Tuesday, 6 June 2017


I watched him quietly from where she sat. I could tell something was bothering him yet again. He was simply not the bright and cheerful boy he used to be. Usually, T-Boy is just nine years old, but he's the live wire of the class, he's the entertainer, always singing and dancing whenever its play time. Beyond these, he's also an exceedingly gifted boy. He's smarter than his age and extremely sensitive too. He comes tops of the class and is heads and shoulders above his peers. But all of that has started to change lately. T-Boy's grades have been taking a huge drop, his performances in recent tests have been extremely disturbing. The little boy has become a shadow of his former self, you could see the sadness in his eyes. He now cuts a withdrawn and lonely figure among his peers. Without a doubt, something was wrong with the young man and as his teacher, I knew I had to find out what the problem was. That was also part of my responsibility. Two weeks ago, I'd called him aside and away from his peers when I first noticed these changes.

"T-Boy, you look very dull and unhappy", I'd begun, trying to put a little smile on my face as I talked to him. "Are you okay? Is there a problem?"
T-Boy didn't say anything, he merely looked away from
her face.
"Come on, T-Boy, talk to me, you know I'm your teacher and you can trust me. I'm worried because you have not been doing well in class and you don't look happy too. Is there a problem?"
Then, slowly, tears began to well up in his eyes before they started to roll quietly down his cute and spotless face. "My mummy and daddy...they're fighting. My daddy beat my mummy and she was crying..."
My heart sank. I became deeply apprehensive for him. This was certainly the last thing I'd expected to hear. No wonder the boy had been very sad and withdrawn. I pulled him close and gave him a long and emotional hug. Even I was trying to keep the tears from falling down my face. 
"It's okay, T-Boy, everything will be alright. Stop crying," I pacified him as wiped the tears away from his eyes. 
"See, very soon, mummy and daddy will settle their differences and they'll be friends again. They won't fight again."
"But, Aunty, why are they always fighting? They don't use to fight before.." the little boy asked.
I pulled him close again and looked at him in the eye, forcing myself to smile. I needed to do everything I could to calm him down and allay his worries.
"You're still too young to understand this, T-Boy, but adults will always argue, quarrel and fight each other, but they will always come back to settle and be friends again. So, don't worry, mummy and daddy will stop fighting and be friends again."
That was two weeks ago. The first week or so after they had that discussion, T-Boy seemed better. But now, about some days ago, he appears to have fallen into that sad and lonely state again and perhaps deeper this time.
Swiftly, I got up and walked over to his table where he'd sat, face down, on the table. I tapped him gently on the back. 
"Hey, T-Boy, are you sleeping? Are you okay?" I asked, trying to get his attention.
Slowly, the boy raised his head and looked up at me. He was in tears. I was shocked to see that his eyes had grown red from excessive crying.
"Oh, my God!" I'd exclaimed. "T-Boy, what is wrong? Are you alright?"
"Aunty, my mummy..my daddy...they fought again. And my daddy said he's going to leave me and my mummy and go away!" And he burst into tears all over again. 
I was totally speechless. And confused. I knew I had to find a way to calm T-Boy down and assure him everything would be okay. But I also knew there was another very important thing I had to do; it was time I speak with his parents, especially the mum whom I'm familiar with. Perhaps they haven't realized it, but they need to be told how much damage they're doing to their child with their fighting and quarreling right in front of their boy. T-Boy doesn't have to suffer for their inadequacies and whatever bitterness and grudge they bear towards each other. They owe him the responsibility to settle their differences as promptly as possible and conduct themselves properly before him, ensuring they keep away their petty quarreling and arguments, otherwise not only would his education suffer gravely, but his future as well.

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