"Are you sure you've thought things through?"
His mother asked for the umpteenth time just as his flight was announced.
Ever since he made this decision, his parents had repeatedly asked him to make sure he knew what he was getting himself into.
The thought had just come one day. Of course, he'd done it on the spur of the moment. He had been emotional and just felt like detaching himself from the world. Feeling as though no one genuinely cared about him. Maybe they were friends with him because of his family? His parents had several businesses and were the type known as the RICH rich. They weren't only rich, but they were rich in the rich. It was funny how his parents didn't even know they were rich because he doubted that they had ever sat down to think about all they had achieved. They were always working. Always accumulating. And they were giving him the best life he could ever ask for. And that was why he made up his mind to do something meaningful and make them proud.
He decided he was going to study business instead, which surprised his parents, but they had been happy with his decision. Then came the next shock to them; he told them he didn't want them to pull any strings and he was going to get into one of the two universities his parents owned with his own abilities and warned them not to get involved.
He had believed in his abilities and had even gotten mad at his parents for not believing in him until the admission came out and he realized he hadn't been accepted despite how passionate his statement of purpose had been. Isn't that how it usually happens in the movies?
He knew it was pathetic of him, but he had kind of hoped his parents would pull some strings behind his back. So it had been a hard jab at his ego.
He needed to take out his anger on someone, and so he faced his parents and told them he was never going to attend any of the universities they owned. Instead, he was going to get into a different university.
So for the rest of the year, he made sure to do some research, took some online courses and earned some certificates, then he studied hard on how to write a good personal statement and realized how awful the previous one had been. He cringed whenever he remembered the words he had written.
So there it was. Like a miracle, he got admitted to one university after applying to five schools he believed suited him, and it came with funding!
Even though his parents were worried about him, they were very proud of him.
He was leaving now. And he was leaving as a different person. He had changed the way he looked, changed his number, and even deleted his social media. He was done with his immature life. At 19, he had to be serious. He was his parents' only child, after all.
"I have, mum. And you really should start believing me. For real." He gave her a pointed look.
"I believe you." She sighed and touched his cheek. "And I believe in you. But I'm worried. You have never lived on your own before. You don't even know how to cook, or clean, or wash your things."
"Mum!" He groaned.
"There's always a way to start. And... I have a roommate, remember? He is a senior. I'm sure I'll learn from him. It shouldn't be that hard."
"God! You look so awful." She sighed. "I prefer your real look. Your red hair. Your blue eyes. This is just... awful." She grumbled, making him laugh.
The call came again as a reminder, and so he got ready to leave, kissing her cheek.
"I'm still good looking, right?" He joked.
She rolled her eyes, but he knew he still looked good. In fact, he was beginning to like looking like this.
His once red hair was now dyed black and left to grow a little while falling to the back of his neck. He wore black contacts and specs and had even taken off his ear studs.
There was no doubt that even if he bumped into someone around here over there, they were not going to believe it was him.
"Where did you even get those clothes?" He could hear his mother complaining as he waved at her and hurried to catch his flight.
His best friend, Wilson, was probably still traumatized by the experience. They had both visited a thrift store to shop for outfits, and first of all, the prices blew them away. That he had almost bought the entire store. The fact that people had worn those clothes before was too much to take, but he was on a mission, so he bought a few items he thought were good and made sure to tell the maids to properly disinfect them before and after washing.
He had thought he would hate wearing them, but surprisingly, it felt like every other outfit. He wore a tee-shirt, joggers, and a hoodie with the zip undone. On his feet were a pair of knockoff sneakers to go with it.
He had never left his house like this, much less traveled like this. But he was on a mission. And it was beginning to make him thrilled. He was both excited and apprehensive.
He went through his plan in his head throughout the 4-hour flight.
"Study hard, pass well, no dating, no unseriousness."
As soon as he landed, his whole being felt the change. The air around here smelled fresher. It was kind of chilly too.
He had read about the city, and as he rode the taxi to the town where his university was, he seemed to believe what he had seen on the internet.
The place was not overly crowded. The people were friendly– his cabman proved that. They all had an accent that he didn't mind. He could hear his cabman just fine.
"You will enjoy your university here." The cab said, for the nth time.
"I bet," Chris muttered while looking out the window, hoping for the best.