CALEB! WHAT’S HE UP TO?
Marie stood there dumfounded as Caleb said ‘Hello’ to her verbally, instead of his normal ‘punches’ that signifies an “hello”
“What just happened?” Louise asked Marie, surprised!
“What happened? I’m as dumfounded as you right now, I have no idea what just happened” Marie replied
Marie usually comes to school with the knowledge that she’ll either receive a punch, a slap on her back or she’d have her water bottle rolling on the floor, by Caleb. She was only ‘five’ when Caleb started bullying her, they had transferred from their class to the other after school resumed for the new session and found Caleb there, because he repeated the class and since then they became classmates.
No one has an idea why Caleb picks on Marie, though just few people know about it. Questions have arose from the few people that know about it, and they keep wondering if he does it because he’s angry that he was asked to repeat the class, or because he just feel like picking on someone in the class, considering the fact that he’s the oldest in the class, and Marie is one of the smartest, if not the smartest.
Louise turned and watched Caleb walk until she couldn’t site him anymore. “Such a douchebag” she said
“Come on Lou, that’s rude. We shouldn’t be using such words on people, words like that are meant for only adult” Marie said
“Lillian uses that word all the time, that’s where I picked it from” Louise said
“You know Lilly is rudeness itself, she respects no one, you shouldn’t be picking up those words from her, because they are bad…
“I know Aura” Louise said
She also calls Marie Aurora, after Marie told her what the name meant, and why her aunt calls her that.
“But why are you talking in favor of this Caleb boy all of a sudden? He’s naturally rude also. And I think he’s up to something” she said
“I know Caleb has a mission Lou, but we should give him the benefit of dou…”
The school bell rang just then before she could finish what she was saying, immediately other students started running to their classes while Marie and Lou walked slowly as Marie continued talking;
“The reason why I’ve not told my parent about this Caleb bullying me always is because I know there is a reason for his behavior” she added
“What makes you think there is a reason? And what would that reason be, if there’s any?”
“There’s this guy that used to bully Coco, back in California. I told you how rude and stubborn Coco is right?”
“You did” Louise replied
“I don’t think there’s anyone in this school that’s as ruthless as that girl is, and she acts like an 18 year old. Yet there’s a guy that bullied her every time, and it turned out that he did that just to get revenge on what was happening to him at home.”
“And what would that be” Louise asked
“He was being treated badly at home and he picked on Coco because of that, because they were no one in his house he could revenge on”.
“So meaning the guy is related to Coco or what?”
“That’s the funny part. He’s not even related to her, but he just picked on her. Turned out he felt intimidated by her, considering the fact that he wanted to be the boss in school, since he was considered nothing at home” Marie replied
“Funny. So you think Caleb picks on you because he feels intimidated by you? And why would the parents of that boy treat him like that by the way?
Before Marie could say anything, Mr. Malachi ordered them to hurry up to class. But she continued talking anyway, but this time, in a hasty voice
“I think Caleb has a reason for his behavior, and we will find out pretty soon” they got into the class and sat down, and then she continued, in a whispery tone. “The boy in question is adopted, he was always the best until his adopted parents started having kids on their own, then they started treating him unjustly” she concluded
“Poor him” Louise said, then she turned back to look at Caleb but realized he was looking at them, after her eyes caught up with his, she withdrew immediately. “Do you think Caleb is adopted?” she asked
They both laughed a little bit loud, and it caught Mrs. Catherine’s attention, but she ignored them as she stood up to start her first topic for the day. But the duos continued, not minding what she was saying
“I don’t think Caleb is adopted Lou, I just think he has no one to pick on at home considering the fact that he’s the only child. So he comes to school and picks on me. Boys and their ways” Marie said
“Do you think he likes you?” Lou said with a quirky face
Marie giggled a little bit loud, and caught the attention of Mrs. Catherine again
“Are you crazy?” she asked Louise
“It’s just an honest question” she said.
The two giggled
“Marie and Louise, if the two of you don’t keep quiet now and let me do my work, I’ll send you out. You understand?” Mrs. Catherine scolded
“Yes Mrs Catherine, we are sorry Miss” the duo answered in unison
“What’s with her? She looks weird today” Marie whispered to Louise
“No idea” Louise said.
The duo ‘Louise and Marie’ are known to be the spoilt but intelligent little brats in school. There are known for traveling abroad for every single holiday. Marie goes to California, while Louise goes to Paris for all their holidays. The previous holiday, the duos went to Paris together and they plan to go to California together for the next holiday.
Later that day, Caleb walked up to them during break period and told them he knew they were discussing him earlier, and gave them a ‘strict’ warning. In his words;
“The fact that I said good morning to you this morning should not give you the grounds to sit and talk about me. I’m just trying to be cool with you. The next time I see you discussing me, I’ll not take it lightly with the two of you”
The duo obviously knew they were talking about him, so they didn’t have the ground to object to what he said. Instead they were a little taken aback, considering the fact that he acted all nice in the morning.
Three weeks earlier, during Marie’s 10th birthday party, Caleb showed up uninvited and before he left he presented a little gift to Marie. That gift is so far the best gift Marie has received.
She was intrigued that ‘Caleb’ gave her a gift, and made sure it was the last of the gifts she would burst open that day. After she opened every single gift given to her that day, she inhaled deeply as she was about to open the best gift so far.
Caleb had wrapped the present carefully and she made sure she opened it carefully too in order not to ruin whatever it is that was inside of it. And carefully she opened the present until she came across what was supposed to be the best birthday gift ever but turned out to be the worst birthday gift ever.
She thought Caleb felt guilty and sorry after what he gave to her on her birthday, that’s why he was acting nice all of a sudden. Whether she’s right, is what no one knows now.
After the good morning, Caleb acted all nice for weeks and those weeks have been the best for Marie in school so far because she goes to school with one mind. Unlike before, she went to school knowing that Caleb would definitely say a good morning and a goodbye.
After the long and free weeks without bully Caleb, he finally came up to her and asked if he could sit with her during lunch. Surprisingly she accepted. He sat there with the three duos; Marie, Louise and Lilly and they ate and chatted well, then he left, leaving surprises on their faces.
Lillian who is known as Lilly is 11 years old, the 3rd and oldest of the ‘spoilt but intelligent brats’, only the odd number among them. She claims that she goes to Canada every holiday, and claims her parents are rich and claims everything in the world. Her parents are well to do for a fact, and she has gone to Canada a few times to visit her aunt and cousins, but not as frequent as she claims to. Marie and Louise are the only ones that know about this of course, but gave her a chance to walk and do things with them after all what are friends for? Coupled with the fact that she lies and is rude and disrespectful, they found some things in her to keep her going, which are her good heart and the fact that she’s intelligent and is the best friend they both have.
After school, Caleb offered to walk Marie home, which is so not him. The Caleb we all know is the one that chases Marie home thereby making her miss the bus, not the Caleb that walks people home. “What is Caleb up to?” Lilly asked
On their way home they talked about a lot, which even made Marie more surprised that he’s actually a nice person.
They walked a distance, silently. Marie trying to break the silence spoke out. “So tell me exactly why you’ve been picking on me all along” she said
“I’ve just loved picking on you” he replied “I don’t have a specific reason for that” he added
“I know you think because I’m 10 I’m that dumb huh”
“You, 10?” he asked “ask your parents to tell you your real age kid” he said
“you know you’re just 3 years older than me, so you should know how you label me ‘kid’” she said “besides why are you doubting my age? You’re trying to tell me that my parents don’t know when they gave birth to me anymore?”
“First of all,” he said “that right there is the reason why I said you should meet your parents and ask questions. Maybe they gave birth to your brain and your inner self before they gave birth to your body, because you don’t act like a 10 year old” he added
“Oh, so that’s the reason why you picked on me, because I act more matured than my age?” she asked
“I already told you that I just felt like picking on you, it was all for the fun of it”
“It wasn’t fun for me you know” she said, this time with an attitude “you made yourself look like a bully, and people became scared of you because of the way you treated me”
“That’s why I picked on you alone. I noticed how smart and matured you were, and I decided to pick on you because I noticed you as a girl that wouldn’t talk about her bully to her parents”
“What makes you think I didn’t tell anybody about it?” she asked
“Because you’re not the type” he answered
“Well, I told my aunt about it. And you’re very lucky that I didn’t make so much emphasis on how you treated me, because she would have visited your home” she said
“fine then” he said “but the truth is I picked on you because I wanted to see if there’s more to you than what we see in school everyday”
“Now what did you see?” she asked
“I saw a strong 5 year old girl who became a 10 year old but acts like a 14 or 15 year old spoilt American brat. She’s smart, mulishly cute, troublesome and a talkative.”
Little Marie smiled and thanked him for that, but still demanded to know why he became nice all of a sudden
“You know I’ve not yet gotten over the thing you gave me on my birthday”
He laughed “you know after every term you write exams, that’s my own exam for you”
“Very funny” she said
“Seriously” he said “I know I was going to be nice to you from that day so I decided to round it up with a big one” he added
“You know I almost fainted after I opened and saw a scorpion. You know, that I act and talk like a 15 year old spoilt American brat doesn’t mean I’m not a child of my age. I get scared of anything that crawls” she said petulantly
“I’m sorry about that” he said “so how did you manage to get rid of it without your parents knowing? Because honestly I’ve been waiting for them to approach me or the principal ever since then”
“I screamed” she said “I almost fainted like I told you. My dad rushed in, but I only told him there was a scorpion in my room, and he killed it”
“You know that was all I was looking for, to know how you were going to handle that. There’s a lot more to me hitting you always and giving you scorpion as a birthday gift” he said “I picked you for a reason; I wanted to believe in, or trust someone in that school. I know it’s the worst way for me to trust, but it was the best for me” he added
“You know you’ve said so many things that make no sense to me here, but I’ll just ignore and pretend I didn’t hear you.” She said “so tell me exactly why you had to repeat a class” she asked
“I actually didn’t repeat that class because I failed, nobody except the principal and Miss Monica that knows about it, with you now of course.” He replied
“I was sick. That’s what happened”
“How about your parents”
“My dad left when I was 2 years old and hasn’t seen him since then, my mum works 3 jobs just to sustain me. Pay my fees, put food on my table and buy clothes for me, not only me but her mum who has been with us for 5 years now” he said “I hardly see her most times” he added
“I’m so sorry Caleb, I had no idea you were going through all these things” she said
“It’s ok. I saw how you were being treated on your birthday, and I almost cried, because it’s all I’ve ever wanted, a happy family.”
At that point little Marie wished she was really the adult people says she acts like. Because she felt like holding him on her arms and pamper him like a child that just lost his parents to a tragic car crash. She realized they were drawing closer to her house, and she wished they could go all the way back and start the walk afresh. She has never talked to a boy this long before.
“I know you feel bad for me, but don’t worry, I’m fine. I’m used to everything now so it’s not a big deal anymore.” He said, like he read what was on her mind.
“I wish I could do something Caleb. But I’ll talk to my dad to help you out” she said
“That’s far from the reason why I wanted to be close to you and share part of my story. I knew you were going to say that, but don’t worry about me. I’m now on scholarship and everything is cool at home. So don’t put any burden on your dad” he said
She became really convinced that there’s a lot more to Caleb than what they know him as, he only needed to be close to and trust someone. As they drew closer to her home, they stood at her gate when he dropped the bomb. The reason why he’s been behaving the way he’s been behaving. The saddest thing she has heard in her 10th years of existence
She managed to bid farewell to him that day, but couldn’t wait for the next day, because it’s the beginning of friendship with him. She obviously has a story to tell her fellow brats in the morning, only that she’ll have to cut out a part of the story
He had told her something very sad about himself, which made her cry all night. She had promised to keep it to herself until the right time before any other person get to know about it. But for how long is she going to keep it to herself is what is going to be the problem, because it’s not worth keeping from people, not her mum or dad, not her fellow brats, and not even me and you.
Marie has refused to tell me what Caleb told her, so I’m sorry peeps, we will eventually get to know about it later on. But I must clear your doubt that he was not adopted, because it was the first thing I asked Marie. But she said it would have been better if he was adopted, or better still picked on the road. “That’s how bad it is”, Marie said to me.
We will eventually know that secret. And I can’t wait for her to tell me so I can share it with you guys ☹☹☹
See you on the next episode!!!