I've been locked in my room again. I hate locked doors. I sat on my bed, reading through a medical journal. People are always surprised when I say I want to be a doctor. They reckon my social skills aren't up to it. But I think I'm fine. I'll be the best doctor in the world, and then they'll all be sorry that they doubted me! And my father won't be so disappointed. If I can prove myself to him, then maybe he won't lock me in so much. I get top grades, but it's not enough. I'm captain of the lacrosse team, but that's a girl's sport. I should be into rugby or football, even something like cricket. But I wasn't. It wasn't fair! I won prizes, I skipped grades, I tried so hard, but he was never proud.
"Greg?" there is only one person in the world who calls me Greg. All the kids at school, my teachers, the older boys I hung around with, they all call me House. My father doesn't really call me anything, we hardly talk anymore. My mom called me Greg. She was speaking softly from outside my locked door. I didn't want her to know I couldn't come out.
"Are you planning on coming down for dinner?"
"You're not eating enough"
"I don't care"
"Your father's waiting for you"
"Let him wait"
"So be it, you silly boy!" she wasn't trying to be mean, just trying to get my attention. But I felt the word cut me. Well, I would prove them all wrong! Gregory House will be the best doctor. I will be a good man. I have to be.
I woke up an hour earlier than I needed to get to school. I threw on a T-shirt and some blue jeans and snuck out of the house. I ran all the way to the huge school. It was probably the tenth school I'd been to in my school career. I arrived before the front door was open. My chemistry teacher always left the door to the lab open for me. And he was always there when I came in.
"Morning House, how are you?" the young man said as I dumped my blue rucksack on the floor.
"Did you have a good evening?" he asked tentatively.
"Primarily" he was the only one ever to have guessed my family's secret. Father always made sure that no one knew. He hardly ever hit my face, and anytime he did it wasn't suspicious enough not to be covered up by a 'fall' or a 'door'. I had to wear long sleeved t-shirts and jumpers, even in the summer. But I managed to hide it from everyone, even my Mother. But Mr. Leo saw a bruise on my neck last semester. He made me tell. But he promised not to tell anyone else. It was shameful. I couldn't be the kid who got beat up by his father. I couldn't be that too.
"Are your hungry?"
"A bit" I hadn't eaten the last four meals. I was starving. He handed me the sandwich that he brought in for me every morning. I smiled at him, my muscles aching from days of scowling. I practically swallowed the sandwich whole. "Cheers" I grabbed my bag and dragged it over to my usual desk by the window. Mr. Leo passed me the thick volume of AP Chemistry that I was studying and went back to marking papers at his desk. I became absorbed in my work, enjoying the patterns and combinations that became clearer to me as I advanced through the book. I may only have been 14, but I understood it all. But Father didn't care. I don't get why he's never happy. He treats me like a subordinate, like another idiot in his little army. But I'm not.