Mr. Ikedi’s cell phone rang again. He looked at the caller ID, it was an unregistered number. He picked the call.
“Good morning sir, am I speaking with Mr. Ikedi?”
“Yes, who is this please?” Benson asked.
“I am the principal of Wisdom Child Academy and your son is my pupil. I am calling to inform you that he has not been in school yet.”
“Yes, em… he might come late; there are some unforeseen circumstances that arose at home,” He replied.
“I hope everything is alright sir.” The principal inquired.
“Everything is okay, thank you very much. I assure that he will soon be in school.”
“Alright, but sir I want to use this opportunity to inform you that I have been getting reports that John’s behavior in school has not been impressive lately.’
Benson somehow became alert, “What do you mean by that?”
“Yes he has been constantly missing classes, he sometimes leave before school dismisses for the day and his performance is very poor which I am sure you have seen in his last result. In fact he has already been marked as one of the students that will be repeating class this year. I think it will be very necessary for you to come around and hear what the teachers have to say about your son sir so that together we can come up with a possible solution.”
Benson didn’t see John’s last term’s result. What the principal was saying was strange to him. He didn’t know what to say. “Okay, I will try and make it to the school before the end of the week. Thank you for this information. I very much appreciate it.”
“Thank you sir,” the principal replied and the line went dead.
He went into the bedroom to talk to his wife about the principal’s call.
“John’s principal just called me. He told me that his results are poor and he could repeat class this year. Is there anything going on with him that I don’t know?”
Ifeoma smiled, it was a rude smile. “There are a lot of things going on in this house that you don’t know. Well I saw his last term result and spoke to him about it and he promised that he would do better this time around.”
“And you didn’t bother to tell me about it?”
“When last did you and I have a meaningful conversation? I am even surprised that you are reacting to the principal’s call.” She replied.
“What do you mean by that? Well, I am going to talk to him about it right now, how am I not sure that he does not have anything to do with the lost key.” Benson was not happy with this news. He angrily and quickly walked into John’s room.
John was surprised. He couldn’t remember the last time his dad walked into his room. He sprang up from the bed, dropping his cell phone which his father didn’t know he had. Ada was the only child in the house that freely flaunts her cell phone. She claimed she bought it with her pocket money.
It was obvious that John wasn’t bothered if the key was lost or not. He wasn’t even interested in going to school.
“I can see that you are not even worried that you might be missing classes today.” His father said to him.
John didn’t reply. He wasn’t sure of what to say.
“I got a call from your principal, what was he saying about you missing classes and having poor result? Where do you go during school hours?” the older Ikedi interrogated him.
John continues to look at him in fear. He was really surprised, he didn’t expect his dad to barge into his room asking him all sort of questions.
“I can see that you have gone dumb. Did you purposely hide the key so that you would miss school? What are you running from?”
“I am not with the key; I am not running from anything.” He defended.
Benson felt his son was hiding something. He began to search his closet while he continued interrogating him. “You leave my house every morning yet you miss classes, where do you go? Why didn’t I see your last term’s result?”
“I showed it to mum and she talked to me about it.” John said defensively.
“And you didn’t bother to tell your mum that you miss classes? You didn’t tell her where you hangout when your mates are busy studying?” He was searching through one of John’s school trousers when his fingers felt something. He dipped his hand and brought out a sachet of condom.
He stopped. The room was silent for a few seconds.
“What are you doing with a sachet of condom in your pocket?”
Now John knew he was in trouble.
His father instinctively dropped the condom and went straight to his bedside locket. He opened it and began to search for God knows what. He stopped again when he saw a stick of cigarette.
John was visibly sacred. He remained silent with his whole body shivering and starring at his dad.
Benson looked at him like he was seeing his son for the first time. I think John became a stranger to him.
The older man stormed out of the room. It was obvious that his wife was going to take the heat for John’s crime.