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 Stranded in the rain
Esmund Crowe
 Posted: Nov 17 2013, 11:32 AM
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Age: 26
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It is the last day of the school week; Friday and currently 4pm. And young Horatio is leaving his latest club activity, football. And it was his first time too but he didn’t enjoy it, the older boys were mean to him and just earlier he was pushed into a puddle of muddy water, Mr Rigby scolded the older boy- a red haired curly haired kid with probably his own issues. Horatio had read a book on human minds after all and he watched enough doctor who episodes to understand there is always some underlying issues for a person’s cruel behaviour- neglectful parents, tough upbringing etc. but still, that didn’t stop Horatio from feeling angry and insignificant but like usual, he picked himself up and got himself back into the game.

He didn’t even want to join the club, but he joined in the hopes that it will make his father happy, and just maybe his dad would become more involved. The child gazed ahead of the playground, the school looks so eerie without people he thought to himself. Grubby faced from the earlier pushing in the mud he sat on the steps, his sports bag besides him and his backpack of the latest books he took out of the library, his knees hurt. He must’ve scraped or bruised them and already his chest was beginning to feel tight. Where is his father? ‘Must’ve phoned mother to come get me…’ thought the child glumly as he let out a sigh, his mother must’ve forgotten. Are his parents supposed to let him down this much? A movement caught his eyes as he turned his gaze to the gates, for a moment a smile came on his lips, it must be his father! But it wasn’t, it was some other kid’s parent coming to pick their child up, Horatio’s face fell as he watched in envy as the father picked up the young child, the mother appearing behind with a younger child in her arms, his mind drifted off to what could’ve been. If Timon had lived, perhaps his parents would still be together…he had never told his father or anyone that he was the first to find Timon. How old was he at the time? Six or four? He can’t remember.

He continued to the watch the family for a few moments before they left, with another sigh the boy picked up a piece of stone and began to draw on the steps, Horatio, while he isn’t particularly good at sport, he is artistic, he finds drawing a good stress reliever and a way to convey his thoughts, to the unskilled eye a drawing of three people, his father on the right, himself in the middle and his mother on the left and three balloons in the air and then an in the clouds would probably look like any other drawing that indicates loss, but no one is smiling the drawing, and Horatio had drawn himself closer to his father than his mother, and the balloons drifting away indicates his lack of attachment for others, but one of Horatio’s arms is longer than the other and seems to reaching out to his dad on a subconscious level, suggesting he wishes to be closer, yet afraid. For a boy his age, he should be closer to his mother but his mother seems too busy with her partner, Horatio is quite glad for it actually. Often his mother is too controlling and he just feels inadequate or smothered sometimes.

Suddenly without warning, a droplet of rain landed on the ground drawing, and then more came and suddenly the whole place was being shattered by rain. Horatio stopped his drawing and hugged his knees to his chest as he sat there on the steps in the pouring rain, his sport clothes sticking to his body and his hoody doing little to stop his hair from being matted.

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Sophia Graeme
 Posted: Nov 24 2013, 07:29 AM
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Age: 21
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It had been a long week, and young Sophia was looking forward to collapsing in her own bed with whatever leftover still lurked in the fridge and Aslan on her lap, and not get out until noon the next day. Was that a normal thing to do for an adult? Perhaps not, but she decided that it did not matter; for no one had to know about her sorry position in life. Sophia sat at her desk gathering the material she needed to prepare for next week’s classes, and occasionally looked out over the sport’s field beside the school. There were young lads playing football. Subconsciously, she smiled. It was a humorous sight to see them chasing that ball like maniacs, until one got hurt. While she didn’t see all of the game, some of her students were out there playing, and she could predict most of the nasty encounters that would play out during the game. She recognized the red haired boy. He had hair and eyes so similar to her own; he might as well have been her son. Colleagues and parents have questioned it before, which each time resulted in her smile fading. When she answered no, it often resulted in being told that she ought to find a man and have children of her own. Little did they know she’d never be having children.

Distracted by painful memories, Sophia hardly noticed the bullying that took place on the field. But when Mister Rigby’s voice roared across the school and she spotted Horatio lying in the mud, she felt a pang of anger in her chest. That poor lad. He already went through enough. Briefly she wondered why he was even playing football. Perhaps his father’s doing? She stood up and walked over to the window. With her arms crossed and red curls hanging loose, she did not look so intimidating, yet the red haired kid looked up at her and quickly went on with the game. While she was known to be a caring teacher, she could also be strict, and if it was her class the boy would get a proper scolding. And if he was her son, he would never be doing such a thing ever again.

It was five o’clock and classes and club activities had ended an hour ago. The school was empty; not a child or teacher in sight. Sophia was about to leave; quickly gathering papers and stuffing them in her bag, and putting an old violin she used to teach the basics of music back in its case. She wrapped herself in her red coat and scarf – while it may not be winter yet, she got cold very easily – and headed out the door. She was caught by surprise when she almost bumped straight into a little figure sitting at the top of the stairs. It was pouring rain and there was a cold wind; her immediate instinct was to step back inside for a moment but then she noticed who it was. She didn’t need to see Horatio’s face to recognize him. He was soaked to the bone and sat there clutching himself. He must be freezing, “What on earth are you doing out here?” Sophia questioned immediately as she walked down to stand by his side, “Why aren’t you at home, lad?” Her soft and sweet voice was so stricken by surprise, it was hard to hear if she was concerned or angered.

Sophia knelt down and took hold of the boy’s arm, only to guide him back inside the school; warm and dry. As they walked, she caught a quick look of what remained of the drawing on the steps; a broken family. That poor boy. The moment they got inside, she felt the urge to hug him but resisted. It wouldn’t be appropriate. She led him to the boy’s bathroom, and rested a hand on his shoulder, “Okay, love,” She said gently, “You try to get warm, and I will see if I can get a hold of your dad. Alright now?” Without another word, the teacher disappeared into the teacher’s room for some privacy. Edmund’s number was still in her phone ever since he had agreed to let her help Horatio. It came in handy, after all. She tried to phone him four times, but there was no answer. She left a voicemail message explaining that she found Horatio sitting outside the school, drenched and freezing, and that she would take him home. She begged Edmund to call her back as soon as he could. But she wasn’t sure if he would even listen to the message at all. She wondered if something happened to the man, but surely then she wouldn’t heard by now. With a frustrated sigh, she walked back to Horatio, “Nothing,” She told him with an apologetic smile. She stood before the mess that was her student and knelt down to meet his level, “Do you want me to take you home?” Expecting protest from the child, Sophia gently laughed and explained her intentions, “What do you want me to do? They’re closing the school shortly, and it will be getting dark soon,” With a light shake of her head, she gestured for him to follow her to the entrance, “Come, love.”

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