Pish-Posh Post

Missed Chance!

Ben was well upset at missing the Ginger-Fest (otherwise known as the Red-haired festival in Breda, Netherlands this past weekend).

He and his family wanted to go, but they felt it wouldn’t be complete without Becky attending along with them – so they opted out.

Unfortunately, they weren’t able to be included in the number for the record, which in total, made it to 1,255 natural redheads (or gingers) gathered at Breda this past weekend. That meant the city of Breda now claims the world record in the Guinness Book of Records – topping only 890 red-headed folks that was set in the State of Washington (US) back in 2010!

A report in the Dutch News said that between 4 and 5 thousand natural redheads from around the world showed up for the event in Breda, but that only 1,255 met the legal rules set by Guinness.

The redheads had to stand between gates for 10 minutes in order to qualify for the record.

Ben is still kicking himself for missing it!

Ginger Fest in Breda, Netherlands

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Clubs

Some of you have asked about when the clubs at school start.

The Chess Club, Theatre Club, Garden Club, Art Club, Reading Club, and soon a few new clubs that will most likely get underway in the next few weeks. They are in process of being organized and formed with interested lads being recruited, along with adult supervisors chosen.

The Dean Master wanted to stress the fact of the lads FIRST dwelling on getting a routine for their studies, as opposed to getting involved in Clubs right at the start of the school year.

I personally think that is a well wise move and decision on his part!

So when the clubs start getting underway, I will surely let everyone know.

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Carel – Boarding vs. Transit Student

Some of you have also asked why Carel is still a boarder as opposed to being a transit student now that he has moved to a new home with his more stable family and being his dad and Mum are now gainfully employed.

Well, it is quite simple why he is still a boarder – for now, at least.

Carel was the first recipient of the Promise of Hope Scholarship Fund. He was honoured a FULL tuition for as long as he was attending our school. He has the choice to switch to being a transit, but at this point, he is choosing to stay a boarder as he has discussed this with his parents, the Dean Master, and even the school Doctor, the Dorm Master, as well as my dad and I.

According to the Dean Master, Carel has become quite the asset as a “leader” of his Dorm AND Form, and the lads love him so and want him to stay a boarder. He feels being a boarder is the best for him at this point – but he also has the choice to become a transit student as well. He will make that decision before the end of the First Term.

He is also staying a boarder because it is a huge benefit to Pieter. The two have become closer that ever. Since Pieter IS a boarder and also living with Carel and his family on weekends and Holidays now, they have become quite close, like brothers.

This is a beautiful thing not only for Carel and Pieter, but for Carel’s family, and the Harpers at the Music Store, who are quite happy to see that their little Pieter might have just found a permanent family to really call his own!

Carel (look-a-like)

Pieter (look-a-like)

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Sad Day

Granny and Gramps left this morning back to Maidstone – and they will be missed tremendously until they return again. That might not be until the upcoming holidays.

But there is a chance that Mum might pay a week’s visit back to Maidstone. That is IF dad and I can convince her she needs a break and some rest AWAY from taking care of me.

I told her that between dad and Ben, I’d be fine. It’s taking a bit of convincing, but the possibility is moving forward!

***********************************************

Pills and Chemo

I am still doing the Chemo drip, as you all well know. I was also put back on the Chemo pill.

But there is a bit of a difference!

When the Doctor first prescribed the Chemo pill to me, he told me I could either take it in the morning or in the evening with either breakfast or dinner.

After explaining some of the possible side effects, I opted to take the pill in the morning with my breakfast. That way, during the day, I could monitor if any side effects took place. One of those was also the chance of having a blood clot or some other blockage that could form in my bloodstream – mainly in my legs or even my arms!

UGH! That was all I needed!

So I decided the best time to take the pill was in the morning so in case I got one of those clots, I would at least be awake and be able to scream or act on it right away and get to the hospital fast – rather than being asleep at night and having the clot possibly move and . . . well, we won’t go THERE!

So this last series of my prescription of the pill, I decided to start taking the Chemo pill in the evening, right after I ate. Because one of the other main side effects was the fact that taking that pill made me a bit drowsy and zapped my energy level!

So I concluded: What better time to be drowsy and zapped of energy? When I was sleeping at night – not trying to be alert and perky during the day!

And now that I am on that new schedule of Chemo Pill at night, and not during the day, I have MORE energy in the day time, and sleep a load better at night!  BRILLIANT!

I do have a Chemo drip session tomorrow, and Mum will be with me. I plan to convince her she SHOULD go to Maidstone for that visit.

I also hope to convince her that maybe while she’s gone, Ben could spend the nights that I have my Chemo session the next day, and get permission from his folks and the Dean Master to come with me to sit while I have my sessions when Mum is gone.

Just a thought – but a GRAND one none the less!

Posted in Miscellaneous, My Chums, My Family, School Days | 7 Comments

Bert

Tuesday

Had the Chemo drip Tuesday morning, but it was OK and didn’t seem to get me as knackered this time.

The thing I will most likely start to hate is having those sessions take me out of school! It was an 8:00 am session, so I was able to take the tram to school with Erik and say hey to all my chums in Base – with a hug and quick kiss to my Ben. Then we headed to Chapel before Mum and Granny picked me up to take me to the hospital.

Granny and Gramps leave for Maidstone on Thursday.

I was also glad to know Theo and Kees made to safely to school on the tram! They didn’t need to use their whistles, although I was certain Kees wanted to give it a quick try. Theo talked him out of it!

I still think they both are a bit sceptical, and Theo did confide in me that he and Kees kept a close eye over their shoulders for any sign of lurking thugs.

“But riding the tram for free is a treat for Kees and me, Amar!” Theo told me. Evidently he didn’t associate his School I.D. as also being a pass to ride the trams for “free”. LOL!

I missed A-Levels Maths and most of my language (Dutch) Tuesday morning, but got the tail-end of Dutch before heading straight to Lunch. That God my afternoon classes weren’t interrupted!

But one of the main reasons I didn’t post Tuesday was because I have to spend more time on my studies when I have a Chemo Session. That’s important as I don’t want to fall any more behind than I already am.

****************

Wednesday (today)

I was able to have a nice private chat with Bert today.

Bert is a nice lad, a 9th Former, and I was glad to get to know him better. He is a local transit, and did exceptionally well on his Entrance Exams, hence his acceptance into our school. His grade points are quite impressive as well, and the Dean Master and School Board wasted no time signing his admission papers.

He is a quiet, modest lad and jokingly chalks that up to being studious; loving to read, study, and dwell more on his school work and grades as opposed to trying to be a social person.

Bert (look-a-like)

Don’t get me wrong! He is not a recluse or anything – he just knows how and when to set his priorities, and they happen to be his school work first with all other things following. I admire that, and I see a little bit of me in him.

He lives about 6 blocks up from Theo, which is a bit better part of Amsterdam proper – but still considered in the poorer section. Bert is the oldest and has two younger sisters and two younger brothers. Both his parents are working parents and according to Bert, sometimes struggle to make ends meet.

He was fortunately awarded full Mission of Hope Scholarship money and accepted the lower fund of being a transit as opposed to a boarder. He said on his Entrance Exam that he felt he needed to be a transit to help out as much at home as possible. Another thing I admired about him! It also well impressed the Dean Master and the Board of Directors.

“It would just be a temporary assignment, Bert.” I told him after lunch as we walked to the Media Centre to have our chat. “A few weeks tops. Possibly to the end of September until Theo and Kees feel more comfortable riding the tram alone, and those thugs are a distant memory to them.”

“I suppose I could get on my tram and transfer a block from Theo and Kees tram stop, then walk down to theirs.” Bert contemplated quietly. “I just don’t want them to think I’m babysitting for them though, Amar.”

I had to chuckle!

“That’s exactly what Theo said, Bert.” I told him. “You three should get along just fine. Just consider this as more a Buddy System rather than a babysitting service. After all, you three are pretty close to the same age and all.”

So after a few more questions and sorting things out, Bert agreed to take on the task and would ride the tram and keep an eye on Theo and Kees for the next three weeks until they were safely at the haven of school.

**************

“I like him!” Kees said after I had introduced Bert to him and Theo during final Base, and Bert had hurried back to his to gather his books.

“Yeah, he’s OK,” Theo nodded. “Not bad for a babysitter.” He added jokingly, causing us to laugh.

And so it was set! Bert would ride the tram to and from school with Theo and Kees, and I was confident the threesome would quickly become grand chums!

That’s a WONDERFUL thing!

Posted in My Chums, School Days | 5 Comments

Seeking Solutions

I think I should give you an idea of who the new LOCAL lads are who attend our school now. They are new this school year, and I’m sure over the course of the year I (we) will get to know them much better.

Six of the new lads are attending due to the Promise of Hope Scholarship Fund, and the others are not, but if they or their family in any way struggle to meet any of the tuition or have other financial problems, they have the help of the scholarship fund to fall back on.

NEW LOCAL LADS – 2012–13 School Year:

7th Form TRANSIT – Nico and Kees

7th Form BOARDING – Daan

8th Form TRANSIT – Theo, Davy, Bert

8th Form BOARDING – Sander, Vance

9th Form BOARDING – Gerrit

USING SCHOLARSHIP FUND – Theo, Kees, Daan, Sander, Vance, Gerrit

Hopefully this gives you a better idea of who these lads are, so when I mention them, you can basically associate who is who.

***************

Saturday

“Let’s just get five whistles, Ben.” I said, taking one more from the box at the Sporting Store. “I’d rather be safe than sorry if someone also wants one and I don’t have an extra.”

“It will surely sound like a circus tent if they all blow at the same time, Love.” Ben joked, causing us both to laugh. “But it can only help.”

“My guess is the other 8th Formers, Davy and Bert won’t want one.” I said, walking to the counter to pay the clerk.

“Your guess is probably right, Amar, but I still think it is a brilliant idea!”

“I’m just seeking solutions, Ben, and for now, it’s an inexpensive warning system for the thugs!” I winked at Ben as we left the store.

This was the day Ben and I teamed up to pay a visit to the neighbourhood where Theo and Kees lived. It would be a challenge for us, but I was bound and determined to seek as many solutions as possible and find the one that suited our two new sceptical lads the best.

It was also a grand help having Ben by my side, as it is always heart-warming to me to have my main protector with me.

According to Theo, this was also the same neighbourhood those two thugs lived in, since it was in the same proximity of their school (also Theo and Kees’ old school, as well as Carel’s).

The other benefit was that Ben and I had asked Carel to meet up with us, since he too grew up in this same neighbourhood and well knew his way around – as well as knowing the “ropes” and how to deal with the people who lived here.

To me, it was like Déjà vu all over again since I had visited Carel last year, but I know to Carel, it was both remembering his childhood growing up here, and at the same time, feeling a bit of nostalgia coming back. He was even pleased that some of the tenants and folk mingling and lounging about recognized him! (Actually, Ben and I were well glad also!)

We assumed Kees was visiting, or had even spent the night, since there was a small, rusted bike parked at the lower base of the damp concrete steps leading down to Theo’s home.

It turned out; Theo lived in a basement apartment. A tiny hole in the ground with only one bedroom – a series of nailed-together boards and rough plywood haphazardly put together for a bit of privacy for Theo’s father.

Theo’s “area” was a ragged couch with a rumpled sheet, a blanket, and two stained, dirty pillows in the opposite corner next to the open kitchenette. It was well obvious the couch was a shared bed with Kees stayed the night. A clothesline hanging from two walls was his only privacy when he pulled the blanket closed. He had a small table at the end of the couch where it was obvious he did his studies, and a tiny bookshelf with a handful of books – two Harry Potter books, a Bible, and pleasing to me, a set of four worn books by Charles Dickens!

Kees was indeed there, but we were even MORE pleased that the two lads were quite glad to see the three of us, and welcomed us with hugs and smiles!

Theo and Kees were the only ones in the dark, dingy apartment when we arrived, and the two were busy frying and grilling toast and a slice of smoked fish with one scrambled egg. The pungent smell stung our nostrils as we walked in, but it mellowed a bit as Kees brewed a small metal pot of thick, black coffee on the two burner stove.

“My father works night shifts, and he will be home and expecting his breakfast.” Theo explained. “He’ll eat quickly, sip his bitter coffee and then move on to his bedroom and sleep most of the day.”

Kees smiled and nodded in agreement to the routine of his chum’s father. “But he will give us both a hug and thank us for his breakfast before he does.” Kees shrugged, blushing.

********

As the breakfast warmed in the small oven below the stovetop, I explained as best I could what I felt would be the outcome of the decision of the Dean Master and the School Board as to the fate of whether Theo and Kees would be boarding lads, or remain transit lads.

They seemed to accept either, although I think Kees was more disappointed that he possibly wouldn’t get the chance to indulge in the life of a boarding lad – with a nice bed, showers, and other fine amenities and all.

“This is not saying things could change in the future, and I promise not to give up hope if you two don’t give up hope, OK?” I told them.

“Trust Amar,” Ben put in. “Between him and Carel and I, and probably others coming on board, things will work out in the end for the better.”

“Carel has agreed to take the tram here to your place on Monday mornings after his weekend staying at his house, so he can ride with you two to school.” I explained. “No more walking for now. That’s why you both have tram passes, and it will help you in avoiding another encounter with those two thugs again.”

I handed them both a whistle with a chain to put around their necks, and I got quite the quizzical look!

“What are these for?” Theo asked, intrigued as Kees blew his and giggled.

“If you see those thugs coming toward you before you can make it to the tram,” Carel explained. “Blow the whistles! That will startle them and also draw attention. Trust me, Robin and Pieter used the whistles Amar got them, and it worked like a charm!”

Both Theo and Kees smirked widely and laughed after blowing their whistles.

“I’m going to talk to some of the other local lads who are attending our school and see if they might have any ideas or suggestions.” I said.

Theo suddenly seemed to be becoming a bit sceptical and his comment proved that. “We DON’T need a babysitter, Amar!” He grunted.

“But I don’t want to get beat up again, Theo.” Kees whispered painfully. “And you could get hurt again.”

Theo sighed in calm defeat just as the door clicked open and there stood a burly, greasy, man with a worn tote that he dropped on the floor. He looked at Ben, Carel, and I before he looked at Kees and then his son for an explanation.

As Theo explained in Dutch, the man washed his hands at the grimy sink while Kees proceeded to take the warm plate from the oven with a towel wrapped around his hand, and set it at the table. Then Kees handed the man the towel as he dried his hands, sat down at the table, and proceeded to gulp down the fish, egg, and toast, sipping cautiously at the steaming black coffee, and belching quietly a few times.

When he finished his plate of food, he almost daintily dabbed at his mouth with the towel before sipping more coffee and looking at the lot of Ben, Carel, and I.

“Dank u voor het kijken uit voor Theo en Kees om ze in ew fijne school.” (Thank you for looking out for Theo and Kees and getting them into your fine school.) The man said, looking directly at me and smiling. “Ze zijn goed jongens. (They are good boys.)

“U bent van harte welkom. Ja, ze zijn goed jongens.” (You are very welcome. Yes, they are good boys.) I nodded.

With that, his smile grew wider as he gulped down the rest of his coffee, pushed his chair out and stood before he reached out and shook Ben and Carel’s hand. Then, to my surprise, he gave me a hug and a clap on the back before he hugged his son and Kees, kissing them twice on each cheek.

Without another word, he disappeared through the makeshift opening in his “plywood bedroom” and even before Ben, Carel, and I left a bit later, he was snoring like a sluggish locomotive rumbling up a steep incline.

*********

Monday (today)

The Dean Master gave me the word first thing this morning that the School Board of Directors at this point in time felt it not necessary for Theo and Kees to switch from transit to boarding.

I accepted their decision without debate, knowing I was already seeking other solutions.

Posted in Miscellaneous, My Chums, Uncategorized, Weekends | 6 Comments

Laying Low

I will be laying a bit low these next few days.

Had a Chemo drip session late this morning, and am a bit tired, and I didn’t eat any lunch since I wasn’t hungry after. The Doctor is also putting me back on the Chemo “pill”, which I’m not looking forward to because of the side effects and tiredness. But I have to do what I have to do, and the Doctor is in charge of my treatment.

That doesn’t mean I can’t hate going through it.

I don’t know if it is because it was Friday today and the end of the first week of school or what, but it seemed everyone was a bit “low key” today.

Theo and Kees were in school, and made it without any problems, but they both seemed a bit sullen. Theo’s nose was still a little swollen, but he said he could deal with it. I barely heard Kees mumble a word all day.

The Dean Master was hardly seen today, and I even asked his secretary about it, and she told me he just had a busy schedule with several meetings. One of which was with some of the members of the School Board of Directors.

I won’t speculate or even anticipate anything at this point. What will be, will be when it comes to the decision about Theo and Kees. All I can hope for is the best outcome – and I have hope and confidence that it will happen no matter if the two are able to board or not.

I do appreciate all of the advice I received in comments about yesterday’s post, and at this point, all I can do is be patient.

Ben was my big help today, and I have gotten many hugs and winks from him to help boost my spirits after I got back to school from my Chemo session.

Right now, I just wish I could be watching the sunset at the North Sea with Ben at my side.

Posted in Miscellaneous, School Days, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

An Unfortunate Day from Hell!

Honestly, I thought it was just another normal school day for being the third one at the start of the year – but it appears things well happen now and again that are way beyond our control!

I will have to admit, I was somewhat inwardly glad that this event took place early in the year, rather than later. It would have been much harder to deal with a month or two from now.

As Ben filled you in quite “basically” with his short post of yesterday, I will tell you about the events now in detail.

It is about Theo and Kees (pronounced “Key-Ace” in Dutch).

*********

Erik and I had just gotten off the tram, but he scurried inside to meet up with Parker as they wanted to check in a new shipment of plant starters the Garden Club ordered for the Green House. So I lingered outside waiting for Ben’s tram to show up.

David came up to me and waited with me, but it wasn’t long before he had a worried look in his eyes as he looked over and past my shoulder.

“Oh, shit, Amar.” He grunted. “I think we have problem.”

“Problems can turn into solutions, David,” I half-joked, but then realized he was dead serious and his comment caught me off guard because David rarely swears openly. I then diverted my eyes to the direction behind me where he was looking.

It was Kees, at a distance down the block, running with a limp toward us. As the lad approached, Ben was just getting off his tram. There was panic and hurt in Kees’ tear-filled eyes, and his face was smudged and dirty; his school uniform dishevelled where spots of blood were visible on the once white shirt, and there was a tear in the sleeve. He didn’t have his school tote with him either, and his torn trousers at the knee showed a bit of blood.

“What happened, Kees?” I asked as the trembling lad came right up to me and burst into sobs as he hugged me tight. “Where’s Theo?”

“They beat us up, Amar!” He barely gulped from his heaving, sobbing chest.

“Who beat you up, Kees?” Ben growled, gritting his teeth and clenching his fist, as was I.

“Some jongens (lads/boys) from our old school,” Kees cried. “Theo ran away too cuz he got hurt.”

I was literally fuming by then as I looked at David.

“Go tell the Dean Master, David.” I instructed, handing him my tote to put in Base. “Kees and I are going to go find Theo.”

“Not alone, you’re not, Amar!” Ben said firmly, giving his tote to David also. “I’m going with you two!”

Kees was a bit reluctant just then at possibly facing the “thugs” once again, but he seemed to gain his confidence quickly as he looked at both Ben and I walking by his side as we hurried back to find Theo.

**********

About four blocks from our school, Kees stopped and looked around. Ben and I noticed a few scattered notebook papers and some scatterd, broken pencils on the ground as Kees walked to the edge of the rail and looked down into the canal.

“There are some of our school books, Amar.” Kees sighed. “Theo’s tote sank and I think my just floated away.”

“Don’t worry about your books or tote, Kees.” I said, putting my hand on his shoulder. “Those will be replaced. Let’s just concern ourselves in finding Theo, OK?”

Kees nodded as he led Ben and me down another block and around the corner. That’s when I saw Theo’s shadowy figure curled up in a dark entrance-way. He was sobbing quietly and he looked a mess!

There was a tear in both of his new trouser’s knees, and there was only one button left on his dirty and torn not-so-white shirt. There was also a streak of blood drops spotting the once white fabric.

It took my breath away when he looked up and saw us, and I immediately went to his side and hugged him into me. There was still a bit of wet blood dripping from his nose, and I felt it dampen my shoulder as Theo wept softly into me.

“I don’t want to be in your school anymore, Amar.” Theo looked up at me as tears crept slowly down his smudged cheeks. “This will happen again to Kees and me, I know, and I don’t want him to get hurt.”

“Shhh, Theo, don’t think like that right now, OK?” I whispered, pulling my handkerchief from my back pocket and handing it to him as he dabbed at his sore, bloody nose. “We’ll get things sorted out. I promise.”

“But my books are gone!” Theo grunted angrily. “And my assignments I worked so hard on to finish. GONE, Amar! Gone into the canal! I QUIT!”

“So do I, Amar!” Kees echoed.

“Theo! Kees! Stop this rubbish talk!” I said firmly, lifting Theo’s chin with my hand so he would look at me. “DON’T GIVE UP! I know you are better than that! So is Kees!” I added, looking at the younger lad who had knelt down next to his chum. “We’ll work something out so this doesn’t happen again – just trust me, OK?”

The two of them looked at me with quite the doubtful look as I noticed Ben step out of the entrance way and look at two thugs leaning against the railing of the canal. They were smirking, snickering and pointing hurtfully.

“That’s them,” Theo gulped as Kees hunkered down closer to his chum.

Immediately, I jumped up, but Ben stopped me cold with a firm hand on my chest. “Don’t think about it, Amar!” He hissed. “I’ll take care of this.”

I gulped for air in anger, and I felt my chest burn as I watched Ben stoically walk across the cobble street and stand firmly in front of the two thugs – who couldn’t have been any older than Theo himself. The look in their eyes turned from cocky to fearful as Ben hovered tall over the two and stared with wide, dark, angry eyes.

We couldn’t hear what Ben was saying, but whatever it was, it was to the point. I was well certain they didn’t speak much English, but I was MORE certain the tone in Ben’s voice convinced him of his message.

When one of them with tangled, greasy hair gave Ben a sour look, I gasped as my Ben grabbed the thug by the collar of his T-shirt and pushed him hard back against the rail until the lad grimaced.

Theo and Kees sucked in air as they watched, speechless as the wincing thug literally turned white in the face!

“Let them go, Ben,” I said. “Ze verdienen het niet de aandacht!” (They don’t deserve the attention!) I added in Dutch, loud enough for the two to hear me.

Still giving the two the death stare, Ben let go of the one lad and the two hurried off and disappeared around the corner. Ben went to watch, and told me later the two ran like mad and never looked back at Ben’s towering figure and angry-filled chocolate eyes!

*********

Once back at school, David was waiting for us at the front door as he helped Ben and I lead Theo and Kees inside and down the hall to the infirmary.

The Dean Master was there waiting, and he looked at me with concern, worry, and a load of relief, as the Nurse took over the care of the two hurt lads to nurse their wounds.

“I shouldn’t have put something like this past you, Amar.” The man said. “But in your condition, you shouldn’t have gone after them like that. It was a dangerous thing, and you had no idea what you or Ben could be facing. Had it turned into an army of thugs, I would not have appreciated seeing you both at the hospital emergency room!”

“I’m sorry, Sir.” I said quietly. “I thought you knew what my heart would do better than that by now.”

“Unfortunately, that’s exactly what I thought, Amar.” He said, putting his hand tenderly on my shoulder. “Are you all right?”

“Yes Sir, thank you.” I forced a smile. “I had Ben at my side, so I knew nothing very bad could have happened.”

“After the Nurse cleans those two up, I would like to meet with the four of you in my office.” The Dean Master said. “You two carry on to class now. I’ll call you out after I have a word with Mr. Theo and Mr. Kees.”

“Sir?” I looked at the man before I left. “I can’t let either of them to give up. Theo and Kees belong at our school, and I will fight as hard as I can to keep them here.”

“I know you will, Amar.” He nodded. “That’s why I depend on you. I’ll call your father and fill him in on what I know so far.”

*****************

It didn’t take long for Ben and me to be called out of class to head to the Dean Master’s Office. Once there, we were pleased to see both Theo and Kees cleaned up a bit as they sat nervously in front of the (somewhat intimidating to them) leader of our school. They were both wearing clean T-shirts and Gyms Shorts. But I was also pleased to see them relax as Ben and I walked in and sat next to the two.

“I’ve already talked to the Head of Mr. Theo and Mr. Kees’ old school, and discipline actions are in place for the two culprits.” The Dean Master explained. “Those two were skipping school and just looking for trouble. He assured me incidents like this would not happen again.”

I glanced over at Theo and he gave his eyes a quick roll.

“If you don’t try to believe that, Theo, things like this WILL happen again.” I said to him.

“I know,” He mumbled, shrugging his shoulders. “I just don’t. . .”

I knelt down and put my hand on his knee and looked him straight in the eyes. “Don’t even think about giving up, Theo. You are far better than that! Both you and Kees belong in our school. I am NOT going to let you deny that opportunity, do you understand?”

“But I’m still scared,” Kees barely whispered.

Theo turned and looked at his chum lovingly and forced a warm smile. “Don’t worry, Kees. I’ll be there to protect you, I promise. Just like Ben protects Amar.”

I felt my heart tug just then at Theo’s profound comment, and I looked up at Ben as he winked at me.

“Ben?” The Dean Master looked at my protector. “Would you accompany these two new students of ours down to the laundry room to help them find a laundered shirt and pair of trousers, please? I’d like to have a few more words with Amar.”

Ben nodded as he winked at me before gathering Theo and Kees and heading out the door.

That’s when I looked directly at the Dean Master, and before he had a chance to say anything, I spoke with firmness in my voice.

“The two of them have to become boarders, Sir.” I said matter-of-factly. “Right now it is too easy for them to give up hope if something like this happens again.”

I watched the Dean Master intently as he ran his fingers through his slightly greying hair.

“If I have to put the money up myself, Sir, I will do it.” I added. “There are plenty of funds in the Mission of Hope Scholarship Fund to make it happen. We just need the proper permission forms signed, is all. I will NOT let those two slip away, Sir! We need lads like Theo and Kees attending our school; and forgive me, but I will stop at nothing to make sure that happens.”

The Dean Master’s silence gnawed at my very soul, but I also knew somehow his mind was racing with ways to expedite my proposal. I knew in my heart that as soon as I left his office, he would be on the phone to some of the members of the School Board of Directors, not only filling them in on these events, but hopefully fighting to help them see Theo and Kees’ side.

“Carry on to your classes, Amar.” The Dean Master said softly as he picked up the phone.

“If the Board of Directors allows either one of them to slip away and give up any more hope, Sir,” I stopped and turned at the door. “Then I have not done my job, have I?”

The man’s sigh seemed to ring in my ears for the rest of the morning.

***********

It was a long time before dad said a word as I sat in his study while we went through the funds for the Mission of Hope Scholarship. Yes, the money was there – more than enough – but so was the apprehension in this entire matter.

“And when the next new local transit lad or two gets roughed up on his way to school, you’ll propose for them to become a boarder as well, Amar?” Dad said, stinging me hard.

“That’s not fair, Dad, and you know it.” I said, feeling my eyes glaze with tears. “You know I see hope in everyone. I can’t help it. But Theo and Kees are well different in my mind and heart. They had some of that hope dashed away today, but I’m going to make sure they bloody get that hope back even more!”

“I see I can’t stop your passion of determination in all this, Son.” Dad said.

“No, you cannot, dad.” I replied solemnly as I got up and headed to my room as the tears now were readily flowing down my cheeks.

Posted in Miscellaneous, My Chums, My Family, School Days | 12 Comments

Amar Faces a Challenge!

I am posting for Amar today since he is now in the midst of facing yet another challenge. This one is quite a bit different than his fight with the battle of his AML, Chemo Treatments, and such.

He mentioned he wanted me to fill you in on something major that happened today with a short post so none of you worry too much that he is not here telling you about it. He is already working on notes so he can re-create pretty much the beginning and ending facts for tomorrow’s post. Please bear with and be patient with him (as Amar would say!).

This has to do with Theo and Kees (more so, Theo, but Kees will undoubtedly be a big part as well in this). But I will be letting Amar tell you in his own descriptive words as to the events of yesterday that turned into one of his greater (and another of his many) challenges.

Amar is fine. He showed unprecedented strength and courage today, but is now quite exhausted physically and emotionally. I have been here with him to give him any comfort I can. He was definitely a Knight in Shining Armour today, and I am well proud of him. I was there – I should know.

I hate to keep you on this unfortunate “cliff-hanger”, but it HAS to be explained by Amar, and not me. Amar was the first one involved in finding the resolution, as he always seems to be in situations like this that involves any student of our school.

That’s why he is the Master Liaison. That’s why he is the Master in most everything he pursues and does in his life for others. That’s why he is Amar!

Amar is truly a Master of the Heart.

Posted in A Ben Post, Miscellaneous, School Days, Uncategorized | 10 Comments