As Sydney Thomson contemplates life with his younger sister and her brood of half witted children in a unfashionable suburb of a town he doesn’t even want to think about, so ugly is it, iron strikes into his soul.
This school, my cottage in the grounds, comrades and boys all gone.
No summers sports days, long afternoons, watching boys in flannel whites playing cricket, no more mud splattered rugby matches to warm his winter days.
All that remains is for him to leave it behind.
No leaving party, no special photograph album with a monogrammed cover covering his years at the school, boys now men, he helped to mould looking out at him from the pages. That pleasure has been denied him.
Long serve and diligence count for nothing, especially when a boy as precious to the schools reputation as Jake are at stake, easier to sacrifice a teacher than a boy, he thinks as he turns to leave.
He walks from the garden and into the quad, where he hears a mobile telephone ringing, he follows the sound with his eyes. There is nobody here, a telephone forgotten by a boy no doubt in a rush.
He walks towards the telephone and picks it up, pushes the green receive button.
‘Thompson, can I help’.
‘Sir, sorry, Sir, this is awkward but I wonder could you help please and take my telephone to the office, you see I have left it behind’.
‘Certainly’ say’s Sydney Thompson glad to be able to help a boy in need, a last gesture of kindness on his part.
‘Jake Jr, Sir’.
With that Sydney Thompson pushes the call end button and pockets the telephone as he leaves the school for the last time.
Knowledge is power Sydney he tells himself as he settles into the backseat of his cab, knowledge is power.