Written by Ekhosuehi Testimony
“What is it?” Bruce asked, feeling concerned.
“Oh… it’s nothing.”
“Do you know me from somewhere?”
“No, no. Nice to meet you, Mr. Bruce.” John said, stretching out his hand for a hand shake, but Bruce hesitated, stretching out his hand slowly.
“The pleasure is all mine.”
“I wanna go get a pen, Dad.” John said nervously, not knowing when he called him Dad.
“Did you just call me Dad?” Bruce asked with a confused look.
“No, no. It’s a slang. You know, we teenagers use slangs nowadays. I gotta go.” He said as he feign a smile, leaving Bruce confused. John walked away, heading towards the school material store.
“What a weird kid.” Bruce said inwards, trying to make sense from what transpired between him and John. He turned towards the Principal’s office, scoffed, and headed there…
John became confused, he finally meet his Dad. How would he tell him? Should he tell his mother? John was indecisive.
“I’m related to that witch! That pest!!!” John said to himself as he beads of sweat began to drip from his face. He was confused to the extent that he found himself in the female toilet. He wasn’t thinking straight. He was suppose to go to the material store, but headed to the toilet instead.
“How did I get here?” He turned around, he remembered Mr. Chadwick was in class. John hurried to the material store, bought a pen and hurried back to class.
He got to class, luckily, Mr. Chadwick left few minutes ago after giving them classwork. He hurried to his seat like someone who was being chased, he sat down, sweating profusely. He was extremely nervous.
“What’s up with you, man?” Oliver asked.
“Nothing, bro. I just ran too fast to the material store.”
“Okay, then. I’m taking Annabelle to the cinema today.” Oliver said without looking at Johns face, he focused on the classwork.
“Annabelle? Are you two dating?” John asked, looking straight at Oliver’s eyes. He was shocked.
“Dating? She’s my sister, stepsister though.. Have you ever had one?”
“No, no. Well, there was this girl I play with back then when I was a kid. I can’t remember her name, it’s a long time ago. I don’t even know how she looked like. You of all people should know that. Wait, why didn’t you tell me you have a sister?”
“It’s no big deal, brother. She was transfered here this semester. And besides, have you ever noticed that you and Hannah look alike?” John asked as he dropped his pen, and and paid more attention to their discussion. John was shocked at his question, he turned to where Hannah was sitting, she had already met with her father before then. Their eyes caught with each other’s and John immediately averted his eyes.
“Look alike? That pest looks nothing like me.” He said looking serious.
“Well, your family sure do have a lot of mysteries.” Oliver said as he picked up his own and began to write again. John became quiet, he knew he had to do something. He had to find out why his father left him. It’s was like he was beginning to hate him already. “Bastard.” He cursed down his breath. All he wanted was the school hour to come to an end, he rushed his classwork, not minding the error he must have made. The school activities went smoothly, they were given a weekend home work. The whole situation got John thinking.
Finally, the school bell rang, signifying the end of the lecture hour for that day. He picked up his bag and hurried out, forgetting his textbook. “Hey, your textbook!” Oliver shouted, but John has already headed out. He surged through the school corridor, heading the the school exit. He was about to take a left turn when he saw Bruce and Hannah talking. He made sure he was not seen by hiding. He had to listen to their talk.
“…well, we are not going home today.” Bruce said as he knot his tie.
“Why? Why can’t we?” Hannah asked, looking annoyed.
“Come on child. We are going to the 6th street to pay aunty Grace a visit.” He said as he placed both hands on her shoulders, trying to calm her down.
“Why can’t we go tomorrow? I mean, tomorrow is Saturday.” Hannah said as she folds her hand, pretending to be angry.
“I promised her today, Friday. Come on Hannah, we’ll go get ice cream after we leave this place. Or we can go to the cinema. Come on, I’ll double your allowance.”
“Okay, fine.” She smiled, her father has finally convinced her with goodies. Bruce placed his left hand across her shoulder and they headed out…”
“What?! Ice cream? Cinema? Double her allowance? My Mom would reduce mine and I won’t have supper for that day if I refused to go somewhere with her. No wonder she’s such a spoilt brat. Ah!” John said angrily, and left where he was eavesdropping. He followed them stealthily to the school park. Bruce and Hannah entered a black Acura RDX 2018 SUV. John made sure he mastered the plate number and jotted it down. He headed home as if everything was okay. He got home, ate his food and waited for his mother to come back. He wanted to tell her, but he knew better.
Mrs. Monroe arrived by 6:30pm. She was very tired, work wasn’t easy that day. She wore a black A-line dress, coupled with a black platform heels.
“Welcome Mom.” John greeted as he collect her bag from her.
“You look tired.” He added.
“Work wasn’t easy. I’ll be taking double shifts tomorrow.”
“Oh, okay. I made dinner, you can serve yourself in the kitchen.” John said as he walked inside, and dropped his mother’s bag in her room, and headed to his.
Mrs. Monroe was quite shocked. “When was the last time John prepared food in this house?” She asked herself. “Well, changes occur in teenagers.” She added and headed to the kitchen.
John laid on his bed looking at the ceiling. He wanted some answers. Aunty Grace? He has never heard of her. In the meantime, he had homework to do. He sat up, wearing only a black boxer shorts. He headed to where his bag was. Brought out the necessary things, but couldn’t find his textbook. “Oh crap. I carelessly left that textbook in school.” He shook his head vigorously, and walked to his shelf filled with his textbooks and his mother’s. He brought out an old text book, dusted it and went to his reading table, switched on his reading lamp and began to go through the textbook looking for answers. As he opened a page, three test papers fell, he picked it, looked at it and smiled. One was his torn primary one paper. He looked at the name and read it. “John Monroe.” He smiled again and dropped it, picked the other two. He had no idea who the owners were. The names were written with pencil and it has faded, it cannot be seen easily. He couldn’t read it well. He narrowed his eyes and tried to read it. He managed to figure it out. “Name: Gabriella Bruce, Class: kindergarten 1.” He couldn’t see the other one clearly, all he could see was the first alphabet ‘G’. So, he assumed it was for the same person. “Who is this person?” He asked himself, but he obviously do not have the answers he was looking for. He closed the textbook and put it back in the shelf, brought out the paper he jotted Bruce’s car plate number. He checked the time it was 7:02pm. He got dressed, wearing a black jean and a white Versace T-shirt, coupled with a black kito sandal, and moved towards his door, he was obviously sneaking out of the house. His mother was fast asleep due to fatigue.
John successfully sneaked out and was on the street, traders have not yet retired home. Power generators could be heard; creating a cacophonous atmosphere. He walked briskly, and entered another street by his left. “I have to get to the 6th street, he said to himself.”
TO BE CONTINUED…