Written by: Vera Alexander
Illustrations by: COVERST©RY
Text Copyright 2012 Vera Alexander
Illustrations Copyright 2012 COVERST©RY
and UmSinsi Press
This story is dedicated to all teenagers but particularly to those who have gained strength of character despite the challenges that faced them.
Woohoo – saved by the bell! Home time on a Friday afternoon!
“Eric, see you at your house - 7 o’clock - No supervision!” my mates scream as they push past me eager to get out of the school building.
“Yeah, sure.” I reply, but secretly I wish mom was there to greet me when I open the door. I wish dad was there to guide me on this journey from boyhood to manhood.
Mom has a job in Dubai and I don’t know where my dad is. I have a faded memory of him – a big man with lovely strong hands that were always there to rescue me when I was little. One day I woke up and he wasn’t there anymore. Mom never spoke of him so I don’t know what happened to him. When I am old enough I’ll try to find him.
A group of large Grade 11 boys surround me, ruffle my hair and roughly pass me from one to the other as if I am a rugby ball. “Why do grade 11 boys feel that they must shove us around” I mutter under my breath.
“Hey little Grade 9, don’t mumble. Clean up your mess!” Frank, the biggest bully in school, turns his school bag upside down. A mound of sweet papers and other rubbish fall on the ground in front of me. Frank drapes his arms around his friends, turns and spits his bubblegum in my direction. Everyone in the corridor finds this very funny but I am disgusted. Frank grins in their direction and swaggers off, hooting with laughter.