Nature of the Beast

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Time is passing really fast for me. One day I realise that I am living here for more than a month. It's just one month in terms of time but complete overhaul in terms of life experience.

People are still thinking whatever they are thinking about Sam and me. The rumours differ depending on who you are listening to. In one version Sam is trying to woo me but I am holding off as I am a 'Good Girl'. In another version we are secretly crossing the overhead bridge and you can imagine the rest.

They try to leave us alone if we meet. Sometimes I want to scream and tell that there is nothing between us, but I know how rumour works here. The more I deny something the faster it will spread. People know that Sam hasn't made any 'arrangement' since Sally left or disappeared. They think this means that there is something between us and we are not telling.

The fact that Joe is still protecting me and Luke is spending time with me adds fuel to the rumours.

I try to ignore the matchmaking efforts of all the people. Some people who think that I am holding Sam off because I am a Good Girl make an effort to tell me how Sam hasn't been with anyone since Sally left.

I want to tell them I don't really care who he is or isn't with. Besides he could be 'Testing his own merchandise' on the side for all I know. People in the block have some twisted sense of fidelity. There are recognised couples here where one or both of them 'work'. What you do at work is just a job and not an indiscretion.

My interaction with Sam can be best described as awkward. We are like a divorced couple with a child. We don't exactly see eye to eye but we have to deal amicably with each other for the sake of that child.

We haven't had any confrontation yet because we are still settling in this weird arrangement, for a lack of better word, but I am finding more things that irritate me when dealing with him and he is surely making his own list of things that annoy him when dealing with me.

Sam is used to people who don't answer him back, follow him unquestionably and basically treat him as a god. I constantly challenge everything around me.

Luke is behaving himself till now because everything is still new to him. He is navigating the complex arrangement between me, him and his father.

Sam is trying to be a better father for Luke after one of our many Discussions. But his parenting style is really erratic. It has changed from benign neglect to extreme authoritative parenting to current overindulgence.

It's as if he trialling all the parenting styles. He currently thinks that overindulgent parenting style is the best option.

I am also finding my feet as a quasi-mother and teacher. I have been indulging Luke till now, but I will soon have to start teaching him discipline.

This is proving a challenge for me. I am Luke's teacher as well as main care giver so Luke sees me constantly and takes me for granted.

The original kindergarten class has been split in two classes last week. I requested the principal to put Luke in Kate's class as I am too close to him.

School committee decided that Luke should stay in my class as he is more attached to me. Principal tried to convince me how it would be in Luke's best interest if he stays in my class. It's all BS if you ask me. I suspect Sam made a 'Deal with her which she could not refuse'. Hence she overrode my request and put Luke in my class.

Today's battle begins with Luke's refusal to do homework. It is school homework and I have given it to the whole class, but since I am the one who gave the homework, Luke feels that he can get away without doing the homework.

He doesn't want to do homework because his dad promised that he will take him on a ride in the evening.

Sam turns up at appointed time to pick Luke up for the bike ride. We are predictably left alone.

At the start of our conversation I try to be polite but firm. I request him not to take Luke on a ride till he does his homework. It's important for Luke to do homework as he is already behind in the class.

Sam ignores my request, patronises me and completely undermines my authority. He even quotes my own words to me, "You should always honour promises you make, especially the once that you make to a child"

He ruffles Luke's hair and both are ready to leave. I get angry at this point and shout at both of them, "I am his teacher and he will have to turn his homework tomorrow. He better finish it or he will be sitting in quiet area tomorrow till it is finished"

Luke does not come back to my room after his bike ride. For the first time in a month I get some peace and quiet. I decide to indulge myself by taking advantage of my excellent bathing facility. I even read a latest novel that I haven't had time to read yet.

Luke comes to school without finishing his homework and I make him sit in the quiet area till he finishes his homework. He sulks the whole time he has to sit there and finish the homework.

I walk with Joe and him back home. Luke does not even talk to me and leaves with Joe. Suddenly I am left alone on my own.

Next day the principal tells that she has reconsidered my request and is willing to put Luke in Kate's class from next week.

I find myself walking alone on that day. Suddenly all the friends I have made so far desert me. People are still cordial but they are not friendly anymore. Fortunately Gary and Alex still remain on friendly terms with me.

Alex the romantic thinks that Sam and I just had a lovers tiff. Gary either does not have an opinion or is keeping it to himself.

You know what they say 'A friend in need is a friend indeed'. I learn that Alex and Gary are my only true friends.

This feels like a Game of Chess where Sam has captured all my pieces. Suddenly I am left with only a knight and a rook.

The rats leave a sinking ship. Lion separates a deer from a herd to hunt and kill.

It's the nature of the beast.

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