by Michal Reiben
A young man settles himself down next to me on my bed.
“I’m sorry to see you’re sick. I’m Jack and I am new here. What’s your name?” he asks and he cuddles me.
“Well Anna, when you get better and you happen to feel lonely you can always come to my room for a chat.”
He then heaves himself off my bed and leaves. He’d made me feel special.
A few days later when I am fully recovered I decided to take him up on his word. I climb up to the attic where most of the staff’s rooms are located to look for his room and find it immediately. His door is wide open, and loud music from his radio is blasting through the attic. I can make out about a dozen children gathered around him, they are all laughing hysterically and staggering around.
“They must be drunk?”
Jack catches sight of me. “Anna come and join us, we’re having fun!”
I shake my head for I don’t like what I’m witnessing.
I dash away back down the wooden attic stairs. I feel bitterly disappointed. The only reason Jack had invited me for ‘a chat’ was to get me drunk along with all the other kids.
“Why is he doing this? It’s crazy?” My thoughts flutter like a trapped butterfly.
Since I’m curious about Jake, the next morning I again make my way up to his bedroom and cautiously open his door. I am relieved to note there is no one inside and creep in. It is a large, sunlit room and much to my surprise after what I’d witnessed the previous evening, it’s remarkably tidy. I scrutinize the room, it is dominated by a large bed which is covered by a red, and dark blue striped bedspread. I step up to the open deep-set window, through which bright sunlight is streaming into the room. I notice how lovely the school grounds look from this height and breathe in the sweet-tangy scent of the Pine trees which floats through the window. As I turn away from the window, I catch sight of a white bundle wedged between a chest of drawers and the wall to the right side of me.
I simply have to investigate, wriggle my hand behind the chest of draws, pull at the bundle until it comes out and falls onto the floor. Now I can see it’s a stuffed envelope. Upon opening the envelope I am amazed to discover that inside is a large wedge of money.
“This must be the children’s pocket money which Jake takes in payment for his alcohol?”
With my heart in my mouth, I take the bills of money out of the envelope, and with a strong thrust throw them out of the window. For a few seconds, I watch as they twirl around in the air, then I bolt out of the room.
“Who’s having fun now, dickhead?” I think jeeringly.