Michael Summers was just your normal average 13-year old boy. He had a mother, father and a sister. He lived just 15 minutes away from his school and scored pretty okay grades, usually straight Bs but an occasional A or C popped up from time to time. The former getting him a reward and the latter getting him grounded.
The interesting thing about Michael, if there was anything interesting about him, was that he was a pretty good soccer player. Cage soccer, to be exact. Having played about everyday with his friends since he started primary school, he had progressed to the point where he was a formidable opponent when in the cage.
Michael found soccer a great way to relieve stress and anger. He usually played with his friends after school, running around in that rectangular box made of steel wires and concrete. Sometimes they played on weekends too. For his thirteenth birthday his parents had given him a Nike soccer ball with a note that read: Happy Birthday Mike! Chase your Dream! That was one great thing about Michael’s parents; as long as his grades were passable and his conduct good, they allowed him to play soccer whenever he wanted. They allowed him to chase his dream. This naturally, turned out to be a mistake Michael would live to regret.
It all started on one hot Saturday.
“Michael, have you done your homework?” his mother, Claire Summers, asked.
“Yes Mum, can I go out now?” Michael asked, the trace of impatience in his distinct and unmistakable.
“Well, I was thinking maybe you could help me with grocery shopping today,” Claire replied, ignoring that growing impatience she sensed in her son.
“But you said I could play if I did my homework!” Michael shouted indignantly.
“I know perfectly well what I said, and don’t you raise your voice against me like that young man!” Claire snapped back. She knew that her son would soon become an angry, oppressive teenager and after hearing the horror stories from other mothers, she wasn’t sure if she looked forward to that change.
“A promise's a promise. Or are promises made to be broken?” Michael questioned, deliberately trying to act innocent just to irritate his mother. He knew it was wrong to treat her like that, but he wasn’t prepared to give in without a fight.
What he did not expect however, was his mother to reply in a calm, resigned voice.
“Okay, if soccer is what you want, you may go.”
These words would haunt him for a very long time.