Stranger Danger

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The school day is over. I somehow clean and tidy myself. We gather all the kids and walk to the assembly area. There are many parents already anxiously waiting to pick their kids up. Some parents are still coming in a rush down the pathway.

I try to talk to all the parents. Kate and I both answer parents' queries about their child. I praise the kids and tell them how good they were and how well they did on their first day of the school.

Unbeknownst to me Luke has attached himself to my side. I suddenly find holding his hand while communicating with various parents.

Kids start leaving in ones and twos or in large groups. I am still holding Luke's hand. Soon the whole school empties out. Kate's boyfriend calls and she asks me if it is all right if she goes as well. Only the principal is there, working in her office. I am now tired on my feet. Luke looks like he wants a nap. I sit on a bench and Luke ends up using my lap as a pillow.

The principal sees me sitting on the bench and comes out. She sees Luke sleeping in my lap and asks me in a soft voice whether I am ok to wait for another half an hour. She will try to call Luke's parents and find out what has happened. She may have to call the police if she does not get a reply. I am fuming by this time.

Just when the principal goes inside to make her call, I hear a loud roar of a motorbike. I see a man riding a Harley. The first thing I notice about him is his Tats. He is covered in them, literally.

He is riding his bike straight in the school and on the pathway. Bringing any unauthorised vehicle in the school is not allowed. Riding a bike on the pathway is a big no-no. He is breaking all kind of rules.

I want to give him a big lecture but I am stuck on the bench trying not to disturb sleeping Luke. Although by looks of things, a herd of trumpeting elephants will not wake him up. I am still sitting there trying to glare at the biker dude.

He sees Luke and me, parks the bike on nearby grass, takes off his helmet and reaches me in big strides. He is a big hefty man with a scary face, made scarier by all the Tats covering his body. He has shoulder length brown hair and a beard.

"Me come here for Luke", he says in a deep voice. As soon as he starts talking, I can tell that English is not his first language. In fact, it is something he has not mastered yet. He is speaking with thick accent, which is very hard to understand.

Then he starts shouting to Luke in some foreign language. He comes near me with intention of shaking Luke awake. Luke wakes up from deep sleep and just holds on to me. I can tell he is in between half-awake and half-asleep state. He is trying to sit on my lap and go back to sleep. The biker dude is trying to get him to go with him. I think Luke can understand what he is saying but I don't have a clue.

I flip at the biker dude "For god's sake can you stop trying to shake him and give him some time to wake up. Who are you? What is your name? Are you Luke's dad? "

He looks sheepish, "Sorry Miss", and extends his giant greasy paw in my direction. "Joe, Luke's uncle. Sam Luke's dad is busy. Me pick him up today." I gently ask Luke whether Joe is his uncle. He just nods his head.

Now I have to follow the procedure. If a parent or guardian cannot pick their child, then someone else can take the child home only if the parents have given us a written consent. I have to check whether we have the necessary consent.

Since Luke is still sleepy, I pick him up and ask Joe to walk with me to the principal's office. Joe follows me like a trained wolfhound. He looks vicious and deadly, but for now at least he is meekly trailing behind me. I am trying to project confidence but I am literally quacking in my boots.

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