It was all so clear in his mind - the clarity of a dawn dream. "Morning dreams always come true", Ma always said... He could see it now, hear the applause ringing in his ears... feel the elation as he walked up in his crisp, smart uniform, shoes gleaming to get his report card from the head of the school. Beaming his beatific smile as he looked down at the row of A+ grades on the report card, feeling the applause reverberate in his very being as he lifted the card high...
He looked down at the report card, unable to meet the disapproving eyes of his teacher.. Looking down at a row of Cs and Ds, feeling his heart plummet right down into the toes of his ratty, shabby shoes.... "You will amount to nothing", he heard his father say in his head - words so oft repeated, they felt almost real as he heard them echo in his mind. His optimism evaporates as he trudges home, past the palatial houses he longingly stared at everyday.. to the wrong side of the tracks... to the beating he knows awaits when the cursed report card will be asked for and produced. He felt his knees tremble as if already imagining the hot wetness of his bladder losing control with each blow that fell on his defenceless back.
"You'll never do well... never.... EVER"... and it was then that he KNEW. He wouldnt ever be that boy in his dreams, the achiever, one of the "haves".... he'd always be a "have not", an underdog.... always be mediocre.... in his mediocre life. Never exceptional, always so-so. But in the haze of blinding pain that came with this knowledge, a glimmer of his long buried hope resurfaces... the only thing that could possibly work to break him out of the vicious cycle his life seemed to be stuck in.
Excellence in mediocrity - he smiled as the irony of his epiphany sunk in. His head, no longer bowed, his back erect, he makes for his future, optimism intact with the epiphany ruling him.