part 99: (nicholas)

**”Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem”
-in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful-**

Tasha picked up her office phone to call the schoold back but before she could start dialling, her cellphone began to ring again. It was the school again.

Now she panicked. What if something happened to nick. Maybe he was ill and needed to come home urgently.

Or maybe he didn’t get to complete his work this morning and had gotten into trouble.

“Hello tasha abed….” She answered the call before the call could cut again.

“Hi miss abed… Its ninette, the secretary of the school. The head master asked me to give you a call and ask if you’d be able to come in urgently. He needs to discuss something with you.” The secretary spoke through the phone.

“Is… Is everything okay? Is nick alright? Is he ill?” Tasha asked worriedly.

There was silence for a few seconds before the secretary replied. “I’m afraid I can’t discuss anything further with you over the phone. I was just instructed to call you and ask you to come in as soon as you can. I’m sure the head master will give you all the details you need”

“Ok thanks… I’m going to just speak to my boss and see if I can take about an hour off to come through..” Tasha replied before greeting and ending the call.

What in the world was going on? What was so serious that needed to be discussed face to face.

What if tom was right. What if nick was taking things too far?

How am I supposed to deal with any more issues?

All these thoughts were running through tashas mind. She had no idea what to expect or what was going on.

She went in to speak to her boss who gave her the afternoon off to deal with whatever needed to be dealt with.

Tasha contemplated whether she should call tom and let him know what was going on. But she herself didn’t know what was going on so she couldn’t call him yet. She decided to rather deal with it alone and then call tom afterwards.

Her mind was spinning all through her drive to the school.

She kept on thinking about nick. About how he seemed alright. He didn’t seem sick at all this morning or lately. He seemed to always be busy with work either at home or at friends places so she was sure that it couldn’t have something to do with nicks performance at school.

Or could it?

As tasha pulled up into the school parking area, she felt even more anxious.

She could hear the kids chatter and shouts from inside since it was recess.

She strolled into the reception area.. “Hi ninette.. I’m here to see the head master. I’m tasha abed.. Nicks mum”

A chubby and short red haired woman with short curly hair looked up from the top of her glasses..
“Oh.. Hi miss abed… Let me just tell him that you’re here.. You may have a seat in the meantime.”

“Thanks!” Tasha mumbled. She couldn’t sit. She was too worried so she paced up and down nervously.

The secretary returned after a few moments. “His just busy on a call… He’ll be with you shortly”

Tasha nodded and continued pacing for a while until she realised that her heels were making too much of noise so she sat down reluctantly. But just then the secretary informed her that the principal was ready to see her.

Tasha walked in to his very neat office and took a seat across him.

“Sorry to rush you over on such short notice…” The principal gave his hand to tasha for a handshake.

“But its quite important and I needed to discuss nicks recent performance at school as well as nicks being absent so often.. ”

Tasha cut him short.. “Nick being absent? As far as I know nick hasn’t been absent at all this year. What do you mean his been absent so often?”

The headmaster raised his eyebrow…. “So you’re saying that you are not aware that nick is absent today either?”

Tasha felt like she was slapped across the face.. “Absent?… Today?” She whispered.

“Yes miss abed.. Nick did not attend school today and that’s why I’ve decided to speak to you about it. He’s been absent for one day almost every week in the past 2 months.” He replied.

Tasha was speechless..

“But…but.. I dropped him off myself this morning. There must be some kind of a mistake. Are you sure you not mixing nick up with another kid?”. Tasha defended.

The principal gave her a sympathetic look and the said. “The first step to fixing this problem is acceptance… No parent wants to hear of their childrens wrong. But accepting it, can do a world of a difference”

Posted by silent living…

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