Rewind

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Chapter 2 - Away

Where was I? Oh yes, boarding school. As a child separating from family and home is quite a painful experience. I didn’t like the idea of being tossed into the complete unknown, to be surrounded by strangers, though children my own age.

The drive up to the school was a long and tedious one, and had picked up too early for my comfort. For most of the journey I stared out into the natural abyss filled with green. As we traveled it appeared as though nature was presenting a slideshow of all the best it had to show. From the stunning sunrise peeking over the horizon, beaming with a contrast of colors. To the hills and mountains that came into view ever so often, past the ever blue lake.

Pondering as to what was to come, how I would react and survive in the new circumstances I was to be placed. Well as much thinking as a five-year-old kid could do, I wore myself out four hours into the trip and had to retire, slept like a baby.

When I awoke our car had come to a halt in what I assumed would be our final stop. It was a town situated at a halfway point in my trip, not too densely populated. Still undergoing some development, I could make out some towers being erected in the city center. Our destination was a modest makeshift restaurant, which would later become a common pit stop for the Mason family as we traveled to our Winter Palace.

“Mama! What are we doing here?” I asked eager to know.

“Aren't you hungry?” she asked, stroking my hair.

I hadn’t realized but I was only running on fumes since we left home so early in the morning. My stomach rumbled a response before I could even summon one.

“See!” she added. “Now get down and let’s get you something to eat.”

The first woman I ever fell in love with, Darlene, my own mother. She was a young gentle soul, kind and caring, she had a beauty that was second to none. Also happened to be the only one that was always there for me. My father couldn’t make the trip or see me off to boarding school; work, he felt that was a good enough reason to miss his child’s first steps. None of that ever bothered me one bit, as long as I had my mother there for me.

Exquisite! Might have been due to the hunger, but the quality of food prepped by the chefs at that establishment was out of this world. Stuffed, we headed back to the car to continue with the journey. My father had assigned us a driver and a handler, for protection he said. They both would later on become some of my best acquaintances and some might even say, friends. Back we were on the endlessly stretched tarmac for the second half of our trip.

For entertainment, I engaged myself in a copy of Are you my mother? A story about a baby bird in search of its mother. The story signifies the special bond between mother and child that no earthly riches or fathers could ever replace or take away. It wasn’t much longer before I had fallen back to sleep, in the most uncomfortable position I might add.

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“Time out! Coffee break shall we?” the man insisted. He was dressed differently today, well that is to say smarter. The theme of his clothing had changed from the former dark blue theme, to a dark brown shade.

“Yes please, I will take a French Vanilla. Everybody loves a French Vanilla.” Hector demanded.

The man shot a glance at Hector, before turning to the woman; “Can I get you anything, Gwyn?”

“Whatever you are getting.” She was still dressed in her earlier casual dress code, a pair of denim accompanied with a peach blouse. It appeared she had abandoned the leather jacket this time around. She had her dirty blonde hair tied back, a golden locket hang down and around her neck, resting atop her blouse.

“So… Gwyn, I am glad, I am finally on a first-name basis with you guys. What's the bloke’s name?” Hector.

“We are here to listen to your story, nothing less and definitely nothing more.” She retorted.

“Harsh.”

The man walked back to the table with three coffee cups in tow, “I knew you’d come around John Doe.” Hector commented.

“John Doe?” he asked surprised.

“Well, since Gwyn here wouldn’t tell me your name I had to compromise,” Hector explained, sipping his coffee. “And this is a latte, I guess I deserved that one.”

“Shall we?!” the two picked their pens back up.

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So after what felt like forever, combined with a nap after nap I could see the city come into view. It was dark when we got there, allowing the lights to envelop the city in a hazing pattern.

We arrived at a house, I couldn’t make it out well, but it was a humble house, nothing too enveloping. It was about a third compared to the size of our house. There I was introduced to one of my favorite Aunts, mainly because she was the only one that seemed to have no interest in my father’s wealth. Warm and welcome is how I felt, she had three children all of whom were much older than I was. Separated from her husband she lived alone with her kids, who attended university at the time.

Despite how exhausted we all were there was food and drinks ready to welcome us. Admittedly, I was not only tired but also hungry, so I took part in the formalities. Being a child does take its toll on the body, I retired to my bed chambers early that night for tomorrow I would go see my new school.

Come morning we took a trip into town to finalize my shopping and get all that was needed for my education and boarding life. After the morning’s endeavors were complete, we stopped by a restaurant, allowing me to have the last meal with my mother before I would be dropped off to my confinement for the next year.

The school was not a pretty sight I have to say. It was a concoction of uniform scrapers that stretched up ten floors each. Every single one signified its own purpose. One was specifically for the administration and teacher’s offices. Two similar but separate buildings were dedicated as housing for the students, with an additional two as the academic building. At the end of this street of buildings stood a great hall that was the dinning center; behind which were the fields and sporting facilities. Encompassing the whole campus was a fence that stood about twenty feet high.

Did I cry? I was a 5-year old child. The idea of being separated from my mother and the people I was close to was devastating. I managed to pull a strong face in front of my mother but boy did I cry like a child later that night. And so was the beginning of my life in boarding school.

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Hector paused noticing a shadowy figure that stood just outside the café door.

“I am afraid we can’t keep meeting up like this.” He said nodding his head in the direction of the assailant.

“Who do you have following you?” Gwyn asked.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with what I need you to do,” Hector replied. “I documented most of what happened in my boarding school here.” He added handing over a dark leather back diary.

“A book, you wrote in a book?” asked John Doe.

“I have to go. Once you are done reading there is a card inside with a number, call and I will tell you where to meet me. They are here for me, nothing will happen to you when I leave.” With that Hector left the café and vanished into a crowd, as did his assailant.

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