I decided to call the police officer. He was eager to help me, as that would benefit him in the end. The police officer was surprised. I couldn’t tell if he was excited or not, but his voice remained firm.

“Good, do you remember anything else?”

“No, I can’t remember and visualise their faces, I only remember what they were talking about.” I responded.

“That’s something, call me if you remember their faces.” The police officer hung up his phone before I could answer. That went well, I thought. There was a sudden knock on the door. I got off bed, still feeling a bit sluggish and tired. I opened the door and there was Pam, wearing her school uniform.

“Aren’t you gonna let me in?” she asked sarcastically.

“Sure, welcome to my apartment,” I responded jokingly. She laughed.

“How are you doing really?”

“I’m very much alive hey, despite everything that’s just happened over the last couple or so hours,” I responded sighing.

“What’s wrong?”

“I had a fight with my best, but that’s a story for another day, so what brings you here?”

“Nothing, I just thought I’d come by and see how you’re doing”

“Why didn’t you come and see me before?”

“I wanted to. I’ve just been pretty preoccupied with school work and working at my dad’s cafe. This was the day that I somehow managed to get some free time,” she said.

“Speaking of time. I gotta bounce, catch you later.” She closed the door before I could even respond. Leaving me with a fresh smell of her perfume flowing in the room. I went and looked at the clock. It was 15h45 and I should’ve drunk my medication at half past three. After drinking my medication, I went to sleep.

The next day I was discharged. I was escorted in a wheelchair. It’s a policy or code that’s followed for every patient that’s being discharged that’s recovered from a coma to be escorted in a wheelchair.

The nurse who was pushing my wheelchair escorted me to the exit door of the hospital of Block Stallian. Once the nurse opened the door, I felt a huge gulp of air refreshing my body. I lifted my arms up. It really felt good to be outside. Afterall it had been a long time. I stood up, and saw my mother waving at me. As I went towards her I noticed that there was Mr Jacobs’ car. There’s no way I was gonna get in his car, not me. I could feel my brain shaking. Wait I thought. It was kind of like shivering.

“Benard! Are you alright?”

“Yes, I’m fine mom.” I looked at Mr Jacobs. He just stood there, tall and with a gallant smile. This man is a bastard, he’s got a wife and he’s using my mother. In situations like this, what does one do? I asked myself. “Can I have a word with you, mom? I ask politely.

“No you can’t,” Mr Jacobs responded with a loud and sharp voice.

“That’s just it, I’ve had it with your antics. You’re not my father and you’ll never be. So just shut up and go home to your wife, wherever she is, and leave my mother alone.” I couldn’t believe I had just said that. Mr Jacobs stood there highly shocked, like he wasn’t expecting to hear what I’d just said. Suprisingly, Mr Jacobs turned and went to sit in his car.

To tell you the truth, I was kind of expecting more. My mother held my hand and pulled me. “What the hell was that Benard?” she said spitefully. “What’s got into you?”

I pointed to Mr Jacobs’ car. “Him!”

“Do you want me to lose my job?”

“No, I don’t, but you can’t…” my mother cuts in.

“Can’t what? Don’t you see that I’m trying to make a better life for us, for all of us? Don’t you?”

“I do. But seriously mom, he’s married for God’s sake.”

“So? Don’t you want to live in a luxurious house? Do you want to live the rest of your life in a place like Old Block Stallian?” Mother asked. “Well, do you?”

“No, I don’t. That’s why I’m gonna get good grades this year like I’ve always done and … ”

“It’s all about you Benard. What about my dreams? What about what I want? It’s fine for you as you’ve still got a whole future ahead of you. What about me? I’m not getting younger and I definitely don’t want to die alone.” Mother fumes. Then her voice lowers.

“I really can’t believe that I’m having this conservation with you mom”. I responded. My mother looked close to tears.

“Do what you want to do with your life Benard and I’ll do the same.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I ask puzzled.

“Mr Jacobs has offered me to come and stay and work permanently at his place.”

“Oh, so that he can have you all to himself?” I asked fuming. People started to look with interest at me and my mom. “You just had to tell me now, didn’t you?”

“It’s not like I’m going to Egypt or Liberia, I’ll be just a few minutes away.”

“You know what? Do what you’ve got to do. I don’t care anymore.”

“Mr Jacobs was right, you’ve got no respect.”

“What! I can’t believe my ears. I’ve got no respect? Just because I’m speaking the truth?”. Mother looked at me in a spiteful manner. “No comment.” I responded. She gave me the house keys and ten bucks.

“You’re going to live on your own from now on, unless you’ve got a better solution to how I can get another source of income other than this.” I didn’t respond, there was nothing I could answer to. “Exactly, I’ll send you money on the weekends. You’ll not have to go to work at that stupid cafe anymore.”

“I presume you’ve got all of that figured out.”

“Please my son. Don’t think that I’m abandoning you or something, it’s just… ”

“It’s just what?” I interrupt.

“I’m doing this for the both of us. If you can’t understand that, then you’ll never ever understand.” Mr Jacobs called my mother with a loud and commanding voice. “I’ve got to go, please understand”. I wasn’t going to respond, and I didn’t. I just kept quiet. Eventually, Mr Jacobs’ car sped off. After it went out of the parking zone and onto the tar road I caught a taxi.

I arrived home after ten minutes. I got inside and rested. It was Sunday and tomorrow was a school day, so I had to recharge my batteries. It’s gonna be a long day, I thought. As I closed my eyes, I started remembering me and my mother’s relationship. We were close, until that tragic moment when my father died in a car accident. That day my father was returning for Christmas, he worked at the mines. It was judged that the truck driver was drunk when he knocked out my dad’s car, and it rolled off down the hill and crashed, exploding in the process. My dad was the sole bread winner and without him, life has proved to be difficult. I wish he was here.

Since that fateful day, my mother had not really been herself. She blew into tantrums and got annoyed quickly. She never listened to what I had to say. Whenever she had money, she bought alcohol. She’d rather refresh herself with it than use the money to benefit both of us socially. For heaven’s sake, I was still wearing a uniform that I’d worn a few years ago and it didn’t fit me properly anymore. There was a huge wind blowing outside. It was cold. The window wasn’t closed and that’s the reason why I was feeling cold. I got up and closed the window and went to sleep.

The next day came and I was beyond unprepared. I wore my un-ironed school uniform after I’d bathed. I arrived at school on time and almost everyone was gossiping and talking about me. I could tell the way that everyone was looking at me. I then went straight to class and sat down, and read some things about Life Science.

The bell for assembly rang and I placed my book on my bag and went outside. To my amazement, there was no one. Everyone was in class, while some were still coming in through the school’s front gate. I didn’t recall this school ever spending a day without assembly. I wondered what was wrong. I went back into class and sat down at my desk and continued to read the other module and sections of Life Science.

Four learning periods ended and we weren’t taught, mainly because there were discussions about a new principal coming on board. I heard from my classmates, who were gossiping, that the old principal was fired for using substances. That’s the reason why our class was few. The pupils that I couldn’t spot were, Justin, Collen, Precious and a few other guys that I attended class with.

The break that ends school came and we weren’t taught a single thing. This carried on for the next few days. Precious, Collen, and Justin were nowhere to be seen.
Friday came and we were finally taught by Mr Solo, who announced that he was the new principal. He told us that the other principal was suspended for using substances at school, as my classmates had said. Anyway, Mr Solo was now the new principal.

“I’ll be teaching you for the time being, until we get another teacher for you guys,” was all he said. Even though days had past, I was still quite sure that I was forgetting something, but what? Collen appeared from the class and it was then that I remembered about the drugs thingy. Could it be because I wasn’t drinking those brain pills that I was now forgetful. Could that be the case? But they made me feel weak and stuff, so why should I carry on using them? I had not really been able to concentrate on my school work. Yes we had not been taught, but we were given the syllabus of the year and we knew what to study. I forgot to mention that there was some reshuffling at the school and there were changes in management, so that’s why we hadn’t been taught. And that’s the reason why a lot of pupils were absent.

Moving on, I still thought the so-called brain pills had expired or something because I had used them for the past two weeks and to no avail. I still felt the same way that I had, even though I did get angry at times and stuff, and also a bit forgetful at times, and inconsistent. But everyone has a drop of self-consistency at times, or was I fooling myself? But one thing was for sure. I wasn’t gonna drink those brain pills anymore. They made me feel tired, and the worst thing about it was that I had to drink four of them daily. In the morning, in the afternoon, at supper and again at midnight, how could I keep up with that? And what was worse was that they made you to feel hungrier than you really were. And as you know there wasn’t really any five star food at my home that would gradually reduce my hunger away. I was poor as it was already.

The police officer, the fat one had a major effect on this. He as the one who advised me to stop using them. He stated that they would kill me or something if I continued drinking them in my state. And when I asked him about the case, and how I would remember if I didn’t take the pills as they were prescribed by the Doc himself, he just said that I must not worry about it, and that he’s had the evidence that he needed. He confidently told me that he had made a major breakthrough but he couldn’t disclose any info about that for now. So yeah, don’t be so surprised at my forgetfulness.

“Benard,” A voice said. “Are you daydreaming?” It was Mr Solo asking. Darn it, I’d forgotten that he was still here.

“No sir, I’m not, I’m just thinking of an answer.”

“An answer of?”

“Of your question,” I responded with a cool smirk.

“He drinks brain pills. Don’t be surprised sir.”

“Who said that?” I asked furiously, standing up in the process.

“Ha, ha. I did,” It was Collen, with his spiteful smirk.

“You little ….”

“Er, Benard, don’t forget that I’m the head principal now. And I’ll not entertain those kind of words,” Mr Solo said.

“Sorry sir, but he started it”

“I don’t care who started it, but I’ll not entertain those words here, do I make myself clear?”

“But sir…”

“I said do I make myself clear?”

“Loud and clear sir, loud and clear,” I responded sighing. Collen looked at me with a victorious and gallant smile. This declared war, now I was gonna have him arrested even if it was the last thing that I did. Or better still, I would tell Mr Solo, surely he would understand. And that way his accomplice would be found, and his accomplice might know who the person was that mugged me. Yes, that’s what I should do.

Break came and I walked towards home. I got out through the back side of the school that is not fenced. A lot of pupils used it as an escape to get out of school. Others came in that side even at break time as no one would be able to detect if they were absent or not. Some even came as late as 10 am at breaktime to school, others went home and stayed there.

Anyway, it was cold, as it usually was at that time of month at Stallian. I took some tablets from my pocket, the ones which the police officer gave me. They were energy tablets. They gave me a lot of energy that I had never thought was possible. The police officer stated that they were only used by cops for stamina and speed. These tablets made me feel like I was in the air at times. Unlike those brain pills that made me feel so unsure and tired, these tablets made me feel recharged.

As I was about to chew the tablet I spotted Precious. She was coming to school. I wondered where her boyfriend Justin was. As we got closer to each other, she smiled at me. Even though I was angry at her, as she advanced closer she made a beautiful smile with her eyes looking straight into my eyes. I couldn’t help myself and smiled back too. “Where you headed?” She asked.

“Ah, I was just taking a walk, to where… Huh, I wanted to go home, yeah that’s right.” It must have been the nerves that were making me talk like that.

“Oh, okay, you wouldn’t mind walking me to school would you?”

“Sure, why not”. I responded without thinking.

I walked Precious to school. As we arrived at to the back side of the school, she apologised for telling Collen about me being kicked out of Jet and stuff. As we got in the hallway of the school, Precious touched my hand, firmly but softly. I did the same instinctively and surprised. We held hands and a lot of school learners looked at us in amazement. I stood up tall and looked up to them with eyes of achievement.

When I looked at Precious, she looked at me with those oceanic eyes of hers and she squeezed my hand tightly. I almost stumbled awkwardly by placing my foot wrongly when we climbed the short stairs to class. I’m totally sure that the whole class was focussed on me and Precious. After all we were having what obviously looked like a serious conversation. We were talking about the mugging incident.

“So you still don’t remember anything other than those two guys?” Precious asked.

“Nope, not even one thing.” I responded. “Oh, I think I’m not supposed to tell you this.”

“Why not?” Precious asked and ended with a pout.

“Because … Well it’s because”. She placed her finger on my lips and tolds me to shush. Then she stood up, sat on my lap, and placed her arms around me. I could feel her strong scent of perfume now.

“Why not, don’t you want to tell your girlfriend what’s troubling you?”

Did I just heard right? I just wanted to kiss her now. I didn’t care about everything that had happened back then, she was the only thing that mattered right now. Whether I was losing myself or not, my heart was the one that I was following. At the same time, I did ask myself why she was suddenly throwing herself at me. Was she trying to seduce me? But for what good reason?

I could’ve asked why she was throwing herself at me but that would just kill the vibe, I thought. I didn’t think I even wanted to ask her anything so I just went with the flow. She leaned closer to me, “But you would tell me if you remembered something, wouldn’t you?”

“I… I would.” I responded, stammering. My heart pounded like a car engine. Our faces were now a few centimetres close. I struggled to resist any longer and told her everything. I told her that I’d remembered the guy that kicked me. It all made sense now, everything pointed to him.

Precious looked at me seriously, and leaned backwards, realising that she had placed her hands over my shoulders. “I’ll be right back,” was all she said. She hurriedly went out of class. She looked a bit stunned if not shocked by what I had just said. After a few moments, she came back to class. She looked out of breath. I stood up and asked her if she was okay and she nodded.

We both sat down at the desks in front of us. “I’d like you to come to my place this week, if that’s okay with you.” Precious said calmy whilst still breathing a bit heavily.

“Sure, why not?” I responded without thinking. Eish, this is certainly becoming a trend, could this be another one of those symptoms the Doc was talking about? Why did I always respond without thinking at times? Sometimes I didn’t realise what I had responded.

“So will you come?” Precious asked with a serious, trembling but accomodating voice.

“Oh, sure I will, not a problem.”

“Cool, make sure that you bring no one but yourself. Come alone or else you’ll miss out”

I’ll miss out? There’s no way I was going to miss that. Precious kissed me on the cheek and once again went out of class. The bell that ends school rang and I zipped my bag. As I stood up, I realised that Precious had dropped her phone. It was a Blackberry, what model I didn’t know. There were four missed calls and one message.

It could be important, I thought. I went out and looked for her. I went around the school yard and checked on some other lower grade classes. But she was not there. I went out and sat on the rock just on the inside of the school gate. It was the rock that I had stumbled upon on when I fell down and stained my shirt. Ha, ha, I could still remember that like it happened yesterday, even though it happened some time back. As I took the Blackberry from my pocket I was tempted to read the message. I knew it was wrong and it was invading someone’s privacy but what if it was important? I mean there were now five messages that had been sent by this phone number? Four missed calls and one message. Or maybe I was trying to ease my conscious so that I could just read the message.

What if this person that had called four times and even sent a message had got in an accident or something? I didn’t know. Maybe I should have just switched it off and given it to Precious the next day. Yeah, maybe I should have. As I was about to switch it off, I clicked on the open button by not knowing which buttons to use. Eish, modern phones! What happened to the Nokia 3310, 5210, and all the other classic phones? They were much easier to use, I thought to myself.

Oh well, I might as well get on with it and read the message, I thought. This is what it stated.

Y r u nt answering my calls? did u manage to make him fall for the bait? Is he gona cum at ur place? Call me as quickly as u get this msg.

I felt exploited and infuriated. What kind of sick game as this? What was Precious playing at? And why was this sender asking about me a lot? What was in it for him or her? I guess the only way to find out was to go to Precious’ place later that afternoon.


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