Dialogue 101: The Late Night

Derek fumbled with his keys in the darkness. It was already 1AM. He was supposed to be home at 11PM last night. Derek slowly turned the lock to the door. Silently, he opened the door and crept inside. Carefully, he closed the door. It creaked rather loudly, and Derek’s stomach dropped. He slowly closed the door the rest of the way, his eyes wide with fear. His shoes unlaced and off, he glided across the hardwood floor in his new socks. Suddenly, the lights turned on and Derek froze. His face had turned as white as his socks.

“Oh, look who decided to come home,” quipped his father from in his armchair. He wore his bathrobe over his old pajamas and his favorite pair of slippers, the toes so worn that his feet almost poked through. He adjusted glasses as he waited for Derek to explain himself.

“Dad, I’m sorry, we lost track of time. By the time we realized what time it was, we were all the way by Kevin’s house. We got back here as fast as we could,” Derek blushed. “Still going the speed limit of course.”

“Do you think just because your mother is out of town you can do whatever you want? What were you all doing for so long?” He looked down at Derek’s socks. “Why are your feet wet? Where were you?” He adjusted his glasses again.

Derek’s face was turning a deep red. “I uh. . . just stepped in a puddle Dad, honest.”

“It is obvious you’re lying to me, son.”

“I’m not lying Dad, c’mon, you never believe me!”

“You went to the lake.” He took of his glasses and closed his eyes.

“So what if I did? What’s so bad about that?” Derek curled his fingers into a fist.

“What’s so bad about that? Are you listening to what you are saying?” He began to raise his voice. “Derek, your mother and I have told you countless times that you are not allowed to go to the lake when it is just you and your friends!” He placed his glasses on the arm of the chair and rubbed his eyes with the heel of his hands. “That is just a recipe for disaster! You are not responsible enough to be doing that!” snarled his father.

“That’s because your rules are STUPID! Why should I have to be home so early tonight? There’s NO school tomorrow. It’s labor day, you don’t even have to go to work!”

“You have to be home at 11 because that’s what you promised! You gave your word! You-”

“Don’t lecture me on keeping promises! What happened to “death do us apart”? Huh, what ever happened to that promise?”

His father took a long, deep breathe. “So your mother told you about the divorce? I . . . I am sorry son. ” He moved to grab his glasses off of the chair, but he missed, and the glasses fell to the ground with a tinkle. “I am sorry, but that doesn’t change any of your actions. Go to bed, and do not think about leaving the house tomorrow, you are grounded,” His father declared coldly. “Off with you, and leave your phone as well.”

Derek was shaking with anger as he tossed his phone onto the coffee table. His father never listened to his side of the story. He just assumed that Derek was trying to cause trouble, when all Derek was really trying to was have fun. He just wanted to enjoy his life, was that too much to ask for? “Take it,” Derek spat “and shove it-”

“ROOM! NOW!” his father bellowed.

“I HATE YOU!” Derek stomped up the stairs and slammed the door shut with such ferocity that a picture fell off the wall. His father sighed as he picked his glasses off of the ground. A crack spiderwebbed across the lens.