Paul: “Ralph, you should go with her. There is no time to waste” he nudged him forward and he followed the nurse.
On getting inside the doctor’s office, he saw Annie sleeping soundly on the only bed inside the office and heaved a sigh of relief.
Ralph: “Good afternoon doctor”
Doctor: “Good noon to you too, please have your seat” he said looking at him from the rim of his glasses.
Ralph: “So what did the test result indicate?”
Doctor: “Nothing serious. It’s just febrile convulsion which happened because of her high fever. Her temperature was 39°C. I will prescribe some drugs for you, make sure you administer them on her till she is stable again” he scribbled something in a jotter and passed it to him.
Ralph: “But hope it’s not epilepsy?”
Doctor: “Not at all. It is a different kind of convulsion and less harmful than epilepsy though it can still give rise to epilepsy if care is not taken. Among the drug I prescribed, there is anti-convulsant among them though it might not be necessary she takes it. Just make sure you get all the drugs and administer them on her like I instructed on the paper. Good luck and for the record, your daughter is a very strong and lovely girl”
Ralph: “Thank you doctor” he said, smiling. He stood up, took the doctor’s outstretched hand in a handshake, went over to Annie and scooped her up from the bed into his arms. Her temperature had gone considerably down but he noticed she was weaker than usual. “Sorry baby!” he whispered into her hears and walked out of the doctor’s office. As soon as his friends saw hi, they both surrounded him asking one question after the other. They touched Annie gently and were relieved to know she was no longer running temperature as much as she was earlier.
Soon enough, Sammy stopped going home from school because he knew she would be waiting for him. He dreaded that moment when she would climb him and do the stuffs she did or the moments she made him do those stuffs he did. He would linger around the school, cook up every possible excuse just to stay longer outside.
On that particular day when he got back from school at past 7pm. He might his dad in the sitting room, angry while his step mum was sitting with him. They were waiting for him.
Richard: “Where are you coming from Mr Man? He queried him as soon as she entered the sitting room.
Sammy: “I am coming from school” he said looking down.
Richard: “You are just coming back from school by this time Sammy? At this age? You are just twelve years for crying out loud and you are already keeping late nights?”
Sammy: “I had extra assignment so I decided to do it in school”
Richard: “So you are always having a surprise outing? I have been getting complaints about you since this started but I thought it will stop with time but you are getting worst by the day. Why are you doing this Sammy? Am I not a good father to you?”
Ophelia: “Honey take it easy with him please. He is still young, he is just showing signs of puberty; you know adolescence is setting in so this is just normal” She looked at Sam who gave her a look of disgust and she winked at him, sticking out her tongue seductively, he looked away as his dad’s gaze was riveted on him.
Richard: “What nonsense adolescence at the age of twelve? He is just being rebellious and nothing more. Why are you trying to kill me? Was I the one who killed your mum?” he regretted that statement as soon as they left his mouth.
Sammy: “Don’t ever talk about my mum again. What do you know? There is nothing you are good at? You are neither good at being a husband nor a father. If you were you wouldn’t have given up so easily on finding Annie. You are a coward da…” before he could finish saying dad, his dad stuck out his hand in a bidding flash of lightening and struck him in the cheek, blood few out from his mouth.
Ophelia: “Richaarrrd! Why did you do that? How could you strike him like that?” she flared up unexpectedly.
Sammy was dazed for a moment, even the tears refused to flow. That was the first time any of his parents will ever raise their hands at him. He looked at his dad who stood in front of him defiantly and just turned back and walked out on him.
Richard: “Come back here right away you insolent fool. You dare call me a coward? The next time you do that, its belt I’d use on you” he raved and slumped down heavily onto the settee behind him. “I can’t believe this is happening” he lamented sadly.
Ophelia: “You shouldn’t have done that honey, now you just made issues worst. How do we go about this now?”
Richard: “Weren’t you there when he was heaping abusive words at me? So you expect me to just keep mum?”
Ophelia: “I am not justifying his actions but you as an adult should know better than hitting a child like that. Please go and talk to him” she said pleadingly.
Richard: “No way! Just stay out of this okay?” he warned and walked out on her. She couldn’t think of what to do. “Now i know where Sammy got his stubbornness from. they are both the same”she said to herself.
He walked inside his room grief stricken and emotionally bruised. He sat on the bed and looked around, saw the picture of Annie hung on the wall and walked over to it.
Sammy:” “Baby sister, hope you are living a good life? Where are you now? I know you must b looking quite beautiful now. Your birthday is tomorrow and also the day mum died. I feel so alone, my life is ruined. I don’t know what to do anymore” the tears flowed freely now. “I am not even really sure if you are alive and it’s all my fault. I was not a good brother, I did not protect you enough. I should have ran after those men faster than I did. Mum must really be mad at me now, I am a useless son. Annie and mum, I miss you two so much” he started looking frantically around. “I don’t think it’s okay for me to keep living right? All I have to do is push something sharp inside my stomach and I will be able to see you two again right? What use is living this kind of life? See what that woman has turned me to?” just then he remembered the compass in his bag and went for it. He brought it out, held it tightly in his hands and closed his eyes…
Question: Was it okay for Richard to have struck him like he did? Will Sammy carry out what he is about doing?
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