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Killing me slowly
My name is Isaiah from Nigeria. I am 15 years old and I love to write, sing and act. "Killing Me Slowly" happens to be my first completed book, it took me a lot of time and effort but it was worth it. I hope you like it, enjoy !
Hi! My name is Joseph Anderson, I live with my mom, she was separated from my dad two years ago . Life wasn't and still isn't easy ever since she got separated from my father .
I walked into the school hall at 8:50 am, I was very late, but no cause for alarm, we are having Spanish class, our teacher is an old woman, she sleeps a lot even in class. So I quickly but slowly sneaked into the class before the hall monitor could see me . I got to my seat and of course my classmates won't tell on me, they don't care . Spanish class was over in a few minutes and we were to have Geography next. At the end of the lesson, our Geography teacher, Mr Godson Michael informed us that we will be going for an excursion to Virginia falls. I don't need anybody to tell me that it involves money. He said we will have to pay two hundred dollars. It was going to be for two weeks for and this is very important for my grades. I am bothered by the thought that I might not be able to pay, knowing well that my mom doesn't even have enough money to feed us right now . Maybe I can break my piggy bank and see the amount I can cover, I have been saving money since grade 5 and now, I am in grade 9.
It was lunchtime, we all went to the school cafeteria. I brought out my lunch, all of a sudden from nowhere , Jack and his friends (well known bullies), walked up to my table as he usually does .
"What did you bring for me today ?" He snatched it out of my hand and checked it out for himself .
" Beans on toast !! I hate that" he threw my lunch into the trash and as if that wasn't enough, he threw my bag pack on the floor and left . Nobody dares question him, just mind you business. I couldn't do anything, I was powerless against him, he was stronger . I began to pack my stuff into my bag, when I was about to pick up the last thing, my Chemistry notes, someone's hand brushed mine. I looked to see who it was, I saw a gorgeous girl, beautiful like the rainbow, 'ma ma mia' I said to myself .
"Hi , my name is Gabriella, I saw everything my brother did to you, sorry, he's such a jerk "
"Your brother ?"
"Yes, he didn't have breakfast today, I guess that's why he came after your lunch . I apologize on his behalf. What's your name"
"Nice meeting you Joseph, I have to go bye "
I went back home, mom was not around. I took the keys under the mat and unlocked the door. Thank God that there was some leftovers. I went to my room and took a hammer . I didn't know my mom was back . She entered my room and heard a smash.
"Oh my God Josie ! What happened here "
"As you can see mom, I broke the piggy bank"
I told her all about the excursion and the marks I will be loosing if I don't join them in the research.
"I don't have money on me, they haven't pay me my salary yet . Count the cash and tell me the amount you have gathered. I will be in kitchen "
"So, how much ?"
" Eighty seven dollars and seventy cents , what are we going to do ? "
"I will borrow from Mrs Philips "
"You haven't paid her for last time, maybe we should call dad "
"How can you say that Joseph !! He abandoned us, he doesn't care !"
She left the kitchen upset and went to the living room
"I am done eating, I am going to my room"
" Joseph wait, I am sorry for the way I shouted at you, I know you're just trying to look for a solution, that man you call your dad, left us behind, it's not easy"
"I understand mom ,goodnight "
"Joseph !! Wake up !!"
"I am awake mom, I am coming "
"Good morning, I am going to work, there is food in the kitchen and make sure you clean the house before doing anything, no excuses this time around "
"Yes, bye take care "
I took my breakfast , the thoughts about the excursion flashed through my mind . I took my bath, cleaned the house and then watched T.V . I remembered about all the good and bad times when my dad, Jeff Anderson and my mom, Anna Anderson were together. I remembered when last they spoke, it ended in a quarrel .
I decided to call him but I was hesitant. I gathered up courage and dialed his number, surprisingly, he picked up .
"What do you want this time again ?"in an angry tone
"Hello, it's Joseph"
"Oh, I didn't know it was you, so how are you ? And school ? "
"Everything's going smoothly "
"Anyways, why did you call me ? I am really busy, this is the first time you're calling after a while"
"I called you because I am in need of money, about one hundred and thirteen dollars"
"For what ! Is that why you called this early in the day ? Please call me when you have something else better to say "
(After a while, mom was back )
"Joseph! I am home"
"How was work ?"
"It was fine, I hope you didn't smash anything, what occurred when I was not at home ? By the way, who were you on the phone with ?"
"Nothing, there was no smashing . I called him "
"Who ? Don't tell me it's Jeff "
"Why did you call him ? Didn't I warn you Joseph !"
"Yes but since you don't have money, I figured I should probably give him a call. I know you're struggling to get cash and I know you're suffering , so I decided I will call him "
"What did he say "
"He said I shouldn't bother him "
"It's okay Josie and who said I am suffering, we will get through this , God will provide"
"No !! It's not okay, we are in New Jersey, he is somewhere far away and you are saying everything is alright !!"
My alarm clock went off. I got up, brushed my dentals, bathe,had breakfast and left without saying bye to mom .
"Hi, good morning " Gabriella said
"What happened ? You look gloomy "
"Well, I have been thinking about the excursion, I don't have the money complete "
"Don't worry ! My dad wants to pay for me and Jack but Jack doesn't seem interested in going, I can ask him to pay for you instead, he won't mind "
"Really ? You have brighten my day, thank you . I will have to thank your dad too "
"You're welcome, it's time, I need to go to my class"
"Alright see you later, bye "
I went for history class, I kept smiling the whole time, even the teacher noticed it .
I kept smiling all through the way home, when I finally arrived home , I was still smiling.
"What's up ? Why are you smiling ? Did you hit the jackpot or what Joseph "
"Guess what "
"What's it ? I am not good at guessing"
"Do you remember about the excursion ?"
"What about it ? "
"The issue has been solved, my excursion fee has been paid !!! "
" Who ? When ? How ? "
"Gabriella's dad paid for me since his son doesn't want to go "
" Thanks be to the lord, I really need to see him to thank him personally one of these days . We will be having your favourite for dinner, pasta and meat balls "
"Oh yeah !!!! "
Today, we went shopping for groceries and some things I will need for the excursion.
"Now remember, we are following a budget strictly, get the things you really need alright . what's on the list ? "
" Okay but please, please !!! Can I get Vampire romance, the book, I have been wanting to get it for a long time "
"Fine you can have it "
"Thank you ! "
Oh gosh ! It's Monday morning once again ! I said as I forced myself out of bed. I really don't like school that much , although my classmates see me as a nerd or a book worm . Honestly I am fun to be it, I am someone who 'goes with the flow', I am not anti- social at all but with all that said, I still like studying and doing assignments, I see it as an obligation that I must carry out besides, if I don't, mom will give me one of her long lectures about the benefits of academic excellence in school and trust me, you don't want to hear that. As mom always says,
" You're preparing for your future, so take everything seriously or you will live on the streets, no food, no shelter, no money and become a beggar "
My dad always says,
"To be successful in life, you need to do everything it takes and grab every opportunity you get "
I was brought back to reality by mom's constant yelling
"Josie !!! Come take your breakfast"
"I am here "
"How was your night ?"
"Refreshing, yours ?"
"Same thing everyday, tiring, now finish up quickly, I am taking you to school "
I arrived at school very early, just a few students were present in class. I got a lot of personalities in my class, special in their own way.
There is Andrew with the gorgeous hair, oh lord ! You need to see his hair, he is known as 'the guy with the awesome hair '. Jane, whom I will call 'abnormal ', she talks a lot, prepare to get a headache once she begins to speak, she can talk all day. She talks too fast, you won't find it easy making sense from what she's talking about. Teachers are tired of her too . Then there is Zack, the toughest dude in class, you don't want him to be crossed with you,if that happens, you might as well start preparing for your funeral.
Jessica, A.K.A , 'the modern Cinderella' A.K.A , 'Classy girl '. She likes treating people as if they were trash just because her father is filthy rich and a friend to the proprietor and the mayor. She goes around disrespecting everyone, even the teachers.
"I can do anything I want, they can not do anything to me, my dad can buy the whole school if he wants to" As she always says.
She comes to school at anytime she wants and nobody is saying anything, I think they are afraid because of her father. I tried talking to her once but she shut me up, that's one of my embarrassing moments.
Next on the list is someone who I strongly disliked with all of my heart, is no other than Jack, who likes intimidating others because of his size and feels like he owns the whole school. Last week, he threw my lunch in the trash just because he doesn't like it . His friends, Max, Gregg and Fred just keep on following him and doing whatever he asks them to do, I don't know why they keep on sticking around him anyways, I have nothing else to say about him. There is Samuel, he is a good guy, he is kind and gentle, I can say he is one of the people I really admire. Joan, my fellow nerd, the only problem she has is that she claims to know everything and that's just foolish.
Jason, one of the most handsome guys in class, i admire him too. Next is Tonia, I have nothing against her but honestly she looks like a prostitute. Peter, a bad boy, loves using girls, such a jerk! Linda, the Principal's daughter, you might be thinking that she got a bad attitude but actually she is humble, kind, sweet and gentle, even though there is resemblance between her and Jessica but they are very different, opposite.
There is Jesse, he is quite obsessed with everything that has to do with sports. He is bad in every subject but when it comes to P.H.E, gosh ! He is always number 1. Jeremy, he is just weird and strange, he is odd. Jeff, has anger issues, he can't control it, he gets angry very easily. He might kill someone one day, if he doesn't control it. Stella, she is so different from other girls but she is amazing and tough.There is Mark,he's new but he seems to be a nice guy.
It's time for Spanish class, our teacher, Mrs Miller walked into the class and without wasting time, she began teaching. I was surprised that she didn't fall asleep as she usually does. Immediately she started speaking Spanish, all I could hear was 'blah blah blah ' I wished the earth could swallow me whole, time is so slow today !! After about an hour, she was getting tired of standing, so she sat down and before you know it, she dose off.
"That's what was missing the who time!! I was beginning to get worried " Jason said
We all giggled quietly and softly so that she doesn't wake up . Zack left his seat to the front of the classroom, trying to mimick Mrs Miller. We all bust into laughter which of course woke her up .
"What Mischief are you trying to do young man ?"
"I..I wa.. I was trying to wake you up " Zack replied
"Go back to your seat ! Let's continue the class "
Before she could stand up,the school bell went off, the class was over .
"Oh thank God ! The class is over " Jesse said
"Not so fast, let me give you an assignment"
"Awwwwww !!" The class chanted
After our Spanish class, it was now time for Physics, I am not really pleased about that. Don't get me wrong, I love Physics but the teacher, Miss Lacey Smith, even hearing her name disgusts me. She is 'classy' and 'sassy' as she always says . She is just like Jessica, even worse , everyone strongly dislike her. I don't why they are still keeping her as a staff, fire her already !! By the way I don't like her Cologne, it's too strong, you can 'smell' her presence from afar . Anytime she is class, we just keep quiet or else you will have her to deal with. Don't get me started with her dressing, it so indecent, what kind of example is she giving us ? Although she can teach very well even better than the other teachers but her attitude is the problem .
"I am not surprised that most of you didn't do well honestly, well apart from those who tried their best. Let's continue from where we stopped "
She didn't wear one of those her dresses and her attitude is a bit different wow ! I think she got baptized by the holy ghost.
"Hey Gabriella !"
"Hi, what's up ? So, are you ready for the trip ?"
"Almost ready, you ?"
"Haven't started yet. I am sorry, I have to go, my dad is here, bye Joseph "
"Alright, bye Gabby "
"Good afternoon mom"
"What happened at work ? You're home early "
"Nothing really, I finished all my work early at the office today and decided to just come back home since I don't have anything else to do at the office"
"So what are you preparing for dinner ?"
"Let me help you rephrase that, you mean what are 'we'preparing for dinner "
"Come on !"
"Young man, I said you will help me in the kitchen ,okay ?"
"Yes mom "
"Your excursion is next week, right ?"
"Yep, I can't wait "
Less than 7 hours to the trip and I have already packed everything I need, some of my clothes, shoes, a note pad, jacket, toiletries and one of my favourite book, Twilight by Stephanie Meyers (Vampire romance) , my phone and a camera since phones and other gadgets are allowed. I am so excited, I can't even go to sleep . It will be so fun ! I was thinking of everything that might happen, we could go for a swim or even a hike, we could tell spooky stories and tell jokes . Oh God, I can't wait ! I was lost in a dream. Yeah I was expecting that obviously because I was thinking too much about it.
Before I knew it, the time had come finally for me to leave for the excursion. I quickly munched on my breakfast, finished all my chores and now I am watching my favourite Filipino drama series while patiently waiting for the school bus . Just when it was getting interesting, the bus arrived, what bad timing !! Mom helped me with my bag and of all times had to say, ' I love you ' in front of all my classmates. It's actually nice but embarrassing. I was a laughing stock for about 5 minutes, calling me Mummy's boy ! It felt so excruciating .
I sat beside one of my classmate, he is very known for truancy, he is Jay Kelly, not his real name by the way, he is popularly known as Jay Kelly. It's surprising, seeing him in the school bus because he doesn't really like anything that involves schooling, I guess he came for fun . I spotted Gabriella, she was behind me, I just waved. I talked to Kelly for a little while to know what's up and where he has been all this while . Another hot gist popped up that our teacher, Mr Godson was flirting with Miss Lacey, the news or rather gossip flew fast from the front to the back of the bus, it was really contagious . After that, I fell asleep, I didn't even know when .
It was taking a lot of time to reach our destination, thank God, mom packed me some food. Even with that ! I was still hungry, I had to get some snacks from Linda, she brought them along to sell and gain a couple bucks , that's nice. I, myself wanted to gain some money but I didn't have resources to do that .
We arrived at our destination, I was so relieved because the seat was getting uncomfortable and I also needed to use the restroom . We were welcomed by the guide, the first thing I did was to ask where the restroom was at and got directions . I quickly went back .
"Did I miss anything ?"
"Nope! Not at all " Andrew said
"Hi everyone , welcome to Virginia falls, it's really a great place . It is not only known for the waterfall but also it has a serene environment, lots of ornamental plants and unique animals dwell here . We shall go for the tour tomorrow but for now, you need to settle in, have some rest. Accommodation has been provided for you, there is a hall, we all shall be meeting there for dinner and not to worry, there is Wi-Fi 24/7, it is opened for everyone "
We were grouped into our respective rooms . I like my new roommates, Andrew, Samuel, Jason and Jeremy, well to be sincere, I didn't like Jeremy that much. I think Gabriella is in room 6 or 7,can't wait to see her.
It was time for dinner, we were having spaghetti and meat balls, that really made my tummy grumble. I love eating spaghetti and I was craving for meatballs too .
"Wow! Their food is nice" I said softly to myself
Jessica is now putting on a show just because she doesn't like the food .
"Oh gosh !!! I hate spaghetti, I want chicken nuggets" she said
I wished she didn't come for the excursion, anyways, she is a spoilt brat, she just had to eat whatever she was offered, she can't be given executive treatment. I have not seen Gabriella anywhere since the last time i saw her in the bus but I will definitely see her around tomorrow.
We went back to our rooms after dinner. When I entered the room, the guys were discussing so I joined in. We talked till midnight, I, Andrew and Jeremy were the last ones to sleep .
Woke up late as expected, I had to rush to get myself ready,went for breakfast and then came back. I had nothing to do so I got time to read 'Twilight', I sunk deep into the book, creating visual images of the scenes of the story in my mind making it more interesting . I was done in a matter of minutes. Later on, we were called on to assemble outside .
"Hey guys, how are you ? How are you liking it here ? As we all know, Virginia is a really big place, we can't explore the entire thing in one day, so we are going to take it bit by bit . Today, we will be taking a look at the forest. We all know what a forest is right ? It has a lot of old trees, I think the oldest should be about 160 years old, it's a home of different animals, big and small "
"Wow ! This place is dope " Jesse said
"Oh my God ! I hate the smells, I hate the grasses" Jessica said
"Who is surprised to hear that ?" Stella said
"I would really love to see the animals" Said Linda
"Yeah, we all know, miss animal lover"
"That's not nice" Linda replied
"Hey ! Why don't you do us a favour and shut up" Fred said
"Thank you for saying that, you speak for everyone, she can't shut her mouth !"
"Guys! That's harsh"
"How's that harsh ?"
"Quiet !!! He's talking again"
"Okay,please can we be quiet, we will be going in to have a look but before that, we have some rules you will have to follow . One and the most important is to stay together with the group . Number two, don't just touch anything you don't know, it might be poisonous or dangerous and also watch yours steps be careful. Are we ready to go ?"
"Yes we are " Linda said
"Alright let's start "
Everything in there was all green, looks like a fairy tale land, I love it and I am glad I had the opportunity to see it . I took a lot of pictures of the trees, some few species of plants as well as some animals even a parrot ! Well, I almost got the picture of the parrot but it flew away. I couldn't stop gasping in surprise, nature is so wonderful !!
This reminded me of the time when, I , mom and dad used to go to the park for picnic, I was seven years old or so at that time. The park was serene but not quite as beautiful as this one, oh I miss those days ! Too bad, when I clocked eleven, it stopped . I felt like I didn't even had a dad figure anymore, I was in a critical stage, when I needed love and support the most but I didn't get that, did I ? All I got was a daily routine of quarrels, insults and fights between my parents. Enough of that, I need to focus on the present .
I took the opportunity to get to know some species discussed in class, a physical experience, one on one with these species. I also got a chance to interact and talk with some people I normally don't talk to often to Our tour through the forest came to an end, we were returning back, until an incident occurred. Someone tripped, it was Gabriella, I was happy to see her but not happy about what happened, she now has a fracture. Some students carried her all the way back because she couldn't walk properly.
I was worried about Gabriella, so I decided to visit her in the sick bay . We talked for a while, until we were asked to meet in the hall .
"Good evening guys, I hope we all had a great day" Mr Godson said
"So now, we all are going to participate in an exercise, its main aim is to promote teamwork and cooperation between us. We will be doing more of this exercise as we continue to stay here. So today, we will be doing a scavenger hunt. You all will be grouped and given a list of items to find . First group to find all these items wins. Good luck "
I happen to be lucky to be grouped with some awesome people, Samuel, Andrew, Jason and Gabriella. I was surprised to see Gabriella, she insisted to join us even with that fracture of hers , she said that her injury wasn't that serious. The scavenger hunt was going smoothly until Jason, started to boss us around, telling us what to do and we didn't like that . We had a quarrel among ourselves too but we all calmed down and apologized to one another . We realized we had to work with each other and if it's going to be Jason that will lead , so be it . Jason accepted his faults and apologized too .
We wasted a lot of time quarreling, so we couldn't find everything in time. Even though we didn't win, we all learnt a lesson. Now I understand, these exercises and games organized are not just all about winning but learning new things that will one way or the other be of big help in the nearest future.
"So, how have you been ?" Gabriella asked
"All is well, I am doing fine, what about you ?"
"I am fine, I really like it here, there is so much to see "
"Yes, me too, it's really amazing. Jack didn't change his mind ? His friends are here "
"No, he didn't and even if he wanted to, he couldn't because he is grounded for a month"
"He deserves it ! It's getting late, goodnight, I hope that your injury heals quickly"
"I hope so too Joseph, bye "
The next day, we went for hiking and rock climbing . Gabriella could not participate because of the obvious reason. It was so much fun , although I got hungry along the way, thank God I had some snacks to spare . We came back earlier than expected, so I , Gabriella and some other friends, with permission, went out for bird watching.
We headed back as soon as it was getting dark .
"It's almost time for us to go back home " I said
"I do miss home a lot" Jason said
"I don't want to leave" Gabriella said
"Me too ! It's really nice here" Samuel said
"Don't forget that we are not here only to have a good time " Andrew said
"Yeah, we are suppose to write a report and submit it, once we get back "
"I have not forgotten, I am almost done, Jason, have you started yours ? "
"Nope ! I forgot "
"Well, you better, we don't have much time " Linda said
"Joseph, can you help me in doing my report ? Since we are staying in the same room "
"Why not ? Sure I will "
"So guys, have you seen miss sassy around ?" Jason asked
" Jason, stop it !"
"Oh please, stop acting like a saint , Linda"
"Well is true, she is sassy "
"I heard that Jessica couldn't stay because she was allergic to a plant that commonly grows here, I don't know its name. She also complained that there are a lot mosquitoes and that she can't get proper sleep " Samuel said
"Jessica and miss Lacey are really birds of the same feathers. Miss slay queen and Cinderella"
"That's right. I can't stop laughing"
"Miss Lacey is old but why does she still looks young ? "
"Beauty products of course "
"Guys ! That's enough, may God forgive yor souls " I said
"Amen ! Pastor Joseph "
"But it's true though"
"The truth is always bitter" Jason say
We all laughed uncontrollably afterwards
After dinner, I couldn't stop thinking about everything that happened today, I enjoyed every bit of it, I can't wait for tomorrow. As I lie on bed, looking up at the ceiling, I realized that we don't have much time, soon we will be going back. Time flies so fast ! Although, I miss home, I miss mom too but I wish our stay over here is longer.
I slept off before I knew it .
We all got up early in the morning for jogging and some exercises as instructed . Then, I took breakfast with my friends .
"Two days left " I said
"It looks like it " Gabriella said
"To be honest, I miss home and even school a lot " Samuel said
"But what about this place, won't you miss it when we're gone ?" Jason asked
"For sure, we all will "
"I wish our stay won't come to an end " Andrew said
"Everything has an end Andrew, we just have to enjoy it while it last, every bit of it " Gabriella replied
"You're right, let us have lots of fun"
After the breakfast, we all went to the falls, it was breath taking . I really think the coordinator saved the best for the last, it had a nice view, everyone was astonished . Next thing we did was kayaking and later, we went for a swim with supervision, safety first !!
We had a seminar , all about discovering your talents and channeling it in the right and proper way and how to build on it . We also engage in some games too . However, there was a report on theft but the culprit was caught at the end .
After all that, I got to hang with my friends till night time when I retired to bed . I am going to miss this place, it help me forget all of my problems for a few days, make new friends, learn new things and have the most wonderful experience of my life. On the other side, I really want to go home and tell mom all about my experience.
The next morning, everyone started packing up . We were assembled for the last time to be addressed.
"Good morning students, it's so sad that you have to leave. I hope you all enjoy your stay here. We won't allow you to go empty handed, so we will be distributing gift bags more like a farewell present to all of you . I hope in the nearest future, you will vist us again . Once again, it was a pleasure having you, thank you "
In no time, we all got into the bus and said our last farewell to Virginia. I spent most of the time, smiling and laughing along, little did I know what I was about to meet back home. In a couple of hours, we arrived, the bus dropped me off .
Home sweet home ! First things first, I went to my room and dropped my things.
"Mom ! Where could she be ?"
I couldn't find her in the kitchen, dinning area and even her room. I later found her in the back yard, but she isn't alone, someone else is there. My dad !! Yeah, yeah, I was surprised, he was the last person I was expecting to see .
"Mom ! What's this man doing here ?"
"Careful ! Control your tongue, this man you're referring to is the one who gave birth to you, your father !" My dad said
"Mom ! I don't get this, why is he here " And before she could say a word, I left
"Joseph !! Look what you have caused Jeff, why did you come back "
"This is my house and I can come and go as I please ! "
I left the house with my music player. I played some music to soothe myself . I drown myself in some sweet, sweet music. After a while, I came back home, relaxed a little .
"Why are you coming back at this hour ? Where have you been ? " my dad asked
"Jeffrey! Leave the poor boy alone "
"Well, if you must know, I went for a stroll, it is not as if you care "
"Control your tongue ! I don't like your tone "
"It's the truth! If you care even a little, you wouldn't have left us. You wouldn't have abandon us without trying to know how we are fairing. Excuse me, I am going to my room, I had a long day, I need to rest "
"Come back here young man ! We are not done talking . He has become so disrespectful, is this what he has been learning while I was away ?"
"Who will blame him ? He has lost all the respect he has towards you. Let the boy be, I really think you should leave, leave ! Leave Jeff!"
"Fine I will leave for now but I will be back , remember I still have rights over him"
"Whatever! Just go "
Moments later, I heard a knock at my door
"Joseph, can I come in ?"
"Are you hungry Josie ?"
"No mom, I am not "
"Are you sure ?"
"Yes, I had plenty to eat over there "
"That reminds me, I didn't get a chance to ask, how was Virginia ?"
"Mom,can we discuss this tomorrow ?"
"Alright but you will have to tell me everything, promise ?"
"I promise "
"About what happened today, don't let it get the best of you, don't worry too much "
"We were happier when he wasn't around but now that he is back, I feel awful "
"Oh Josie, I an sorry you feel this way, the problem is between me and your dad, so don't worry "
"But I am in the middle of all this mom ! I am still involved in this situation"
"That's true, you're the most affected. I am sorry that it had to be this way. How about this,tomorrow, we will go out , any place you want"
"Yes Joseph, to relieve us even a little all this but first, you need to go to sleep, you need your rest"
"Alright mom, god night"
"Good night dear, sweet dreams "
"Joseph! Come down stairs, if we really are going out, we will have to finish all the chores in the house "
"I am here !"
"Alright, I will need to sweep and mop the floors and take care of your room, it's messy and after that water the plants "
"No problem !"
I finished all my chores after a rigorous cleanup . I came across a letter in mom's room .
"Mom! Look at this !"
"Where did you get it from ?"
"In your room, is this what I think it is "
"Yes Joseph, it's a divorce letter, your father is planning to divorce you "
"A divorce letter !!"
"Yes dear but don't let this issue spoil our day, have you finished all the chores ?"
"Yes mom "
"Alright, go take a bath "
I decided that this won't ruin my day, so I forgot all about it .
"Are you ready Josie ? Let's go, get into the car. As you know, this is going to be a long drive, so you can't stay quiet all the way, this is suppose to be fun not boring "
"Okay, so tell me about the excursion, you promised to tell me everything"
"Well, when we arrived, we were welcomed by a guide, he told us all about the place. We had spaghetti and lots of meatballs for dinner, it was so good "
"Oh, I see, you like their food, is it better than mine ?"
"Of course, yours is the best in the world"
"Thanks Josie, then what else ?"
"After dinner, it was time to retire to our beds and get some sleep, but I and my roommates didn't, we talked till midnight "
"Really ? Well, you know the consequences of sleeping late "
"Yes, as expected, I woke up late, I had to rush to get myself ready. Two hours after breakfast, we were assembled outside to explore the forest . Everything was beautiful, it looked like an imaginary land filled width lots of ornamental plants and animals."
"That's nice but is there not a lot of dangers in the forest ? Did anyone get hurt"
"Yes I am coming to that, we were instructed and given some rules to follow but anyways, Gabriella ended up hurt,she fell down "
"How is she ?"
"It was not that serious, she is fine "
"Is that all you did ?"
"Nope, we had some teamwork exercises. We also went for hiking, rock climbing, bird watching, jogging , kayaking and swimming. We also saw the water fall, it was divine !"
"Oh wow , you were really engaged, its nice"
"And most importantly, I managed to make new friends too "
"You made new friends! Nice"
"Most of us were unhappy when were to leave , we didn't want to "
"Don't worry, I am pretty sure that you will visit Virginia falls again "
"I hope so "
"The management gave us gift packs to take home "
"Why didn't you show me ?"
"You were busy, you know, the issue with dad. So I didn't get a chance to show you "
"Oh Josie, your..."
"Mom, please can we not talk about him. Let's keep that aside"
"Alright! We are here, what do you want to try first ?"
"Let's try the horse ride"
"Really ? You never liked horses, you are scared of them "
"Not anymore, I have outgrown my fear, so can we go ?"
"Alright but you have to do it alone, I am not climbing on the back of a horse "
(Few exciting moments later )
"That was fast, what's next ?"
"We will play some games"
"This I can do , much better than riding a horse"
"Are you sure mom ? You're going against the very best gamer in the world "
"Who is the best gamer? You ? Don't underestimate your mother, I used to play a lot of games when I was younger, i was the best back then"
"We will see! Come let's try that one "
"I told you, I am a top gamer, I won !!"
"Yes Joseph, I agree, you're a top gamer"
"Let's go for round two !"
"Oh no, I am feeling tired, here is what we are going to do, I will sit down right here and you can continue, try other things too but don't go too far "
"Joseph ! Joseph !"
"Hey Jason, how are you ?"
"I am good, you ?"
"I am doing well "
"I didn't know that you come here often "
"We come here once in a while, I and my mother decided we come here to have some fun "
"Oh, I came with my older brother, he just went to the restroom"
"I challenge you to a game "
"Oh really ? Challenge accepted"
"Oh no, I have to leave right now, my mom is calling, maybe next time"
"Too bad! Next time. I am having a sleep over next week, I am inviting you, are you going to be there "
"Yeah, sure I will be there, bye "
"Who were you talking to Joseph ?"
"That was Jason, my friend. He is inviting me for a sleep over next week , can I go ? Please ! Please !"
"I will think about it and let you know when I have decided"
"Come, let us go home but before that, do you want to get something to take home ?"
"Ice cream !"
"Okay, let's get ice cream"
"Mom, can I get cotton candy too ?"
"Not only did we get ice cream but we also bought cotton candy and pretzels"
"It's because you're the best mom on the planet"
"Thanks, wait ! You're trying to fool me, bad boy !"
"But it's true "
"I won't fall for it . Come to think of it, you're consuming lots of sugar, that's bad for you "
"Allow me to finish my pretzel in peace mom"
"Can I have one ?"
"Thank you ! When you were a baby, you didn't like sharing at all, you wanted everything for yourself "
"Yes I thought it was going to be a problem but thank God, it isn't "
Finally ,we were back home
"We have arrived ! I really need to use the toilet"
"With all those things you consumed, it's expected, let me get the keys"
"Please hurry up !"
"How ? I locked this door before we left, I don't understand, why is it unlocked then ?"
"Are you sure you locked it ? Maybe you forgot "
"No Joseph, I am very sure. Hold on, let me check it out "
"Be careful, it could be thieves that broke into the house"
"Be quiet Joseph"
"You ! Why are you here ? Joseph please go upstairs "
"Good evening and where are you guys coming from ?"
"That's none of your business, why are you here ?"
"I deserve to know, after all, I am still your husband Anna "
"Husband ? Well not for long, I received the divorce papers and how did you get in ?"
"Have you forgotten that I still have keys to this house ?"
"You know what, a divorce is a good decision, finally, something we can agree on"
"I won't allow you off the hook easily Anna, I am happy to announce that the divorce is not happening"
"I haven't sign any document so those papers are worthless, throw them away. I won't give you freedom to elope with another man and get married "
"Not all people are like you Jeff. You left your family behind, unlike you , I value family more than anything else "
"Am I not family "
"You seized to be family Jeffrey when you abandon your wife and son. You're a useless father and husband, you are an ingrate "
"I am still your husband whether you like it or not, mind your words !"
"Don't you dare lay a finger on me, don't you dare. Get out! I don't want to listen to whatever you have to say "
"I am pretty sure you want to hear this, you are definitely not getting a divorce, that means you can still get back with me, that's what you wanted right ? You used to say that is what best for everyone "
"That was back then Jeff when we needed you the most but right now, I and Joseph have moved on, we don't need you, we are better off without you. Getting back with you is impossible, get that through into your thick skull. It's not going to happen "
"I am going to make it possible Anna. If you don't come back with me, I might just take your precious son away from you "
"No it's not going to happen"
"Oh yes, it will but if you agree to come back to me , I won't. Goodnight my darling"
"I hate you Jeff !! I hate you "
"Mom is there a problem, is he the cause ?"
"Oh no Josie, there is no problem, he is gone"
"Can I take the ice cream now? "
"Yes you can, about the sleep over you were telling me about, when is it ?"
"Friday at Jason's house"
"Alright, I have made my decision, you can go have the sleep over "
"Really ? Thank you "
"Share some of the ice cream with me, I love strawberry flavour a lot "
"Make sure you behave !"
"Alright, can we go in ?"
"Okay, knock at the door "
"Good evening Mrs Harrison"
"Good evening ma, Joseph ! How are you ?"
"I am fine "
"Wait a minute, you look like someone I knew during my college days" Mrs Harrison said
"Really? I don't think so, I attended Saint Peter's......"
"Middleton college right ?"
"Yes, I am Anna, nice to meet you "
"Now I remember ! It's me Anna, It's Michelle, remember ?'
"Wow ! Oh my God ! Michelle! I never thought that we will ever meet each other again"
"Yes, I am so happy to see you after so many years"
"Me too ! I miss you so much . Joseph, she was my course mate and best friend in college. You look so different Michelle, you have changed a lot. What happened to our slimming plan ?"
"Oh Anna ! Of course i won't keep on doing it for the rest of my life "
"Anyways, it's so good to see you, can I have your number ? And maybe we could find time and catch up "
"Definitely, for sure Anna"
"Alright, sorry for the trouble, Joseph, be a good boy "
"No problem Anna, bye "
"Alright Joseph, you can go in and meet your friend, come in "
"Joseph ! I am glad you made it "
"Yes me too !"
"The others are inside, although Jesse couldn't make it, he is going for practice for a tournament"
"That's bad ! It turns out that your mom and mine were actually best friends "
"Really ? That's nice. Did you forget about the challenge ? We have all the time in the world"
"That's true, be ready to eat my dust"
After the games, we had dinner, then another round of gaming, running and jumping here and there until when we were reprimanded by Mrs Harrison, thank God nothing got broken in the process. We watched movies, told spooky stories and talked about interesting topics and afterwards went to sleep .
In the morning, we helped Jason's mom, prepare breakfast and do some chores in the house. We watched television and played some board games before the others left with their parents. I stayed behind because mom was 'catching up with Mrs Harrison'.
"Anna, so tell me everything that happened after we graduated from college"
"Well my friend, two years later, I lost my mom "
"Oh ! I am sorry to hear that"
"After that, I got a decent job, fell in love with Joseph's dad, Jeffrey Anderson. We got married later, life was good in the first six years of marriage, after that, everything starting turning sour. Things were not the same, he started coming back home late, that brought a big misunderstanding, he might have cheated on me . He later abandoned us, no calls, no texts,not once did he checked up on us after he left "
"I am so sorry, that's terrible. So now, presently, what is happening ?"
"We were doing fine over the years, I was struggling to take care of Joseph and the house expenses on my own. Until now, he decided to resurface back into my life . He was planning on getting a divorce but now he wants us to be together again or else he will take custody of my son "
"He really had some nerves, what a jerk ! After leaving his family behind. So what are you going to do ? "
"I won't just sit and watch, of course I will put on a fight for my child"
"That's nice to hear but remember, at the end of this, Joseph will be the most devastated"
"Yes but enough of my life, what about yours Michelle ?"
"Well my dear, I got married and decided to pursue my masters degree with the support of my husband. Later, I was employed as a professor in one of the prominent universities. I happen to be blessed with three kids now"
"I am so happy for you professor Michelle. What about your husband ?"
"He doesn't work here but he frequently comes back home to check up on us and stays during the holidays"
"That's nice, I think we will be going now, Joseph ! Say goodbye to Jason ,we are leaving "
"Is that so ? Alright, bye take care "
"Oh thank God, we are home, go take a bath, I will warm up the food for you, just get it from the microwave later"
"Alright, I think someone is at the door"
"I will check, you go take your bath"
"Who is it ? Coming ! Who is it ? You ! Oh lord, Jeffrey what are you doing here ? Are you not satisfied? You ruined my life "
"Relax Anna, today I want us to talk calmly, we are husband and wife, so let us act like one, come on, seat "
I finished bathing and went downstairs to get my food from the microwave but I saw mom and dad, I just had to eavesdrop.
"What do you want this time around ?"
"I just want to inform you that I will be moving back with you very soon, I want to be closer to my son '
"What ! Listen Jeff, I am tired of your nonsense, I am tired ! You want to move in right ? Go ahead! No one is stopping you, after all, it's legally your property, it's your house too. Just leave me in peace !"
"It's nice you acted maturely, fine, fine . See you. Goodnight "
"Mom, what happened ? Are you crying ?"
"You ask a lot of questions, Joseph relax, I had something in my eyes ,that's why "
"I heard everything you were talking about, is he really moving back in ? So you're not getting a divorce ?"
"So you were eavesdropping, you're in big trouble young man ! I think I should tell you everything that is happening , if not ,I know you will find out on your own, it's better to tell you myself"
"Yes, please tell me ! I need to know "
"Okay, ever since your dad came back into our lives all of a sudden, he has been causing trouble for me . He was willing to get a divorce but now, he wants to get back with me. He says if I don't reconcile with him, he will take you away "
"That won't happen ! Never ! What are you going to do now mom ?"
"I have no idea Joseph ! Don't worry yourself, don't get yourself worked up okay . Go and rest"
"I will but not right now, I want to watch Star wars"
"Okay, make sure you go to bed early , good night"
"Good night !"
Over the past few days, I have been praying and hoping that everything will be resolved even if it results to my mom and dad getting back together, I will accept it . Yes, it's shocking ! I hated him so much and now, I have forgiven him, I let bygones be bygones and I hope mom will too . Maybe, dad coming back into the house is for the best. I hope it happens soon.
I couldn't even get proper sleep, all I had in my mind is the awaiting reunion of my parents. Sometimes, I envy some of the kids my age that still have their parents living together as one big happy family. Thanks to all the encouragements and advice that I got from friends in schools and most especially, mom, I was able to forget about the past and just focus on the present. I had this feeling that I was not alone , I had a lot of people who care about me, who can give me a little push in order to do the right thing.
I fell asleep, dreaming . Until my mom interrupted my sleep, you know how that feels !
"Joseph wake up ! How can you be sleeping at 10am ! Get up lazy bones , go do something better with your time "
After doing my chores, I wanted to do something new, the day was boring. So I thought of baking some pastries with mom's help. It was so much fun mixing the dough, the best thing is that I got to do it with my mom.
"That's the door bell, check who it is at the door"
"Hey Joseph, how are you today ?"
"I am fine"
"Tell your mom, I have arrived alright. I got you something"
"Thank you "
"You're here !" Mom said
"Well I couldn't wait much longer, do you have some food, I am starving ! Can you be nice enough as a darling wife, take my things to my room and serve me food "
"You have legs and hands, don't you ? Take your things and I hope you have not forgotten where the kitchen is, excuse me !"
"I can see that you're being adamant but no worries. Joseph dear, can you please take my things upstairs ? Good boy "
After a couple of hours of heated arguments, it was night time, I am so glad ! Throughout the afternoon, my parents were quarrelling on childish things, they can't stand each other ! Their last argument was about the remote control, you heard me right ! They had a quarrel on who is to have the remote control . If you think about it, their petty arguments is kind of romantic . I am glad that the day has come to an end, now I can have a little bit of peace and quiet.
The next morning, just when I thought I have seen the last of it .
"Good morning darling, what's for breakfast ? "
"What do you mean Jeff ? "
"Am I not taking breakfast ? "
"Please don't make me laugh, the last time I checked, there is just one person I normally prepare breakfast and it's definitely not you " "In my house ! Don't I deserve a decent breakfast"
"You got hands don't you ? Go fix something up for yourself. Leave me in peace, Joseph! Joseph! Breakfast is ready"
"I need to take my breakfast !"
"Here is another solution Jeff, why don't you call the woman you left me for and ask her to make you breakfast"
"Don't talk to me that way Anna !"
"Or else what ? Do your worse !'
They were too busy arguing, they couldn't even hear the door bell. I opened the door, it was Mrs Harrison .
"Oh my God ! Michelle, you didn't tell me you were coming this early "
"I thought of surprising you. When you told me the other day about your issue, I never thought that it will be this way, it's too early for arguments"
"She started it ! All I did was to ask for breakfast"
"It's not about the matter of who started it, Mr Anderson, you two are acting like kids, what example are you showing to your son ? Listen, you two need to iron it out and quick . This is getting out of hand "
"What else can I do Michelle ? He is making my life so difficult "
"You always put the blame on me alone, you're also at fault here Anna "
"Really Jeff? Who ruin this marriage ? Who abandon his family ? Who ruin the joy and happiness we had in this family ? Who did all these? You did ! All I did was to love you with my whole heart Jeff but what did I get ? "
"You ! You were never a good wife, you didn't perform your duties, you prioritize your job over me, over your family ! "
"What's that enough reason to leave your family Mr Anderson ?"
"Alright, it's all my fault, I take all the blame . I was never a good husband to you Anna, I don't deserve you , I don't deserve this family. I am sorry that I left you and our son but the truth is, I still love you Anna! I want us to be a happy couple again, I want us to be complete again, I want us to be the happy family we once were "
"Do you think I will immediately forgive and forget everything you did instantly ? You hurt me a lot Jeff, I can't forget ! It's not easy at all "
"Please Anna "
Well, I am glad that all the arguments and fights have come to an end. Dad is trying to fix everything between him and mom, he is trying his possible best to win her over but it won't be that easy . As for mom, she hasn't forgiven him yet , I hope she gives him a second chance but I know as time passes by , gradually, she will forgive him and forget about the past . Things are not going my way at all. My mom is going for a business trip in three weeks and on top of that, we are planning to move to a new house in another town. The problem is the new house is far away from my school, which means, I have to enrol into another school. It is really hard to leave everything you care about behind, this means I will be separated from my classmates and my friends, I am going to miss them so much . I heard that Gabriella is leaving too. Why is this happening ? Why now? I really thought our friendship will last for a long time but it looks like it's over. I can still contact my friends, I can still communicate but we will hardly see face to face. I had a week to say a final goodbye to my friends so we didn't waste anytime, we all made sure to enjoy ourselves, make good memories before we split. From amusement parks to game shops to concerts, I cherished all those moments .
At last it was time to go, we shed tears, hugged each other and took some photos, it wasn't easy at all. The school that my parents want me to attend is a boarding school , Prestige Academy but I didn't want to go .
"Joseph please, you have to attend the school" Mom said
"I really think it will be good for you, boarding school is a great way to mature and experience life "Dad said
"I think your dad is right Joseph and it is not as if we are sending you away forever ! During the holidays, I promise, we will have fun and a lot of family time" Mom said
After a few minutes of persuasions and promise being made, I succumbed and decided that I will go to the school. It really looks like they are trying to get rid of me but whatever, I will have to go, maybe it won't be so bad.
I made my parents get me whatever I want and do whatever I want to do, so that I can enjoy a little bit before I go to school . Time flew so fast !!
"Joseph! Get your things ready, make sure you don't forget anything"
In a few hours,I was leaving for school. I had time to watch the finale of my favourite Filipino series,'wildflower' , it's so good, God ! If you love revenge drama series with a lot of action, then I advice you to take even a glimpse. Mom prepared me my favourite
"I know you will miss my cooking" she said It was time to go, I will miss my bed, the television and mom's cooking .
"Joseph! It's time to go, come on , your father is waiting "
After a few moments of silence in the car, I decided to break it off .
"I am surely going to miss your spaghetti and meatballs"
"You will have a lot of that when you get back"
"We are going to miss you, things will not be the same without you around" dad said
That made my eyes water but just a little bit. The thought of leaving home dawn on me, how am i going to survive in that place without my parents ? We finally arrived after what it seem to be a very long journey.
"Good afternoon !" A tall nice lady said. ( I must say, I love her dress)
"Good afternoon ma'am"
"My name is Mrs Claire Holland, the principal"
"I am Jeffrey, Jeffrey Anderson. I am here to enrol my son "
"Oh wow ! I assure you that you're making the right choice by sending your child to our school"
"Oh really ?"
"Yes ma'am, Prestige Academy is one of the best schools in town, we provide the best learning centres and facilities for the school. From its name, you will know that it is really 'prestigious' and highly prominent "
" Of course she will say that just to attract more parents and students" I thought to myself
"Peter ! Come over here" She was calling out to a student
"Good afternoon ma, good afternoon sir" the student said
"Yes Peter,I want you to show the new student where he will be staying in the hostel and show him around the school so that he can get familiar with the school's environment, alright !"
I gave my last hug to mom, said good bye and packed my belongings .
"Everything will be fine ma'am, we will take care of him " the principal said
They were still standing, waiting for me to go in. Oh lord, I almost shed a tear but I controlled myself, I don't want to embarrass myself . It felt like it was the last time I will see them .
"What's your name ?"
"Joseph" I answered timidly
"I guess you already know my name, how old are you ?"
"Nice ! I am one year older than you "
I arrived at the hostel, I must say, it's in good shape even though there are some cracks on the walls and some broken windows, it's not bad, at least it's suitable for 'human beings' to live in. As I got in, everyone eyes were focused on me, I felt frightened but I brushed it off and courageously, walked up to someone and ask him for help in settling down meanwhile Peter was waiting outside.
"Alright, I have kept my things and got a bed"
"Okay, are you going to offer science ?" Peter asked
"That means we will be in the same class"
"That's the dinning hall over there, the science lab is at the left, the food and nutrition department is at the right over there and this is the arts studio, want to see some paintings ? "
"Alright come, the studio is open "
Soon, it was night time, I fixed up my bed with a bedspread and pillow case, mom got for me. I couldn't sleep at all, sometimes, when you're in a new environment that you are not used to, you won't be able to easily fall asleep but the surprising thing is that you will wake up early the next morning, it happens to me a lot .
I was among the early birds the next day, so I quickly took my bath and got dressed, thank God that the heater was working . After breakfast, I was called for an orientation for the newly enrolled students, we were briefed by the principal and other staff .
After the orientation, I went straight to my new class, I feel like everyone was judging me once I walked in, I got everybody's attention, am I that handsome or what !
"Hey!" Peter said
"Don't worry about those guys, they just feel threatened that a new handsome student just arrived"
(I blushed lightly)
"Good morning class !"
A man, probably forty or forty five years old, tall and dark in complexion , walked in .
"For those who don't know me, my name is Henry, I am going to be teaching you Physics . Yes, young man, can you please introduce yourself "
"Hey everybody, my name is Joseph Anderson from New Jersey"
"Mr Anderson from New Jersey, it's nice to have you here, please take your seat . Okay, back to business, when we are talking about Physics, what comes to your mind ? Yes Cassandra !"
After about 9 weeks or so , the first semester was gradually coming to an end. I made a lot of friends, however, some people who don't like me but whatever, I don't care . Right now, I am preparing for the forthcoming exams. I am used to the school environment, I am used to getting up early and rushing for breakfast and now I can sleep soundly .
At last, preparation for exams began. I was nervous and anxious, who could blame me anyways, I am in a new school, the system, the way of doing things is distinct. I am used to reading at the comfort of my home, in the study, with some crackers and a juice pouch beside me, sometimes, I listen to music while studying but now things have changed.
"Are you still worried about the exams Joseph ?" Peter asked
"Yes in fact, I am agitated "
"Don't be, just do your best, don't be nervous, everything will be alright"
I couldn't believe it ! We were finally done with the exams and getting ready to go back home.
"Hey, are you leaving ?"
"Yes, my parents will be here very soon, I just wanted to say bye. Are you parents coming ?"
"Nope! They have to finish some important work, they will be here tomorrow. Good Bye "
"Stay safe, bye "
"Hey champ, wow ! You have grown a bit taller"
"Where is mom ?"
"Well, your mother stayed at home to get some things done at home before you arrive. Are you ready to go home ?"
"Josie ! My dear "
"Mom! I missed you so much "
"Me too, so how have you been ? How is the new school ? Do you like it there ?"
"Allow him to rest first before you start bombarding him with your questions "
"Alright ! Joseph, go freshen up and come down for dinner, I prepared your favourite ! Go, take your things to your room"
Oh! It's so good to be home, I quickly took a shower and hurried down stairs to have a taste of my favourite dish prepared by mom and probably finish all the food .
"So Joseph, what happened ? Tell me everything "
"Well, when I first arrived, I was anxious and scared, I couldn't even sleep. At first, I was not used to the school system and how they run things but after a few weeks, I was comfortable with it. There was a lot of school activities, I participated in the spelling bee competition"
"Wow ! That's nice Joseph " dad said
"Joseph, come help me with the dishes "
"Joseph, always do the right thing no matter what, stay away from friends that will cause you only trouble, remember bad company always corrupt good manners."
I wondered what made her to say all these things, anyways, I think it will be useful to me in the nearest future, probably. We spent the rest of the evening, watching football and movies. I really like it, when we would just sit back, relax and do nothing but to spend some quality family time .
"Joseph, it's time for bed"mom said
"Hey! He is not a kid anymore "
"I know that Jeff but he needs to rest"
"Okay, give him an hour more"
Oh thank goodness, dad came to my rescue. Of all time, mom wanted to send me to bed just when the movie was getting interesting .
"Fine Joseph, you have an hour, after that you go straight to bed"
After a very good and sound sleep,I planned on how am I going to make it a fun filled day. However, things did not go as planned, my parents left for a weeding, leaving me all by myself, home alone. Well, I got food and television to console and comfort me.
The holiday wasn't that bad actually, I got to celebrate at home, I got calls and messages from loved ones and well wishers. I got a chance to visit some old friends of mine but unfortunately I can't see Gabriella. I was able to reach her cell phone, we talked on the phone for a long time .
Time waits for no one ! It was time to go back to school, I was not totally excited to go back. My parents tried a lot to make my holiday memorable and indeed it was, I really enjoyed every bit of it .
"Oh God! My darling is going back to school, I am going to miss you " mom said
"I really wished I could stay back"
"I packed some snacks for you "
"Thanks mom "
I was through with my first year in Prestige, I managed to come out with the best performance yet but now, I was struggling to keep up, my grades were nothing to write home about. I think my parents have a beef between themselves. I don't know what to do anymore, these days, all I do is to cry in a corner. My world is crumbling down ! Nobody told me life was going to be like this. I was slowly becoming depressed, I had no idea, no one else to turn to since I am all alone.
"What's up with you ? You have been moody these days"
"I can't say I am feeling fine Peter, I am just putting on a fake smile"
"What's the problem ? You can tell me"
"My world is crashing down Peter, nothing is working out for me. It's like I have been cursed or something. Everyone, everything is changing"
"Then you need to adapt Joseph, come on, don't tell me you're giving up. Cheer up"
"Can we go have lunch now ? Stand up lazy bones"
"Hey ! Joseph !"
Here comes Benjamin and his friends, I wonder what they want from me. Since from day one, he never liked me. He totally reminds me of Jack.
"Yes, what is it ?"
"You think you're some kind of saint! Where is my phone ?"
"What do you mean ? I think we both know where it is, the principal confiscated it. You know very well that it is against the rules to have a phone in school"
"And you just had to tell on me, didn't you ? You snitch !"
"Please I have somewhere to go so..."
"Give me my phone !"
"Why don't you go to the principal and ask her "
I don't need anyone to tell me that someone is going to get hurt. I tried to avoid it by walking away but Benjamin pulled me back. This time around, I am not backing down like before. I delivered a punch to Benjamin's nose before they could lay a finger on me. However, I got a beating of my life, it was awful.
After getting treatment,we were asked to report to the principal's office.
"Alright, let me go straight to the point, what you all did was bad , I won't allow this in my school, as for you Benjamin, you have worsened your situation. Joseph I understand, you did it in defence but please next time, don't allow it to reach to that level, report immediately when someone is bullying you, you're off the hook. However, I called your parents to come to the school"
"Josie ! Oh my God who did this to you ?"mom said
"Isn't it obvious ? He got into a fight, this is just your second year in this school ! You didn't even stay for that long " dad said
"You didn't even allow me to explain what really happened, you just came to a conclusion"
"That's exactly the problem with you Jeff, you think you're always right and you never listen"mom said
"My problem ! What about you ?"
"You know what, I am exhausted, I am tired of all this your nonsense, I am tired. I am not going to continue to fake it . Joseph, you need to know that I and your dad never worked anything out, we were just pretending for your sake . I can't stand him anymore !"
"What ? You mean all that was a lie ! So that's why you sent me to boarding school, so that I won't suspect anything, I get it. I can't believe it ! It was all a pretence !"
"Josie! Please I am sorry !"
I left with tears rolling down my cheeks, I just couldn't believe it .
"Mr and Mrs Anderson, it's nice that you came. Did your son tell you what happened to him ?"
"No, he didn't, what really happened ?"
"Your son was been bullied and he got beaten by some students"
"Oh my God !"
"But please ma'am, stay calm. I assure you that this will be the first and the last time this will happen to him or anybody else "
"I hope so "
"I am sorry but I noticed that Joseph's academics is not as good as it was, is there a problem ?"
"Yes but it's a family matter, it's private"
"Oh I see! Well you need to resolve it as soon as possible Sir, it's really affecting him. Excuse me I need to attend to an urgent matter"
"Alright, thank you ma'am bye "
"You see ! All these is happening because of you, we are back to square one. You really need to change Jeffrey, please, for our son's sake before something worse happens "
Does it mean everything was just a pretence, the ' family' outing,the 'family' dinner,'family' fun time ! All these was a lie. The smiles, the giggles, laughter, was all fake. They fooled me !
At least even if it was all a lie, I still have the memories of the good times we had together. Who am I kidding ? I can't take this, my heart has been crushed. What am I going to do ? Who am I suppose to turn to ?
"Hey, what's the matter ?"
"Peter! My problems just keeps on piling up !"
"How bad, I am sorry to hear that and I understand why you don't want to share them with me, I don't know why these things are happening . However, there is a way to help you forget and relieve yourself of all this problems "
"That's not possible ! How ?"
"Follow me !"
We went behind the school building, I thought nobody comes here but I was wrong, a lot of students usually come here . I see some of them with cigarettes, some are injecting themselves with a substance, some are sniffing another substance.
"Peter , why are .... we .. here ? Why did.. you bring me here ? I want to go back "
"No Joseph, relax. I told you that I will help you forget your problems , don't be scared "
"Hey man !" Samuel said, a student in Arts class
"What's up ?"
"Derrick brought a new one, this is good stuff, you want to try it out ?"
"Yeah sure "
Peter collected it and sniffed, I can't just stand and watch this happen right in front of me!
"God ! This is really strong, Joseph! Do you want to try ?"
"No thanks, I am leaving "
"What's wrong with him ?"
"Don't mind the guy "
"I hope this boy doesn't snitch on us just like the way he did to Benjamin . You made a mistake by bringing him here "
"No, I will make sure he does no such thing, I have to go "
"Alright later "
I knew it ! Something was off . After the first year, I have been noticing some changes in Peter's behaviour, not just Peter, even some of my mates too. From one problem to another! I am so unlucky ! Ever since he started hanging out with Samuel, he has been acting strange, now I know. My best friend is a drug addict ! Oh lord !
"Joseph ! Joseph ! Wait up "
"What is it Peter ?"
"What's all that about ?"
"Is that a question Peter ? Who is in his right mind will stand and watch some students ruin their lives ?"
"Stop being a chicken !"
"This is serious Peter, you all are committing a grave crime, you're not only breaking the school rules Peter, this is a serious crime !"
"I know all that but please I am begging you, don't tell on me. Forget about what you just saw, we will try something else that doesn't involve all that "
"What is it ?"
"Just be prepared, meet me in the evening alright !"
Don't judge me, I am desperate, I need to find something that will distract me from all my problems and since it will not involve those substances, I guess, it won't kill to try it .
Later in the day, I got ready and was waiting for Peter . Wait ! What am I doing ? Some few hours ago, I found out that Peter was a drug addict, why am I here waiting ?
I am supposed to cut things off with Peter, report him and the others to the school authority, then why didn't I ? Can I trust him after finding out the truth ? What's next ? Will he take me to join a secret society or what ? All these unanswered questions ran through my mind but I still waited for him even if something worse can happen .
"Hey, I am happy you came "
"Where exactly are you taking me to ?"
"Just wait and see Joseph, trust me "
"The coast is clear, the others are leaving, hurry up Peter !" Some random student from nowhere interrupted in a rude manner, probably a grade 10 student
"Wait, what ? What is he saying Peter ?"
"Enough with the questions, let's get going, hurry up "
Why are we exiting through the gate ? By the way the security guards are supposed to be at their post . Does this imply that we are actually sneaking out ? Oh lord ! I wanted to go back but it was too late, I could see the guard coming back from wherever he went to. I had to follow them . We arrived at a place, looks like a club. What did I just say ? A night club !!!
"Peter, don't tell me we are going in there !"
"Chill out bro, relax, everything is alright "
I can't believe that I am in a club, wow! I really amazed myself .
"Have some of this "
"What's that ? alcohol ! No, I rather have water"
"I want to go back"
"Wait a little longer !"
I had no choice but to wait quietly and watch Peter and his friends get wasted with alcohol because I don't know the my way back and it's dangerous to leave alone. The last thing I wanted was to add salt to my injury by taking the drink that Peter offered to me .
Alcohol is the root cause ! It's the main reason why my family is what it is today . My dad will always come home late, drunk, then get into a fight with my mother, I was seriously getting sick of their 'fights'.
I finally arrived the hostel safely, thank God! I am never doing that ever again . I have never slept this late, I woke up with a headache and a sore back .
"Good morning class ! Before we start, I just want to say that I was not impressed with your scores. Cassandra scored the highest, a round of applause for her please. I urge you all to put in your best, work hard, you still have plenty of time"
Cassandra, Cassandra, she has always being my biggest competition, it looks like it's almost impossible to beat her. I don't like it when my classmates compare me to her .
"Alright class, we have come to the end of our lesson, have a nice day ahead "
"What is happening ? I have noticed that your grades are lower than that of before. I know what you're capable of, I know you're better than this, so whatever the problem is, don't let it take you down, work harder"
"I will, thank you Sir"
I returned home, three weeks later. The place is not what is used to be, well it's expected. I was desolated, I felt like a stranger in my own house. My dad travelled , I won't be seeing him the entire time while I am still at home. I spend most of my time in my room.
I got invited to my classmate birthday party, finally I got somewhere to go . It was just a normal teenage party, I had a lot of fun .
"Hey Josie! You're back, how was the party ?"
"You have not been yourself ever since you came, is it about the issue ...."
"Not that "
"Then what, something is wrong, tell me, what's the problem ?"
I know she will keep bothering me if I don't tell her, I thought that I might as well tell her everything.
"Really? I am sorry that I wasn't there when you really needed me , anyways, I and your dad have come to a decision to patch things up for real this time, we know we have hurt you a lot Joseph and we are sorry. We are ready to do whatever it takes to make you happy "
"Are you sure ?"
"Yes and about what you told me, you really need to do what's right Joseph, it will be best for everyone, even if you will hurt someone in the process. "
"I will have to do it no matter what happens, that what's best for everyone"
"That's right,come help me do the dishes and maybe we can go out for some ice cream"
"Hey bro, how are you ?"
"I am sorry Peter !"
"I have reported you and the others to the school authority"
"Why? Joseph I trusted you, you are my friend"
"True friends don't allow their friends go astray or take the wrong path Peter. I have to do what's right, it's what best for you, I don't want you to ruin your future. In a few minutes, you will be called to the principal's office, I hope you will reform and turn a new leaf. Good bye Peter"
That was hard for me to do but I had to do it, it's for the better.
Peter and his friends were sent to a rehabilitation centre for a special programme just for them, I really hope it works out. As for me I got a suspension for sneaking out of school at the same time rewarded for my honesty.
Joy and happiness was restored back into my life and I am doing well in my academics. My family is whole and our bond has been strengthened. I was cautious on choosing the kind of people I hang around with. I have learnt a lot from my experience. Today, we are going to Jason's house
"Come on ! What's taking you so long ?" Dad said
"We are coming "
"Oh my ! Anna ! Mr Jeffrey, it is so great to see you after while, "
"Happy to see you too, I have to go, I will call you later, take care"Dad said
"Oh Joseph ! You have grown so tall, come in ! Sit ! "
"Joseph! Hi! I missed you so much " Jason said
"I missed you too"
"We really need to catch up, how is your school ? Anything exciting happened ?"
"It's a long story Jason but we have all the time in the world, you won't believe it !"
"Come on , tell me ! I am anxious to hear"