Stealing is an act of embarrassment

"Hello, good afternoon. Am I speaking with Mrs. Asiwaju?" a voice said over the phone to Hannah, popularly called Mrs. Asiwaju, Ken's mother. "Yes, please, Mrs. Asiwaju speaking; who am I speaking with?" Hannah asked politely. "Hello, once again, madam, I'm Mrs. Charles, Ken's school principal," the voice over the phone said.

"Oh," Hannah replied; she seemed excited since the call was from her son's school. "How can I be of help, please?" Hannah said. "I would love to invite you to the school tomorrow at 10 a.m. over an issue in which your son was involved that needs urgent attention," the voice over the phone, which was Mrs. Charles, said to Hannah Ken's mother. "Okay, I will be there; thank you, madam," Hannah said as the call ended from the caller's side.

"What could have happened?", Hannah asked herself as she looked dazed. Hannah is a single mother who single-handedly brought up Ken after the demise of her husband two years ago. Ken is a JSS2 student at a boarding school in the state where Hannah resides. Hannah enrolled Ken in a boarding school after his primary school education; he seems a bit spoilt because it has been him and his mother since his father died when he was in his final year of primary school. His mother, Mrs. Asiwaju, decided he go to boarding school so that he could learn to be independent and see life from another perspective.

The next morning, around 8.30 am, Ken's mother set out in her Toyota Camry 2015 model to visit her son's school as requested by the principal. The journey was about an hour due to traffic. On getting to the school, she requested the staff standing outside the way to the principal's office, as she had never visited her except for the head teacher's office, who was in charge of the school's coordination. The principal is the owner of the school and not all parents have met her unless in special cases.

As directed, Hannah got to the office, knocked on the door, and a voice from inside told her to come in. She slowly opens the door, and the door makes some cracking noise. Ken's mother worked in gently with a smile on her face. "Good morning, ma," Ken's mother said, still with a smile. "Oh! Good morning to you madam, please have your seat", the voice from the room who happened to be Mrs. Charles, the woman who called Hannah the previous day.

Mrs. Charles was putting on a navy blue corporate gown with a black-covered shoe, sitting on her rolling chair with a silver pen in her hand and a notebook in front of her. "You must be Mrs. Asiwaju, Ken's mother," Mrs. Charles asked politely with a smile.

Hannah replied, "Yes, ma'am, it's a pleasure to meet you," with a smile on her face. "You must be surprised why I asked to see you today," Mrs. Charles said to Hannah, now looking more serious than she was when Hannah entered her office. "Excuse me, please." Mrs. Charles picked up her phone and called Ken's school guardian. "I would love to see you in my office right away," Mrs. Charles said to the person at the other end of the phone.

"Sorry for that, madam; I want your son's school guardian to be on the seat before I proceed," Mrs. Charles said to Hannah. In a few minutes, a beautiful young woman in a yellow gown knocked at the door and stepped in. "Oh! Mrs. Asiwaju, nice to see you, ma." Ken's school guardian greeted Hannah, who looked worried because she had no idea what the meeting was all about. "Aunt Bianca, it's nice to see you," Hannah managed to reply.

"Ken's school guardian would have called you, but I stopped her from doing so. This is the reason why I called you to be here: I wanted to speak with you directly," Mrs. Charles said. At this point, Hannah wasn't finding it funny anymore; she became restless and replied, "Is something wrong with my baby?". "Not at all, Mrs. Asiwaju; your son is very fine," Bianca replied to Hannah, who seemed to be a bit relaxed on hearing that.

"I called to report a case about your son; there had been some reports of kleptomaniacs in Ken's class and hostel, and we've been trying to catch such students involved in such acts, but all our efforts proved abortive. And as you know, stealing is what this school strongly kicked against; such a habit won't be condoned," Mrs. Charles began. "So, madam, how is this related to my son?" Hannah asked impatiently.

"Mrs. Asiwaju, yesterday morning, Ken was caught stealing some cookies from his classmates' bags when every other student went for the assembly," Bianca replied to Hannah. In shock, Hannah replied, "What? That can't be true; my son has never stolen, and I'm sure he won't start now," Hannah quickly replied angrily. "There must be a mixup somewhere; my baby will never steal," Hannah continued, looking sad and somehow angry.

"Miss Bianca, get me Ken from his class, please," Mrs. Charles said to Bianca, Ken's school guardian, as she rose immediately and stepped out of the office to fetch Ken, who was in the class taking lectures. Bianca got to Ken's class and met a teacher taking social studies. "Sorry, sir, I need Ken's attention, please; the principal wants to see him," Bianca said to the teacher while the whole class burst into laughter after knowing what Ken had done when he was being punished the previous morning. Every one of his classmates was laughing and murmuring, and I can say Ken was embarrassed. "Ken, you can go," the teacher replied.

Ken stood up reluctantly and followed his guardian quietly to the principal's office. After a knock, Mrs. Charles ordered both Ken and his guardian in. Immediately Ken entered. Mrs. Asiwaju, his mother, asked, holding his hand and calling his full name, "Kennedy, I was told you stole; is that true?". Ken was struggling to answer his mother when Mrs. Charles cut into the conversation. "Asiwaju Kennedy, tell your mom what you did yesterday morning and what you've been doing for a while now."

Hannah's eyelids were already laced with tears because she couldn't believe all she was hearing. At this point, Ken finally spoke up: "I'm sorry, Mom, I'm so sorry." "I stole cookies from one of my classmates yesterday morning, and I stole an ear pod from one of my roommates, a black face cap that I hid under my box, and also a Gucci belt from my second roommate," Ken opens up to his mother.

Ken's mother nearly fainted on hearing her son's confession. "Okay!" said Mrs. Asiwaju. I hope you believe us now that you've heard it directly from your son. Although he had been punished, nevertheless, his punishment continues. We need to call your attention to it; that's why you were sent for it," Mrs. Charles said to Ken's mother. Hannah was still dumbfounded about all she just found out but managed to calm herself. She turned to her son and asked, "Kennedy, did you lack anything? Why would you involve yourself in such a habit?" Unfortunately, Ken couldn't answer his mother as he was crying profusely.

"He had returned all he stole, and the school will take adequate measures to curb this shameful act of future occurrence," Mrs. Charles said to Ken's mother, who was dazed about all that happened. "You can go back to your class, Ken, and you too, Miss Bianca," Mrs. Charles added as both Ken and his school guardian left the principal's office. "That's all, madam. We will monitor him for now since the school is still very much in session, but try as much as possible to always provide him with basic things his age needs and help us to curb this habit in him whenever he comes home for holiday," Mrs. Charles concluded.

"Thank you so much, ma. I do try my best to provide for all his needs, and why I was surprised was the fact that he had never stolen at home, and the funniest thing to me was the earpod; he had one at home, but because the mobile phone isn't allowed in the school, I told him to drop it at home till he comes for holiday," Hannah said. "I understood your ma and the ear pod in question had been seized from the owner because I see no reason for an ear pod when mobile phones aren't allowed, but all the same, madam, put Ken in check till he proves sane from the habit; that would be all," Mrs. Charles said to Ken's mother.

Hannah rose from her chair and bid the principal goodbye as she exited her office. She couldn't see Ken before she left because he was in class and it wasn't the school's visiting day. Ken continued his punishment of taking care of their hostel alone for two weeks, coupled with the embarrassment he faced. I'm sure he wouldn't indulge in such a habit again.

All images are designed by me using canva

Thanks for your time, and your comments will be appreciated.

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