Canute was climbing down from his balcony. He had promised Thorfinn that they would meet over an hour ago, but Sweyn had caught on to their nightly excursions and forbade him from leaving.
“It’s a school night,” his father had told him, “You need to study for exams, if you don’t ace these tests then you can never get into a prestigious college like your brother Harold.”
Canute’s feet hit the ground, the ground feeling solid after climbing down the slim branches of the tree by his room. Sweyn only thought he held power over Canute. He didn’t want to go to college, he wanted to paint, to create beautiful works of art that would make people weep with emotion! He wanted to travel the world and see sights that would be more beautiful than what he had ever seen, to capture it on the canvas… But he couldn’t do that here, not with his father breathing down his neck and pressuring him.
As quietly as he could, he ran across the yard, past the stupid gates that his father had erected “to keep the riff-raff out”, and out into the open air that Sweyn had yet to darken. At the end of the long driveway stood Thorfinn in jeans and a t-shirt, along with two skateboards.
“Ready to ride, Princess?” Thorfinn asked with a smile.
Canute nodded, snatching one of the boards. He had never used a skateboard before meeting Thorfinn, his father deeming it “an irresponsible waste of time”, not that constant board meetings that took up entire days didn’t seem wasteful either. Canute wanted to have fun and enjoy life, and Thorfinn let him do that. The day that Sweyn had discovered that Canute had skipped school to get a lip piercing had been the one and only straw.
“I will no raise a child to act like some hoodlum!” yelled his father after making Canute remove the piercing and throw it away, “You will never see this boy again, do you understand me? He will ruin your life. I know what you need to do to succeed, look at your brother! He followed my plan explicitly and now he is graduated from an Ivy League school and runs a successful business just like mine.”
Well father, Canute thought to himself, I’m 18 and nearly graduated. After this your claws will be completely removed. We plan on running away together, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
He was excited, and the thought of leaving his father was almost like a high. He had always longed to tell his father no, to be free to choose the things he wanted to do in life without Sweyn breathing over his shoulder at every turn. All he had to do was get to graduation day, then he would be free…