Lived Experience: Mike Johnson


Read Mike's Story

My name is Mike Johnson and I am 16 years old. I am a junior in high school. I run track, and I like to write… yeah, like my dad does. I swear, though, that’s the only way I’m like my dad. My dad is a jerk. He tried to kill me and my sister and my mom – my sister Kimmy and I both know it’s true. Even when mom tells us it may have been an accident, I say, “Well, how the heck did the curtains get on fire?” But we’re out of there, and if I never see Dad again it will be too soon.

I’m glad I have my sprinting, and all the track meets. My times haven’t been as good since the fire, but I’m getting back to it. But sometimes, though, I just want to let it all out and hit something or punch something, or just yell if nothing else – really loud. I got my license a few months ago, and my dad gave me his old Toyota when I did, and sometimes I turn up the music really loud and drive and just scream at the top of my lungs. But I would never hit anyone ever. I don’t know how my dad thinks violence like that is okay.

Okay, one more thing, but you can’t say anything. Sometimes, lately, I’ve been meeting up with my pal Jordan. He’s got a brother who’s a lot older, and his brother can buy us beer. We don’t drink that much, just a little now and again – we take the Toyota out to Green Parkway out on the edge of town and drink one or two beers. Man, it helps. Jordan has a rough time at home too; his mom is away in Afghanistan and his dad works all the time. So we go out and shoot the breeze and complain about our folks. It helps, the beer. But I only do it every now and then. You don’t need to worry about me.