Characters: Bikky, Ryo.
Setting: After Vol. 7
Summary: After talking to a career advisor at school, Bikky begins to wonder if he’s setting his hopes too high.
Word Count: 919
Written For: Jae's Monthly Drabble Challenge 185 - High Hopes.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
When Bikky wandered in from school that evening, he didn’t slam the door and shout “I’m home!” the way he usually did, and there was a thoughtful, vaguely worried expression on his face.
Ryo glanced round at him. “Hey, Biks, what’s up? Rough day at school?”
“No, it was fine.” The boy dropped his book bag to the floor and toed off his sneakers before wandering over to where his foster father was folding laundry. He slumped onto the floor and leaned his elbows on the coffee table, frowning. “Ryo, d’you think I’m getting my hopes up too high over the whole wanting to play pro basketball thing?”
Ryo stopped what he was doing and sat down on the sofa, giving the boy his full attention.
“What brought this on?”
“Career week, you know. The school careers advisor I talked to thinks I should set my sights lower, that I’m just setting myself up to be disappointed. I told him I know I might not make it to the big leagues, not everyone does, even among the really good players, but he seemed to think I wasn’t being realistic, that I shouldn’t even bother trying.”
“Sounds like he’s in the wrong line of work. I always thought careers advisors were supposed to offer encouragement and support to students, help them realise their full potential, not try to undermine their confidence. Okay, sure, you’re setting your sights high, but how are you supposed to know whether or not you can reach the moon if you don’t even try?”
Bikky nodded slowly. “Yeah, that’s true I guess.”
“I’ve talked with your coach; he thinks you’re one of the best natural talents he’s ever seen. College scouts are already showing an interest; even though you won’t be eligible to play for a college team for almost two years, they’re watching you. If you were a mediocre player then yes, maybe you would be dreaming too big, but you’re not. You’re one of the top high school players in the state, and I know you’re willing to put in the time and effort it takes to become the best you can be.”
“Of course I am! I’ll practice as much as I need to, and more than that, and I’m working hard to keep my grades up too, so I won’t get cut from the team.”
“I know you are, and I’m proud of you.” Ryo smiled at his foster son. “Bikky, there’s nothing wrong with setting your hopes high as long as you’re realistic about it and have some backup options in case your first choice falls through, for whatever reason.”
“I’ve got other ideas. I mean, I could maybe coach high school basketball, or work at a center for disadvantaged kids, or there’s sports journalism. I could even work in a sporting goods store. But playing basketball… that’s been my dream for as long as I can remember. Doesn’t even have to be for one of the big professional teams; I’d take minor league, or pretty much anything, long as I can keep playing.”
“It’s good to have dreams, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, they come true, but even if they don’t, they’re still important. They’re what keep people trying, pushing forward and never giving up. If there’s no dream, no ambition, then what is there to work towards?”
“Exactly. A lot of the kids at your school, they probably haven’t given much thought to what they want to do with their lives, beyond maybe going to college. Those are the ones who need the help of a careers advisor, someone to give them ideas and goals to work towards, goals they might actually have a chance at achieving. Kids like you though, the ones who already know what they want to do…” Ryo trailed off, reaching out to squeeze Bikky’s shoulder. “Keep dreaming, Biks, dream as big as you can, and keep trying to get what you want out of life, because then, even if you don’t make it, you’ll always know you gave it your best shot, and you won’t be left with regrets over what might have been.”
Bikky smiled. “Thanks, Ryo, I will, I promise, and if I don’t make it to the top… Well, I’ll be disappointed, not gonna lie, but I won’t complain. I’ll try not to anyway.” He studied his foster father thoughtfully. “Did you always want to be a cop?”
Ryo laughed. “When I was your age I didn’t have the faintest idea what I wanted to do with my life. I guess I kinda figured I’d probably end up working with my parents. They were art dealers, and it seemed interesting enough; they got to travel all over the world. I think I had some vague ideas about studying business management and fine arts at college, something like that. It wasn’t until my parents were killed that I decided to join the police force, but I don’t have any regrets. I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s hard work, and often unpleasant, but I feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives.”
“You are. I should know.” Bikky stood up. “I’ve got a ton of homework so I’d better get started, otherwise I can forget about any chance of a college scholarship. Thanks, dad.”
Smiling, Ryo watched his boy scoop up his book bag and head for his room, thinking that if there was any justice in the world, all of Victor Goldman Maclean’s dreams would come true.