CHAPTER 1 - NOTHING THERE BUT THE FEBRUARY BLUES

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The Call


On the seventh ring – Kassir snatched up the phone. "Hello?"

"Hi there – my name is Rachel Brakkar – I'm the receptionist at The Academy For The Artistic And The Depraved," a young woman's voice spoke from the other end. "One of our students – Aleshae – has caused an incident. We tried contacting her mother but didn't get a reply. You were listed as her emergency contact and –"

"Just get to it before the boredom kills me."

"There's no reason for you to be rude."

"There's every reason. You woke me up."

"It's two in the afternoon."

"What's your point?"

"You should be in the middle of doing things."

"Sure mom. And yes – I'll remember to double wash my underwear and socks."

"The attitude is uncalled for –"

"Here's a wild idea – just state your business and let me return to my bloody misery."

"The principal would like to discuss Aleshae's current behaviour. Can I ask what relation you are to her?"

"You just did."

"Sir – if you could answer the question – I would be very grateful."

"Older brother."

"Would you like me to give you the address?"

"I know where the school is. What time does she want me to come in?"

"As soon as possible."

"That serious, huh?"

"Goodbye sir."


The Problem With Certain Students

Who Don't Completely Fit In


"I take it – you know why you're here?" Principal Woodrow asked, gesturing for Kassir to take a seat.

"Something to do with Aleshae's behaviour. I'm going to take a wild guess and say she took over the classroom and taught the lesson better than the real teacher ever could."

"I see where Aleshae gets her attitude from," Woodrow said, leaning back in her chair. "You don't seem to be a very positive role model. What relation are you to her?"

"Didn't the dreg you have sitting at the reception desk tell you?"

"I'm double checking. No need to get defensive."

"I'm her older brother."

"Strange – you two don't look like each other. Your skin colour is darker than hers."

"She's my half-sister. Same dad but different moms."

"Aleshae was arguing with her English Literature teacher – Mr. Gunther – this morning. It was a heated argument about style over substance in regards to how certain texts are set out. Aleshae used inappropriate language to bring the argument to an end."

"What did she say that was so devastating?"

Woodrow took out a small slip of paper and a pen. She quickly scribbled the words and handed the slip to Kassir.

Kassir couldn't stop chuckling.

"It's not funny Mr. Kassir," Woodrow snapped. "It's a vile thing to say. And from such a young mouth too."

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