About a week ago on Wednesday, Sam was late home from school. On Wednesday the school day ends an hour early, at 2.10 p.m. Not always convenient, but he should be home by 3.00. At 4.15 The Man said to me, "Isn't Sam a bit late?" I had been so absorbed catching up with my blog reading I hadn't noticed. And to be honest, I had forgotten it was Wednesday. Also it is now lighter so much later that I often lose complete track of the time.
As he often drops by a friend's house on the way home, I assumed that he had done this and forgotten to call. So about 15 minutes later I called the friend, but Sam was not there. I was a bit worried, but didn't want to panic. About five minutes later I got my coat on and was about to see if I could find him, when much to my relief the doorbell rang.
I opened the door to find a rather serious, slightly disheveled Sam, with a very dirty school blazer. "What happened? I was just about to go looking for you...?"
"I got into a fight," and then, "Did the school call?"
"No," I replied, slightly taken aback. "Did you get in a fight with one of your friends?" I asked.
"Nooo...", he rather hesitated. "Just a boy."
When I asked him "Who", Sam claimed he did not know.
Getting more information out of him was getting more and more difficult. Finally, exasperated, I said, "OK, Sam I am going to call the school," and I turned around to get the number from my desk.
Then he said, "Grandma, I didn't get into a fight."
I sat down again and told him that he had better tell me what happened.
I can still see him sitting on the couch, his face pale with fear and with something else... Sam was extremely uncomfortable. "I don't know how to tell you," he almost whispered and it looked as if his eyes were tearing up. In fact, they were. And the more I urged him to tell me what was wrong, the more upset and tearful he became.
Fortunately, as his distress grew, I became very calm -- but I couldn't imagine what had happened that would have upset him so very much.
"Did you cheat on a test?" I guessed...
"We you doing something you shouldn't in the boys lavatory?" Thinking of certain urinary competitions boys are rumoured to sometimes have...
"Were you caught having sex with one of the girls?"
"NO! How could you think I would do anything like that, Grandma!" Well, at least he hadn't lost his sense of indignation, went through my mind...
"Sam," I explained, "You are going to have to tell me what happened, because if you don't I am going to have to call the school."
"It's a long story," he said, tears welling up again.
"Well, begin at the beginning..." I prompted him.
And so the explanation of his predicament began...
(To be continued...)