've got to be kidding me!" And there it is — the final straw.
Before you can reply, your mom arrives home.
"What's going on?" she asks, worried about the discussion.
[[Mom, please sit down.]]
[[Mom, I've been accepted into Cambridge.]]"Dad, I know this is hard," you state, walking towards him. "I don't know for sure how I'm going to do this... but I'll do whatever I need to." You take a deep breath before continuing, "Because I've been accepted into Cambridge."
He is in shock. To support your family, he gave up on his dreams. Instead, he went to stable but unambitious jobs. He knows what it means to give up on personal dreams.
Since childhood, whenever you wanted something, you persevered until you obtained it. Now is most definitely one of those times.
He sighs in defeat. "What do you nee—" before he can finish his question, your mom arrives home.
"What a hell of a day," she sighs.
*Well, it's not over yet.*
[[Mom, I'm moving to England.]]
[[You know how I’ve always wanted to move out.]]"You just don't understand, do you?" you hiss, your patience disappearing rapidly. "It's not about what I have. I can be better. I want more." You shout, "I've been accepted into Cambridge!"
He stands up, letting the TV remote fall and make a dull thud.
"Do you think you can just get anything you want, Max?" he raises his voice, and clenches his fists. "Life isn't fair!"
You know where he is coming from. He gave up on his career dreams and turned to stable but unambitious jobs to support your family. He never enjoyed his work. To him, life really isn't fair.
You're walking back, crossing your arms, as your mom arrives.
"What's going on?" she asks in a shaky voice.
[[Mom, please sit down.]]
[[Mom, I've been accepted into Cambridge.]]"Mom, please sit down," you sigh. "I have some news."
"Simon, what's going on?" she glances at him while sitting down.
She has always been a hard worker, ambitious and goal-driven. But she never gave up on her family. In fact, that's why she kept going.
"Well, Jade, why don't you ask Max?" He smirks.
*Off to a great start.* He clearly isn't happy about the news, but maybe you can convince her and things would be better.
Your parents have always been amazing. In fact, they are the best you could ask for. Always supportive, caring, making sure you had everything you needed — but not everything you wanted. They taught you about respect, equality, how to be understanding, and how to always strive for the best.
Well, you're trying for the best now.
"I'm moving out," your voice trembles while you clasp your hands. "I've been accepted into Cambridge."
"Oh, my God!" she exclaims, then looks at him. No matter how much you try, you can't decipher her reaction.
"We'll... We'll find a way," she stutters, surprising you. "We have to."
He laughs sardonically, "and how do you think we'll do that, Jade?"
[[I know I'm asking for a lot.]]
[[If you don't want to help me, I'll find another way.]]"Mom, I have some *big* news to share," you state, trying to emphasize how much you care about it. "I've been accepted into Cambridge."
Your parents have always tried their best with you, and they are the best you could ask for. They made sure you had everything you needed — but not everything you wanted. They taught you manners, how to be respectful towards others, and be the best you can.
Your only hope is that she understands it better than him.
"Oh, my God!" she gasps. Then her eyes flicker over to him, "Simon! Did you know about this?"
"Max was just telling me," he barks. "And was also asking for us to pay for half of it."
"We'll find a way," she stutters, surprising you. "We have to."
She, just like you, was always career-driven, ambitious, and a hard worker. But she managed to achieve her dreams while not giving up on your family. Something your dad couldn't do.
He laughs sardonically.
[[I know I'm asking for a lot.]]
[[If you don't want to help me, I'll find another way.]]"Mom, I'm moving to England," you exclaim, confident after convincing him.
He smiles at her.
She just blinks her eyes rapidly, confused.
"Jade," he jumps, "Max has been accepted into Cambridge!"
She is in the midst of shock and confusion. You predicted that your parents would react like this, of course. They've always been wonderful and the best you could have asked for.
But this is different. After all, a parent does not usually expect their children to move out to another country.
"How can you be okay with this, Simon?" she whispers.
Although she has been goal-driven and successful throughout her career, your mom made sure to always stay close to her family.
"It's Cambridge, Jade," he snaps.
[[Mom, I know it's hard.]]
[[Why can't you be happy for me?]]"You know how I’ve always wanted to move-" you try to remind her.
"Where are you planning on moving to?" she quickly asks before you finish.
He stands up.
"Jade, Max has been accepted into Cambridge!" he rejoices.
You laugh. You can't help but feel excited. These are the best parents you could have asked for. Supportive, giving you a great childhood with what you needed — but not always what you wanted.
She doesn't seem to share the excitement, though.
She groans and falls into the chair, covering her face for a few seconds. "How are you going to do this? Do you think you can afford it?"
A goal-driven and successful woman, she constantly achieved her incredibly ambitious dreams. But she never took a position away from her family.
"How can you be okay with this, Simon?" she questions.
"It's Cambridge, Jade," he snaps, "Max can't miss this!"
[[Mom, I know it's hard.]]
[[Why can't you be happy for me?]]"I know I'm asking for a lot here," you remark. "It's a big investment; but if I go to Cambridge, I'll be set."
"Schools don't guarantee employment," he replies.
"Maybe not," she tells him, "but this is Cambridge."
"Max already has a perfectly fine job, Jade!" he snaps.
As with any relationship, your parents had arguments, but they came out of them stronger than before. Not that they were very frequent. You can't even remember when was the last time they had one.
And now, you're the reason it is happening.
"Of course, you'd call that a job," she sneers. "Oh, yeah, what a great salary," she mocks.
[[I'm done here.]]"You guys don't have to do this," you respond. "If you don't want to help me, I'll find another way. I have to."
He sits down.
"It's not that we don't want to, Max," he states. "We just can't afford it."
"Stop it, Simon!" she cries, "How could Max possibly afford this alone?"
As with any relationship, your parents had their fair share of disagreements but they came out of them stronger than before. Not that they were very frequent. You can't even remember when was the last time they had one.
But now, you're the reason it is happening.
"Well, then maybe Max should just stay!" he shouts back.
[[I'm done here.]]"Mom, I know this is hard for you..." you state. "And, trust me, it will be for me too. But this is my dream... and I'll pay you guys back. I promise."
She sits down.
"It's not about the money, Max," she frets. "You'll be gone. I won't be able to see you every day, never mind even a monthly visit. How do you think that makes me feel?"
"We know, Jade," his voice trembles. "How do you think I feel? But this is for the best."
"Max just isn't ready, Simon!" she exclaims.
In the arguments area, your parents have been surprisingly stable. Although they've had disagreements, they always turned out for the best. And the last one was a long time ago.
But now, it's happening because of you.
[[I'm done here.]]"How can you be like that, Mom?" you snap. If she's gets to be so ambitious and pursue her own career objectives, why can't you?
She sits down.
"Do you think I don't know how important this is for you, Max?" she sobs. "I just won't be able to see you while you're all the way over there. Have you even thought about how this will make me feel?"
"Stop being so selfish, Jade," he groans impatiently. "This is not about us."
"Oh, like now you suddenly care," she hisses.
You can't even remember when was the last time your parents argued. They've had an incredibly stable relationship throughout the years and whenever they disagreed, they came out of it stronger than before.
But now, they're arguing because of you.
[[I'm done here.]]"Stop it!" you shout, making them both look at you. "This isn't about you. It's about me. And I *am* going to Cambridge. So please just accept it.
You know your parents better than anyone. After all, it's been 20 years without any major hiccups. You know how to talk to them.
They both look at each other and there's a few seconds of awkward silence.
"I'm sorry," he admits.
"No, Max, *we're* sorry," she whispers. "This shouldn't be about us. We'll just have to support you however we can."
You let out a sigh of relief. Although this is only the first step in a journey that will take a year, getting your parents' support and approval was vital.
[[One year later...]]*This is not worth it.*
"I'm done here!"
As you start running towards your room, she shouts at him, "I hate you!"
You stop, scared, and turn just in time to see her getting her bag and throwing it at him.
"This is why I want the divorce! You never think about us, you selfish snob! You don't care about us, about this, about this family," she shouts, unable to contain her anger.
Your try to mutter something before he replies, as they both notice you there, eyes wide open, shocked.
"Max, don't-" he tries to speak but you run to your room and slam the door.
[[One year passes...]]One year after that day, you're finally at the airport, ready to move on.
It's been a crazy year. Your parents helped with all the bureaucracy along the way and even took some money from their savings account to help with half of the costs.
You had fun moments with your friends and finally leaving your previous job felt so *good*. But there were also moments of solitude, numbness, and crying, lying on your bed.
Just yesterday, you held a goodbye party with your whole family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins from both sides. They're not here today but you feel good with just your parents.
As you head to the check-in area, you say your goodbyes. Both of them are crying and hugging but you can see they understand this is the right move.
As you walk away, you hope your new life will be as good as your parents'. You know you're ready for this because of them.
*Exhale.*After one year, you're ready for your move to England.
The last twelve months have been crazy. You hang out with your friends as much as possible and leaving your previous job felt so *good*. But there also moments of numbness, crying, and complete solitude. As the day got closer, they were more frequent, especially listening to the more constant arguments between your parents who decided to stop hiding them from you. They have officially divorced.
Your whole family is at the airport including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins from each side. Your parents stay separated, close to their own families. But except for them, everyone is talking to each other and being supportive towards you.
As you head to the check-in area, you say your final goodbyes, hoping your parents can also find the happiness you're so desperately looking for.