The next morning she had refused to get off bed early. She knew the consequence of waking up late but she purposely did it this time. Not because she was lazy but due to the fact that she was scared of going back to school. The fear of the others mockery and bully got her reluctant. Her brother advised her to ignore and get use to it but she couldn’t.
“Felicia! ” Her dad’s hoarse voice called out to her from the lobby. She felt nervous and held into her bed. She expected it anyway. “Why are you still in bed? It’s 7:04pm for crying out loud”
“Daddy, I don’t want to go to school” She confessed.
“You are so stupid for saying that. How dare you? ” He asked with anger.
“I am so sorry daddy” She apologized in tears. Her dad frowned.
“You have never said you don’t want to go to school before. What happened in school yesterday? ” He asked knowing his daughter very well. She never misses school in a normal day.
“Actually dad….” She wanted to begin explaining but Emerald walked in and intruded rudely.
“it is because she wants to stay at home all day and watch TV or perhaps go to Laura’s place and proof to her we don’t take good care of her here” Felicia disagreed with her immediately.
“No dad. That’s not the reason”
“Really, Small brat?” She asked knitting her eyebrows and folding her arm. “How will you explain her coming to me yesterday and insulting me. She said I don’t take care of you. Imagine that. How could you Felicia? You are such a demon and you should know that? ”
“Emerald she is a child. Do not ever call my daughter a demon ” Mr James warned. She rolled her eyes and eyed her. “You are going to school today and that is it”
“No daddy. I don’t want to go. They are making fun of me in school. They hurt me a lot” She reported feeling scared to leave. Emerald eyes lit hearing this.
“You are a girl not a puppet. Show them who you are and stop being a weakling like your mother. Go to school” She insisted.
“Ignore your mother” Mr James advised her turning her gaze from Emerald. “Report those who tried to bully you. I will deal with them myself. I promise they won’t hurt you again” He promised. She nodded slowly and hugged her dad knowing he was the only parent she got. Emerald smirked and walked off immediately having something cunning in mind now. Guess what it is?
(Deep in thought, Emerald walked out of the house not aware of Laura’s children hanging around their own home waiting for the driver to pick them up. She watched them closely and realized Gregory was the most stubborn of them all. He was the more smarter too. He handled his sibling as if he was the eldest and deep in his head, she could see her same cunning character in him. She smiled and called out to him. He ignored throwing her a despise look. She groaned in irritation and hissed.
“I can’t believe i am doing this. He is such a spoilt brat but I really need his help anyway. I will just have to be nice as usual” She said to herself as she watched him walk toward a flower bed. She called out to him one last time and this time he walked toward her.
“What is it? ” he asked rudely. She got annoyed but controlled herself.
“You are rude but I will bear” She told him feigning a smile. The young guy only ignored. “Hmm… You must be Gregory. The second child right? ”
“Yes! So what is it to you? ” He asked rudely again.
“You attend St Hannah with your sisters. I am sure you know the school very well”
“Yes I do. Do you want to attend too? ”
“No. How can I attend at my age? I just need your help that’s all”
“I won’t help you. I don’t you or anyone in your house” He replied sharply.
“You don’t have to like me. I only need you to do something for me. Actually it involves my daughter Felicia”
“I told you I don’t like your family. Mentioning her even makes me more reluctant. She’s such a baby. You scold her she starts crying like a child ” He mocked. Emerald admired what he said and smiled.
“Actually we are both on the same side. I don’t like her too and I want to punish her a little” He gave her a confused look.
“She is your daughter ”
“I know she is my daughter. Just do this one thing for me”She pleaded. He stared at her for a while and nodded.
“Just think of something scary that will make her frightened. Think if something that will really humiliated her in your school. She is new anyway. She won’t doubt” He agreed and promised to do as she said. “So friends? ” He gave her a scornful look.
“Now I want you all to revise all I have thought you today. In few minutes is break” Felicia’s aunty told the pupils as she placed down the black marker and trod off to her seat. Felicia opened up his textbook and began reciting a poem in it in her mind. The bell soon rung for break. Becky jumped up her seat happily as if she had been waiting to hear it for long.
“What can I buy for you Felicia? ” She asked.
“Nothing” The young girl wasn’t surprised at her reply. She offered to get her water anyway and jogged off. Just when she was about to get back to her poem, Gregory peeked his head into her class looking round for her. She got surprised seeing him at first and groaned realizing another sibling wanted to come distracting her again.
“Hey Felicia. What are you doing now? ” he asked staring at the textbook she was reading.
“I am studying a poem” She replied.
“Look, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So why don’t I show you round the school for a while? You will love it I promise” He offered smiling.
“No. I don’t want to. I want to stay here” She insisted being adamant.
“You are in Pry 1. I am in pry 3. I know better than you okay. So just don’t worry about any bully or anyone. I will protect you from them. Just come with me”
“I have told you, I don’t want to talk to you or go anywhere with you” He realized it was really difficult fooling and thought for a while.
“It will just take two minutes. Your daddy will not know”
“I know what you said. I just want us to be friends. Come on, I will just show you the most beautiful part of the school and that is it” he promised. She realized he made sense somehow. She was really bored staying in class anyway. She smiled and jumped off her seat.
“Okay” She finally accepted. He grinned and walked out of the class as fast as he could. She got confused and followed wondering why he was so fast. They walked out of the class block to another side of the school compound. There was a more smaller building where teachers walked in and out and few pupils.
“Where is this place?” She asked.
“You will know soon” he promised. They both walked in and approached a door. “Guess here this is? ”
“I don’t know ” She answered with a curious look. He opened up the door and watched her walk in. The whole room was dark so she couldn’t identify anything. She trembled a bit being scared of the dark but calmed herself knowing Gerald was there. Without warning Gerald shut the door with a loud bang locked her in making her heart beat race. She ran toward the door and began banging but no one opened.
“Gregory open the door! ” She pleaded but got no answer. Just then she heart the noise of a rat which got her to scream her head off.
The class arrived to class after the short break. Becky walked in with the bottle water she promised Felicia and searched around offering to give her but to her surprise she found her no where. She got perplexed on where she might be.
“Alright class settle down. It’s time for handwriting” Her aunty ordered banging her desk with her long whip realizing the whole class was getting noisy. Becky sat slowly but she got tensed on where Felicia was. The break was over. “Alright class, now…” Her teacher stopped realizing Felicia was not seen anywhere. “Where is Felicia? ”
The fear of the dark got her so scared. She couldn’t see anything aside the darkness. She wasn’t able to guess where she was.
“Help! ” She yelled banging the door harder this time. The door knob turned and the door flew open. It was a senior female teacher who must have heard her yell for help while passing by. She got aghast at first seeing her bloodshot eyes and swollen face.
“Are you okay young girl? For how long have you been there? ” She asked with concern searching for an handkerchief in her bag. Felicia found it difficult to speak. The more she tried the more she found it difficult to. The teacher cleared her tears and offered her a bottle of water before washing her face gently.
Few minutes later they were in her staff room with other teachers who got confused on why her state was that way.
“Tell me what happened?” She finally asked again hoping she is able to speak this time.
“He locked me up ” She replied trying hard not to sob.
“He? Who? ” She wanted to know.
“Gregory.” She disclosed his name immediately. The teacher made a face promptly as if she actually knew who the Gregory was. She tapped her and told her to calm down.
“Let’s go to the headmaster’s office. You will tell him everything there. Maybe them you will tell him the full name of this Gregory” The teacher instructed her.
“So you said someone locked you up in the store room” The headmaster tried to be sure he heard right. No such incident had ever occurred in his school. She nodded anyway. “What is the name of this idiot?”
“Gregory” She replied.
“Gregory who? ”
“Gregory Wane” She responded.
“I knew it” The teacher muttered under her breath with an annoyed look. “I have had enough of that idiot”
“Do you know him Miss Susanna?”
“Yes of course. He is my pupil. He has always been mischievous anyway. I have always wanted him to be punished. Don’t worry I will call him here. You can call up her parent immediately while I call up that of Gregory”The headmaster agreed and picked up his phone immediately.
In few minutes, they all gathered in the office staring at the headteacher who gave them a stern look. Gregory got nervous knowing what they would talk to him about.
“Gregory did some foolish today” he started removing his glasses. “The young boy went ahead to lock up a this new pupil without thinking taking advantage of her ignorance ”
“What?!” Mr James exclaimed in shock. “He dare lock up my own daughter?”
“I didn’t call you here to scold her or cause a scene. I only called you here to show you what is really going on here so that you can handle this matter at home. As for Gregory, the school will have to punish him for this” Gregory didn’t seem to care anymore. He threw an upset stare at Emerald who gestures him to calm down.
“He is just a small child” She supported him immediately. “He did it without thinking. We can talk to him”
“Stop this Emerald! ” Laura snapped at her in anger. “My children told me you met with Gregory this morning and ordered him to do this. I am very sure you are behind this ” Emerald mouth went sealed immediately. “I don’t know why you are doing this to Felicia and her brother but I swear you will regret this one day. Mark my word. They will be this way forever. They will grow up and get back to you”
“Honey…” Emerald called out to Mr James with an innocent face. ” She has started again. I don’t know why she blames me for everything ”
“We are really sorry Headmaster” He said to the headmaster ignoring her. “We will handle this at home. Just don’t punish Gregory”
The headmaster agreed and ordered they go home at ones and handle the master.
The atmosphere of the estate was dull that afternoon. It became more dull when the two families gathered in Mr James sitting room for an important meeting. They didn’t say anything the first few minutes. Emerald felt uncomfortable about this and decided to break the silence.
“He is a child. It is a great injustice on Gerald. You shouldn’t scold him so much like that. At least scold Felicia for coming out during break when…”
“Enough! ‘ Mr James yelled at her causing her to go silent in just a jiffy. Her heart seemed to have jumped hearing his yell. He really scared her. “I am only here to make an important announcement ” They got confused on the announcement he needed to make.
“And what’s that? ” Laura asked.
“I don’t want any of the family members to have anything to do with each other started from today onwards. The two families are no more in talking terms. Both school and home. This is for our own good and that of our children too”
“But that’s not a solution Mr James. You are creating problems for the children and a rift as well” Laura tried pointing out to him his mistake but he was being adamant.
“I have made my decision”