JAMES THE POOR BOY

1The conclusion of the matter is that you should drop out of the school, James’ class teacher spat after heavy corporal punishment. I am sure you are not meant for education; neither is education meant for you.

 

Your perpetual woeful performance I cannot cope with again. Consider yourself compared to others…

Are they having a brain different from yours? James’ class teacher asked repugnantly. The young boy was head-bent with deep sorrow lacerating his heart as he walked steadily to his seat. Some of his colleagues laughed him to scorn as he walked dejectedly. He seems he is the scorn of the earth since his class teacher will always taunt him to make his life extremely difficult and intimidating.

 

His heartache multiplied when some of his depleting friends deserted him. Some of them doubted his tendency of making headway in his studies considering why he is always the talk of the class. In the midst of this agonizingly tough and traumatic life experiences, Helen and Jane believed in him even when others did not. Their friendly attitude towards him made him see a fine thin line of a ray of hope. They equally despised the shame and not only sympathized with him but also offered some help.

When he could not cope with the shame again, he felt so depressed that his face swells up as a result of the bitterness of heart that made him cried all night.  This caught the attention of his mother and asked hesitatingly, my son, what is the matter all about as she touched his swollen face.

 

With tears dropping off his eyes, he narrated the humiliations he suffered from both his class teacher and friends. His mother draws him closer, wiped out his tears with her loosely tied wrapper saying, “James, whatever your teacher says about you is not the final neither are your friend’s voice strong enough to determine your future. The only voice that could do that is yours. If you agreed with them, you will amount to nothing, but if you do not, you will rule over all of them. You are a brilliant boy with a bright future. You can know everything.  All you need to do is to believe in God, yourself and to work hard. Come on my boy. Have your breakfast and be on your way to the school. I am grateful Ma, he said as his heart gained strength.

2

From that moment on, his attitudes and mindsets changed greatly and his grades also. This came at a time when his class teacher got seriously ill and they got another class teacher. Mrs. Clara showed much interest in him especially when he checked how downward his results had been. In her conversation with him, she got to realized that untimely demise of his father in a ghastly accident contributed to his poor performances. She encouraged his heart and cared for him as one of his children. All of the supports and cares from different angles make his life bounce back on the line.

 

Some years later, James graduated from the university, being the first among his mates to even gained admission. He was pretty happy and thankful to God for those he used to shape his life. He is now a better fellow leaving a comfortable life. He worked with a company that takes the full responsibility of his needs. What more?

Not being ungrateful, he remembered his benefactors in his struggling days. His aged mother and Mrs. Clara were duly rewarded. Helen and Jane were also living well and their friendship grew fiercer and interesting.

 

James was in a relationship with Joyce towards the end of their study in school. At that time Joyce found it so hard to pay up her tuition fee and her upkeep, James helped her out, out of his scholarship fee. He loved her to the point of spending all his free time with her. The agreement was that at least one of them must be working before thinking about marriage, preferably, James.  And it is until then that there will be a formal introduction between both of the family.

 

Joyce had always told her mummy about her fiancé and how he has been very supportive. Even at the time, her mummy was thinking about how she will finish her university as a result of the paucity of money. James was the good Samaritan that God used. They both agreed to pay her mum a visit in two weeks’ time. Joyce was not, however, new to James’ mother. She supposed from their movement that she is the in-law-to-be.

 

Two weeks is here but James does not see Joyce showing up as earlier agreed. After several attempts, his phone rings and he was alarmed to hear that her-to-be-mother-in-law was rushed to the hospital. Immediately, he sped up to the hospital, located the ward they were kept through the help of the receptionist.

On getting there, he saw his would be in-law with myriads of tubes and gadgets connected to her. Joyce sitting haplessly beside her mum’s bed. He and Joyce were engaged in a mooted discussion about the health status of the mother when she opened her eyes.

 

The recognition was instant, James remembered the croaky voice of Mrs Tina always taunting him then. Good afternoon ma’am, he said making attempt at prostrating. Mrs Tina was hazy but the voice rang a bell in her. She was still trying to connect the voice with a face in her memory when James helped her out. It is James the poor boy in your class.

 

.Oh! James? She was speechless with tears flowing down her face. The whole hospital ward went cold. It was in this dramatic scenario that the Doctor entered and said, we would not be able to sustain and handle her case further. I suggest she be flown abroad for a better medical attention.

James held Mrs. Tina’s hands and told her to hold up the issue for now because her health is of utmost importance presently. Doctor, please continue to keep her in good condition, I will arrange for the travel documents and all necessary issue. Joyce did not understand the whole issue that ensued between James and her mother.

 

Mrs. Tina travelled out within the week. She was well-treated and recuperating fast. All of her bills and expenses were fully paid by James. The thought of how she wrote James off when she was her class teacher left a deep wound in her heart waiting for times to heal. She wished her terrible deeds of the past won’t bounce back on her daughter.  She kept this close to her heart, not ready to tell Joyce until the appointed time when she would meet with James face to face.

James drove to the airport together with his Mother to pick Mrs. Tina and Joyce up. He drove up to where they were standing and as he highlighted he went straight to Mrs. Tina. She hugged him with tears with a loud cry saying, “James, I am so sorry. I apologized for how I treated you while I was your class teacher.” James’ mother and Joyce were both speechless as they watched the whole scenario unfold. They were also moved to tears.

 

You have not offended me Ma. James replied with eyes also laden with tears. If you have, I would not have done all that I did for you. Though it is human for you to think I will never amount to anything in life, but through the help of My Mum, Helen and James as well as Mrs. Clara that took over after your departure that showed me that the poorest of me can be the best. Your words may look derogatory but they are a major catalyst for me.

3

We may write people off but God will not. And it is the verdict of God that will stand. No matter may be the hurts of the past, they are all gone! I love you and I love Joyce. He held her shoulder as he consoled and comforted her. Joyce was grateful to James for all he has done and for being there for her family. They all walked into the car with laughter and exchange of pleasant words. James words healed Mrs. Tina’s heart and she is happy and fortunate to have him as in law. James’s mother changed the discussion to the wedding date since their introduction comes up the following week.

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