10 May Junior’s Fate
It was 4.38 pm and Junior hadn’t arrived home from school yet. I crept up to his bedroom where he would sometimes be if he had a fall out with his best friend Aubrey, but he wasn’t there. His bedroom was exactly how he had left it, bed half tidied, curtains drawn, dirty clothes everywhere and empty sweet packets sprawled across his desk. Great! Once again he had ignored my pleas to tidy his room. Wait until he gets in, I thought.
The house phone rang. It was his sister Natalie, she was hysterical. ‘Junior’s dead! Mum, he’s dead!’ was all I could make out over her inconsolable howling. The harrowing anguish in her voice echoed through every last piece of me.
‘No not Junior, not my Junior,’ I repeateadly screamed back. It was Wednesday, how could I forget – he had guitar club, he’d be home anytime soon. Just as I went to reassure Natalie, the phone went dead.
I grabbed my coat and ran as fast as I possibly could down to Michael Daley Secondary School. I was faced with a large crowd at the school gate, screaming and shouting. Some in anger, some in pain, some just roaring his name: ‘JUNIOR! JUNIOR! JUNIOR!’
In a blink of an eye Natalie clasped into my arms, her blood-stained school shirt seeped into my coat. She was trembling uncontrollably, her eyes glazed with tears. She pointed down to the curled up, lifeless figure lying on the ground, drenched in a puddle of blood. Stabbed to death…
* * *
All too raw for me to digest, the reality too heart-wrenching for any soul to take in. But nothing could take away the fact that I was sitting opposite Junior’s embalmed corpse, neatly packed into the shiny blue coffin. My mind was replete with thoughts, from the day I gave birth to him at Lewisham Hospital, to his one-year old handprints still hanging on the kitchen wall. His cheeky, witty personality and his charming smile. His dream to become a musician. Our holiday booked to Jamaica. His messy room still untouched. I rocked back and forth in Natalie’s arms desperately trying to remember our last hug, the last time I said I loved him or told him how he made me proud…
I can’t recall what happened after they lowered his body into the ground and the pounding of heavy soil came crashing down on his coffin, and I can’t find the words to describe how it felt… I was numb.
At just 15, Junior was gone.
A few weeks had passed when it was all still so surreal, it was around 10 pm when I heard a gentle knock on the door. I could see through the peephole that it was Junior’s friend Aubrey, looking rugged and unkempt. I pulled open the door, ‘ Aubrey, what is it?’ I asked. He looked straight through me with a hard, cold, troubled glare.
‘I didn’t mean to… I’m sorry!’ he mumbled before slowly walking away…
Written by: Aysha Scott