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Hidden Dream

Episode 03.

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“Hey Jay!” My friend Ben called me out as we walked to the biology laboratory.
” Hey !” I shouted back.
“Didn’t see you in the school hall for assembly. Late again?” I asked him as he caught up with me.
“Yeah man, you know how it is. My Pops got issues with his car and I had to get on a bus to school for the past weeks.”

“Oh am sorry Ben, I thought the issue with your father was over. How did the court session go? ”
Ben sighed, “it’s tough man, I just thank God they paid my fees in advance otherwise I could have found myself out of this school. I see how my pops is being affected by the court issues. Being accused of embezzling funds for the company. I don’t know how to take it Jay, it’s pretty too much for the big man you know”
I stopped and looked at my friend. He looked sad, I had seen his father on several occasions and I would agree the man was good with his parenting skills.
I recalled how he one day invited us to some time out with him. I couldn’t stop admiring how easy he was with Ben. He treated him so much like an adult and gave him the freedom to express himself. I chuckled when at some point they started arguing about some things. I couldn’t recall what about, but they looked so relaxed and good together I felt jealousy.

It had been years since I felt that close to my father. And he lately never really talked to me.
” sorry to hear that man, am sure things will iron out for your Pops soon” I said finally.
” Yeah I hope so man” Ben shrugged.
” So how is you and your parents? Getting good now?” He asked
” lets not even go there man, I would rather not talk about them” I sighed.
“Oh here he comes!” Someone in class announced as Mr Muguma walked in.
We all went quite as the man stood in front of the white board.
He was silent for a while scanning the room. Then he cleared his throat.
” Good morning girls and boys” He greeted in his usual firm voice.
” Good morning Sir” we all responded and he indicated us to remain standing.
” So today I want us to recall what we learnt on Thursday last week, I will ask you some questions and you would only sit if you give an answer.
“Oh no.. not that again, ” I thought to myself.
“This man is out to punish me again.”
I didn’t hear the rest of the things he said so I was startled when he called out my name.
“Jared Zimba”! He shouted and everyone turned to look at me.
“Yes sir!” I answered looking up.
Everyone started laughing. It was evident I wasn’t paying attention again.
“What the hell is wrong with You? pay attention boy” I screamed to myself .
“Sorry I didn’t hear you sir” i responded.
Mr Muguma frowned as he walked towards me.
“You know what the problem is with boys like You?” He said not really asking.
“You always think you will always feed from your parent’s hands like little babies. You have to learn to fight for your own life and stop being too comfortable. There are children of your age out there and are dying to be in your place and here you are playing around and acting up on your parent’s money, lets see how far your daddy’s riches will take you. ” he added sacastically stressing the word “daddy”
” look at you,” he went on.
“You think you have it all, the looks, the money and the swag as you boys call it. Well I got news for you. That is nothing if it doesn’t come from your own hard work. Get yourself out of school if you feel you have it and stop giving us a hard time to push education into you when you are here to just show off and not learn. You are a disgrace to manhood and I pity your parents for working off their lives to provide for dull kids like you. What a waste ” he added sacastically.
I looked at the man as he went on rebuking me in front of everyone and I couldn’t take it anymore. He was wasting time, not that I was looking forward to his lesson but i felt for those guys who liked school. He was wasting their time.
” am sorry sir your father never worked so hard to give you a life that I have,”i started without giving it a second thought.

” am sorry you had to end up being a teacher instead of a Doctor as you always dreamed of because your parents were poor, but don’t you dare throw that on me. I didn’t chose to be born in a rich family. Don’t always bring up your anger on me cause honestly you have to get over it man, get over yourself and be proud of who you are” i added and the whole class murmered.
“Wooooboooo! ” Some guys shouted and the whole class went AWOL. As the the teacher stared at me angrily.
” You can’t even pronounce the word ‘ribosomes’ you an’t so intelligent yourself you know.” I added being motivated by the shouting.
I saw him grab his board makers and stormed out of the room like a mad person.
” woo! Jay what was that about man, you practically finished that poor teacher” my class mate Mwelwa shouted.
” well someone had to speak up that teacher is always out of line guys” I said and grabbed my book walking out of the lab.
I ran to the ablution block and panted in front of the mirrow.
“Shit!” I cursed wiping the sweat from my forehead.
I knew I just signed my own death sentence and if my parents were summoned, of which I was sure would happen, I was dead meat.

Our class teacher came to call me out after an hour.
“Here it goes”, I sighed as I lifted my books and placed them in my bag. I knew I would not be going back to class so I had to pack up and prepare for the worst. I found my mother in the head teachers office.
She shot some angry look at me and I kept down like a wet dog .
” So, Jared I bet you know why we called you and your mother here. This school will not condon anyone behaving the way you did and embarrass the teacher in front of the whole class.” The head teacher explained.
” do you have anything to say, sonny? ” he asked.
” am sorry Sir” I apologised to him. ” i didnt mean to its just that Mr Muguma seems to have something personal against me and he blames his poverty and past life on me. He’s always…….”
” stop it now! ” my mother responded loudly.
” You, you even have the guts to say all that in front of us all. How dare you.? I can’t believe you turning this on your teacher, so you mean your teacher can not control you because what? You feel you know it all huh?” She quickly added.
I couldn’t say anymore. I waited as my mom and the head teacher talked after talking to me and sending me to wait outside.. later on they called me and made me to go back to class and apologise to Mr Muguma in front of everyone. I was purnished the whole day for my indiscipline.
Well, from that day on I decided to not care anymore. I started fighting anyone who would talk ill of me. I was always noisy in class and all the teachers started complaining.
At home I stopped every effort to study and never even stayed in the same room with my parents nor siblings.

My unruly behaviour became so famous and my mother was becaming tired of being called at my school.
It was like every thing I had heated up inside was coming out in a bad way. The noise, the fighting, the issue of talking back at my teachers was all a scape goat from what was the real problem inside.
I stopped dancing, well even when I was alone. I just got so angry at everyone and everything, I was so mad..
One day as I lay in my bedroom staring at nothing. Aunty Nelly walked in and sat on my bed.
“Jay, my boy. What is going on with You?” She asked in her calm voice. I turned to look at her and she frowned.
“What is it Aunty Nelly? I didn’t say anything is wrong with me.” I smiled sheepishly.

” You have become this naughty boy all of a sudden. You used to be a good boy. You never answered back at your parents. But now you don’t regard your mother. You always come late and is always running away from your father. I hear You even skip school these days. The driver told me he drops you at school everyday but reports from your school say you are absent most of the days. You can talk to me son” she patted my hand.
” Well, am just tired of everything Aunty Nelly, I hate every thing about my life and sometimes I just wish I could vanish into thin air. I feel suffocated here and at school am tired of always being looked at as this dull boy who can’t pass even a simple subject. I got suspended indefinitely and am here stuck at home..” I raised my hands.
“My father won’t even talk to me. You know what though”, I sighed sitting up. .”am actually glad they suspended me. I feel relieved I don’t have to face those people at that school. And for my father. I really think I stopped existing to him since the day he discovered he gave birth to a son who can never pass a single exam.” I expressed myself to the woman before me.
I expected her to tell me off but I was shocked she smiled at me.

” come here, lets take a walk to the garden” she told me and held my hand to stand up.
I stood and walked with her past the living room where my sister’s sat watching some movies.
” I had a son like you,” she started.
” You did” I asked surprised. How come we never see him around and you have never bothered to bring him here?
” Well, it’s a long story. My child” my son should have been 30 years old this year. ”
” what happened? You said should have?” I asked impatiently.
Aunty Nelly smiled calmly but in a way that I sensed she was hiding some deep pain.
” Yeah, he died about 12 years ago before I came to work for your parents. Back in my village” she started and I stood frozen.

” oh God what happened to him.? Am sorry aunty Nelly I never knew you had to go through that all these years. How come you never said anything to me?” I asked her as we sat down on the bench in the garden.
It was a cold afternoon but the surrounding in the garden looked amazing as the small flowers were sprout and the green onions the gardener had planted where green.
I watched aunty Nelly relax as she evidently pushed back her tears. Her face now getting a little older and some two lines forming down her eyes.

” my son was 2 years younger than you when he died. He was a very strong boy. A good fisherman. Him and my husband where always out fishing and he loved it so much. He however had another deep desire. He always wanted to dance and sing.”
“What! I sat up. Dance? ” I asked. I had not expected it. I mean hearing another man had a passion to dance. I sometimes thought here in Zambia i was the only one with a crazy dream.
” Yeah,” she smiled.”My son just like you loved dancing so much. Of course not the kind of dance you do. What do you call It? She asked with a laugh.
” Ballroom dance” I smiled raising my hand.
” mnmmm yeah not that one. He was a traditional dancer and back in our village in Luapula a man was defined by his ability to either hunt or fish. Not the stupid dancing. My husband back then and I tried all we could to talk him out of it but it all fall on deaf eyes.
He one day ran away from home and joined a dancing group in the city and that was the last I saw of my beautiful boy.”

I saw aunty Nelly shed a tear and I moved closer and hugged her. She was indeed hurting and I felt bad I had to insist she told me more.
” So so what happened to him?” I asked when she was calm.
She stood up and walked to the small orange tree, twisting the leaves. ” he was found dead along the road. We just saw some police officers at our village. They came to give us that sad news and told us our son was killed by some gang members who wanted the money he had made that night dancing in the show. You know what hurt the most.? I wished I had a chance to accept his dream and let him do as he desired. Maybe he wouldn’t have ran away and got killed. Up to date I still can’t forgive myself for his death.
I contributed to his dying cause I couldn’t accept my son’s passion. My husband and I always fought about it. We blamed each other day and night and he become unbareable when he started drinking a lot. I ran away from the village and that’s how I found myself here. My friend helped me get this job.” She sighed…
“Well, Aunty Nelly I didn’t know. It’s so sad am truly sorry for that. It’s really a sad story and I dont know what to tell you really,” I whispered to her.

She wiped her tears and smiled. ” you remind me of my son so much Jay. I know you love dancing and am sad to see that over the days You have even stopped dancing. You are killing your dream and thats why you are so angry. You need to let yourself out my son, not everyone will understand but you have to accept who you really are.”
” who am I Aunty? ” I asked weakly. ” i I don’t think I know that now. For starters my parents will never understand me. You see how they rebuke me over this dancing. They used to allow me dance when I was a kid but now they won’t hear the word ” dance” from my lips without getting mad at me” I complained as I sat back in the chair.
” follow your heart my boy, I don’t want you to end up like my son. If you don’t let it out you will kill yourself slowly and by the time you realise it, it will be too late. Don’t let the world define you. You have a heart of your own and it will guide you. Try to get your parents understand” she added and kissed my forehead before walking back to the house leaving me staring at the green onions.

For some hour or so I stayed in the garden. Aunty Nelly’s words ringing in my mind. But I couldn’t figure out the way of telling my parents I wanted to dance . I just couldn’t.
I walked back to the house defeated. I totally lost hope of being happy. Even when the words of aunty Nelly kept banging on my heart. I still felt confined.
A week past and my parents weren’t talking to me. I decided to stay in my room and do nothing. When I got out I would walk down the road aimlessly and watch people walk or drive by.
One evening I came back from my usual walks and my father followed me in my room.
I stood up and looked at him, he looked around the room and frowned indicating for me to sit down.
” Jared” , be begun. ” i have tried everything I could as a father to make you into a man. I took you to one of the best schools in town and you repaid me with insults by becoming so unruly and getting yourself suspended more than I can recall. The only reason you stayed in that school is because your mother knows the principle there. Otherwise they could have expelled you a long time ago.

Now tell me, what do you want my son? What is it that you lucky in this house that has led you to your current behaviour?” He asked me
I shifted uncomfortably on my bed.
I watched my father who didn’t move his eyes from me. He’s stare getting to me.
I cleared my throat and got courage looking at how calm he was. I thought of the words of aunty Nelly ” try to let your parents understand you”
” well father,” I started. ” i… I don’t like school. I don’t seem to understand anything at all no matter how much I try. I swear I tried studying but I couldn’t just get it. Sometimes I feel I heard every thing the teacher says but in the end when it comes to write I don’t seem to remember a thing. It’s like I can’t match the questions with the things I study or hear.

” I paused to look at dad, who’s face didn’t show any emotions. He was quite and I jumped in my heart. Glad that I got him to understand me finally.
I sat up encouraged as I poured my heart out.
” what I love the most and find it so easy to do is ball room dancing, you know,” I shrugged. ” Salsa, waltz, …..” I went on metioning the dances to him and I couldn’t finish my list when I felt my head turn round in circles.
I fall on my back in the bed holding my cheek where dad’s slap had landed.
Shocked in the moment as I saw my father’s eyes turn red with anger.
” now, listen to me you good for nothing boy, this is the last time you will ever say that to my face. How dare You?. Here I am trying to get you to reason like a man and you go about spitting in my face you hate school and love that, that , stupid dancing thing,” he stammered in his last words.
” not in my house, you hear. Not under my roof with that bulshit. Now let me warn you. If I hear anything about your unruly behaviour and you dancing around. Tstststst” he clicked his tongue.
” that is the day you will stop being my son.” He snapped and walked out..
” pack your clothes you are going to a boarding school tomorrow” he shouted back at me before slamming the door making me jump.

” boarding school? Seriously?” I cried shutting my eyes as the effect of the slap was still making me feel dizzy.
I cramped myself to sleep that night and wished I wouldn’t wake up. Aunty Nelly was wrong. My parents would never understand and now they are sending me away to some boarding school I didn’t even know.
“How ironic” I thought aloud.
“What a better way of pushing me out of their lives.”

To Be Continued…. . . . 

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