Samuel, a 12 year old boy wearing a white shirt, red shorts and hair parted to the right side is distracted again today. There he is sitting in the classroom looking outside the big window staring at the tallest tree. The teacher calls out to him, “Samuel?”. She yells again “Samuel?!”. He snaps out of it and just looks at the class with a surprise. Ms. Betsy adjusting her spectacles says, “What page are we on Mr. Samuel?”.
Samuel is really smart and never fails to try his luck. So he announces with confidence “Page 84”. Testing him again she says, “Start reading from where we just stopped”. Now Samuel is in great trouble, he knows. The teacher gives him an earful after the class and warns to mend his behavior or his parents would be called.
Samuel apologizes and leaves the room in embarrassment and anger. He walks towards the playground and looks at the tree wondering about his daydream. Imagining and creating illusions has been the most lovable activity since fifth grade. It’s the only thing that brings him happiness. At home, while his parents fight and yell he daydreams. After continuing his previous illusion for about two years he has now created a new and different one. All the imaginary characters were based on a feeling he prolongs year after year. Last year sadness fell upon him like the dark cloud that wouldn’t go away ever. So all his imaginary conversations ended sadly and even the one with his crush Ginger. But this year he feels very adventurous and joyous so everything in the head gets dangerously amusing.
On his way back home he met his friend Patrick who was kicking stones with his thin legs.
“Hey Sam! How did it go with Ms. Betsy?”, Patrick asked.
“Let’s just say my parents are definitely going to be visiting next week. I won’t stop wondering and she won’t stop bugging.”
“Well, you should try sitting next to Ginger, maybe then you’ll stop looking out the window at least. Patrick laughs endlessly.”
“Ah! Bugger off you moron. I don’t like her anymore.”
Raising his eyebrows Patrick says – “Oh! So who’s the new one then?”
Trying to get on his back, Sam shouts “Caroline!”
They both start running, Patrick after Sam. He yells, “Bastard!, I hope you haven’t talked to her or I am going to break your legs today”.
Since past one month Patrick has had a crush on Caroline and Sam knows how to mess with him just right. Patrick is the closest friend he has ever had.
The bus is gone by the time they reach the stop and so they both would have to walk home. Like every crazy imagination, he tells this one to his friend as well.
“Can you guess what I was thinking while I was looking outside?”.
“Your crazy little head has so many stories, it’s just impossible to guess.”
Sam would then describe saying, “I was climbing up that big tree in the playground and slowly I reached to the very top. After that I stood there for like 5 mins and then jumped from the branch to the school’s roof. I didn’t fall or break a leg.”
“Then what did you do up there, you moron?” asked Patrick. “Well that’s when Ms. Betsy shouted my name and my focus switched. But I remember it was so much fun being up there.”
Patrick just laughs away and says “Well at least this time it ended in a silly way than sad”. His house arrives and he bids goodbye to Sam. He avoids getting distracted on the road, wouldn’t want to get into an accident like he almost did last year. Finally reaching home he runs to the door and rings the bell. He forgot his parents were both out today. Samuel’s dad works as a salesman and his mother worked part time. She would switch jobs often and at times there would be nothing to go onto. He slipped out the key from his pocket and opened the door. A note on the kitchen table says “Food is in the fridge and ice cream in the freezer.”
After eating his lunch he started playing video games in the living room. This activity continued for about an hour. Sam didn’t intend to get in trouble with Ms. Betsy again so he started doing his homework. After a good 10 minute writing he’s bored and so he lays his head down on to the table. A few moments later a squirrel passes by his window and so he starts observing. Later on he sits on the bed and picks up one of his fantasy short story book. Every night these stories helped him sleep and ignore the noises in the other room.
The first story “Disappearing fool” talks about a man with a superpower to transport himself from one place to another. He lays down on his pillow and wonders what it would be like to be a man with superpowers. His obsession with dreaming was growing immensely. Even with superpowers he would always imagine himself somewhere at the rooftop. With all the wandering he completely forgot about the homework. It’s well past six in the evening and like a blithering fool Sam is sleeping. Someone at the door rings the bell thrice but there is no answer. Now this person is at the boy’s window and knocks on it, mouthing “Open the door, Samuel”. Finally he wakes up and scared to death as he suddenly looks at the window. Rushing towards the door, he unlocks it and his mother walks inside. She pours herself a glass of water and then scolds him. You’ve been sleeping all day, haven’t you? And what about your homework? He thought suspiciously she never asks about that. Has that teacher called her already? Looking for an answer she asks again. What about the homework? Have you done it? Yeah, it’s almost done he responds. This is a strange conversation and he doesn’t know what could be the consequence of telling the truth so he chooses to lie.
His mother steps into her room and after a while starts cooking dinner in the kitchen. Your father will be home in an hour. I know you haven’t cleaned your room so go get right to it she said. At night, after his parents had gone to sleep he woke up switched on the little lamp and continued with his homework. Sam gets out of his room to get a glass of water when his eyes looked over to the article in the newspaper about a man climbing the highest mountain. Taking things in the wrong manner this time he decided to climb the tree in the playground tomorrow afternoon after school hours. Suddenly he heard a noise and he knew they were fighting again. While it had stopped for a few weeks it never really gets over. Walking back to his room he opened the window and gazed at the stars while he wondered what tomorrow could be like?
He fell asleep by 2.00 am.
The Disappearing fool is lying below the newspaper to his bedside.
The sun is shining bright yet Samuel is still asleep. His mother enters the room and shouts – wake up or you’re going to miss the bus and I would not like to be late to work because you’re too lazy. Just like every morning he got up and while he is taking a shower he remembers it’s the day to climb.
Now he is excited about the day and gets ready on time. Picks up his lunch and runs to the bus. He sits beside his friend Patrick. Trying to not let out his secret about climbing the tree he sits all quiet.
Hey! Did you do the assignment?
Sam grinned and said ‘Yes I did’.
Why are you so happy? What did you do? Patrick asked.
Nothing just a dream. He lied.
Who’d you dream about? Don’t say Caroline.
And just then she walked past them and sat just behind their seats.
Go on talk to her, you jealous moron.
This little bickering gave Sam the opportunity to stay distracted and not reveal his plan.
When everyone left after the classes were over he ran back to the playground. To his surprise Ginger came around and talked to him. He thought this is the luckiest day of his life and so he felt encouraged to climb. He asked Ginger to come along with him and told her to wait near the tree. Now there were two purposes to his great climb, one making his daydream come true and second impressing his old crush. He looked at the tree, it’s too big and too tall for this little boy to climb to the top. Anyway he started climbing it, bit by bit he reached the first branch and felt relieved. Ginger yelled from way down, I am very impressed Sam, now come down let’s go. He didn’t stop and kept on going higher. Then came a point he looked down and the fear escalated his body. Still he told himself he could do it.
Ginger ran inside calling for help. The only people she could find – Caroline, Patrick and the Janitor. They ran towards the playground and shocked at what they were seeing.
Boy, oh boy he did climb the tree, Patrick says.
The Janitor shouts, Ok kid now come down we’ve seen you climb it and that’s great.
Looking at their bright lit up faces and Ginger still scared he felt somewhat on top of the world. The only thing left to do now is to jump to the roof. Measuring the distance wrong, the jump was just too long for his legs.
Patrick stood still exasperated to see what would happen next. Ginger closes her eyes as she didn’t want to see him fall. Janitor Jerry is the only one who runs to catch the boy as he falls.
Things didn’t end very well. The boy was taken to the nurse’s room and his parents were called. When the child woke up he could see his parent’s face and the principal standing in front of him.
I am in so much trouble, he thought. He looked to his right and he saw Patrick’s face. Patrick gives him a thumbs up. Samuel talks to himself in his head “Mark the date brain because my daydream is no more a stupid distraction after all”.