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The news of the events that took place at the school spread like wildfire. Parents were mystified and frightened by what they heard. They all rushed down to the school to confirm if it was really true that a whole class of pupils was unaccounted for and that their class teacher was found dead in the class.

Mrs Shepherd was preparing for work when her phone rang. She works at the local hospital and had earlier decided to work the afternoon shift that day, so that she could help her son get ready for the new school year.

“Hello Shelly,” Mrs Shepherd said as she picked up her phone.

“Mary, Y...Y...You need to come down to the school right away, something’s not right,” Shelly said.

Mrs Shepherd was troubled because her friend sounded so frightened.

“Shelly, what exactly is going on?” Mrs Shepherd asked.

“They wouldn’t say. Just hurry,” Shelly said and hung up.

A thousand thoughts crossed Mary’s mind as she drove her red Cadillac CTS sedan down to the school. She wondered what was going on as she saw an unusual number of vehicles on the road while emergency vehicles rode at full speed on the shoulder. Those who had left for work earlier heard the news and rushed back to ascertain that those whom they left behind earlier that day were alright and to plan the next course of action; whether to leave town or stay behind or watch what happens next.

Mary remembered her husband, David; a jovial man who hardly took anything serious. When she became pregnant twelve years ago, she could not hide her excitement and couldn’t wait to tell David that he would soon be a father. Her husband unfortunately did not share in her excitement, rather he was alarmed at the news. That same week, David was to travel to the United States for a seven month training organized by the firm where he worked. But the day before he was scheduled to travel, he dropped the bomb.

“Mary, come over to the room, there’s something we need to discuss,” David called out.

Mary was in the kitchen preparing dinner when her husband had called her. She reduced the flame of the gas cooker and went over to the room. Immediately she got in, David shut the door and without mincing words, he said to her, “I know you’re excited about being a mother and all, but I need you to know that I’m not ready for this.” Mary was shocked but the worst was yet to come. “So here’s what we’re going to do,” David continued, “I’ve booked you an appointment with Doctor Hubermann. Make sure you get rid of that thing before I return or I’ll get a divorce,” he concluded while pointing at her tummy.

Mary couldn’t believe that her husband was actually asking her to terminate the pregnancy. She thought that he was overreacting and that he probably would think things through while he was away and return to his right senses, but she was soon going to realize that this would be the first time that her husband was serious about something.

David returned from his trip in October that same year. By then, she was already eight months and two days pregnant. David took one look at her and the bulge in her tummy and without saying a word, he walked into the room, packed his belongings and left for good. Few days later, Mary had received a court summons. The divorce process dragged on and lingered briefly when she gave birth to her son. They were officially divorced about eight months after the birth of the child. As David did not want anything to do with the child, custody was not a problem.

Mary had been a nurse before she met David. It was he that suggested she quit her job so she could focus more on their relationship, but after the divorce, she realized that she would need to go back to work so she could take good care of the child. There and then, she desired to leave Stutterville; where she lived with her ex husband and move to Trafford, which was about six hundred miles away to settle down and most especially, to reduce the possibility of Collins ever coming across his father.

Of course, being a single parent wasn't as easy as Mary thought. When Collins was wise enough, he began questioning his mother about the identity and whereabouts of his father and Mary had spent almost seven years of her life evading the real answer to the question because she feared that it might traumatize the boy if she told him that his father was probably dead or that...

She was still deep in thought when a loud honk brought her out of her reverie and she realized that she was fast approaching a barrier set up by the police across the road. She slammed on the brakes and the car screeched to a halt just a few meters from the barrier. A policeman walked up to the side of her car and tapped the window. She rolled down the window and smiled.

“Are you okay ma’am?” asked the policeman.

“Yes, thank you officer,” she replied.

“Vehicles are not allowed beyond this point. I suggest you find a place to park your vehicle and walk the remaining distance,” said the policeman.

Mary then realized that there was a sizeable number of vehicles parked on both sides of the road and even in the woods around the road.

“Thank you officer,” Mary replied. She then started her car and proceeded to find a parking space. She found one by the roadside just between two cars that looked as if their owners had left them in a hurry. She parked between the two cars, made sure her car was properly locked and proceeded to walk the remaining two hundred meters to the school.

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