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- 12 -

It was the last period in Henzelโ€™s school. He was eagerly waiting for Benno to come and meet his teacher.

Since his class will be over at 4.00 p.m., Lorenzo has promised that he will send Benno at 3.45 in the noon.

โ€œHey Henzel, what about your father? Wonโ€™t he come here and accept the reward which you and your father have to receive from the teacher?โ€, his classmate said louder and mockingly to him.

Even though his intention was to make Henzel sad or to disappoint him, yet he failed in that.

โ€œYou wait and see. My father is not a guy up to your imagination. Heโ€™s a very cool guy and doesnโ€™t take these silly things seriously. So, keep your such wishes with you.โ€, Henzel said confidently and firmly.

The clock struck 3:55, Henzel was worried, since Benno didnโ€™t came.

โ€œHenzel, Where is your father? Itโ€™s 3.55 p.m. and the class is about to be finished.โ€, the teacher asked Henzel.

โ€œYes Madam, h-he is on his way.โ€, Henzel answered doubtfully.

When Henzel turned and looked at the doorway of his classroom, his eyes jumped out of their socket, and he was shocked. He was really shocked to see that it was Jackson instead of Benno who came to meet his teacher.

The teacher approached Jackson on seeing him.

โ€œExcuse me! You here for?โ€, the teacher asked.

โ€œIs that you who called Henzelโ€™s guardian to talk about his result?โ€ Jackson asked her.

โ€œSorry, I mean I wanted to meet his father, and not his brother even if heโ€™s elder.โ€, the teacher told Jackson.

โ€œIโ€™m not his brother, I am his father.โ€, Jackson said with a smile.

โ€œOopsโ€ฆ! Sorry. I thought you are-โ€

โ€œThatโ€™s okay.โ€

โ€œSo, you are Mr. Jackson Oโ€™Brien, right?โ€

โ€œYes, I am.โ€

โ€œGood evening. I called you here to convey to you, Henzelโ€™s marks for the latest exam. Do you wanna know how much he got?โ€

โ€œYeah.โ€ Jackson replied.

"He ranks the topper in this class if we check from backward. He got just 5 out of 50.โ€, she told Jackson gesturing Henzel.

Henzel looked nowhere but down.

โ€œHenzel, look straight.โ€, Jackson told him.

Henzel looked straight. The teacher handed over the paper to Jackson, โ€œPlease have a look at it, sir.โ€

Jackson was so angry at Henzel.

โ€œHe was not like this before. Henzel was one of the brilliant students in our school.โ€ The teacher turned to Henzel, โ€œDidnโ€™t you studied for the exam?โ€

โ€œBut, I have an excuse,โ€ Henzel said.

โ€œExcuse? After scoring just 5 marks, you have an excuse? Okay, what is it?โ€ The teacher asked.

โ€œIt was Ruthโ€™s marriage.โ€ He said.

โ€œI asked whether you studied or not. If you have a good answer for that then speak.โ€ The teacher said.

โ€œIt was Ruthโ€™s marriage and how can I study in between the function?โ€ Henzel supported himself.

โ€œYou were free. You had no responsibilities at her marriage. You should have studied. Now shut up!โ€ Jackson said.

Henzel stayed silently, staring down. He was almost about to cry.

โ€œIs he going for tuition?โ€ Teacher asked.

โ€œNo,โ€ Jackson said.

โ€œIf it is difficult for him to study, it would be better to send him for tuition.โ€ The teacher advised.

Jackson said nothing but just kept on listening to what the teacher is saying,

โ€œIn any case, you need to make sure that Henzel does not hesitate to study anymore.โ€ The teacher told Jackson. โ€œHenzel, you need to worry about your own future. Your future will not be good just because others suffered and you just stayed in a safe zone.โ€

โ€œIโ€™ll look after his studies,โ€ Jackson assured.

โ€œOh, that would be so grateful of you. The session ending exam starts next week. Henzel, go home and start studying today itself. Donโ€™t waste time. I see a bright future in a brilliant student like you.โ€ The teacher smiled.

โ€œThank you,โ€ Jackson smiled and left. Henzel followed him. Jackson looked so angry.

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