Andy burst out laughing hysterically, the rest of the class raised their heads from their reading and assignments glanced in his direction and returned to their work. Andy was always known for attention seeking randomness.

He laughed for about two minutes and was abruptly silenced by the sneer from their class teacher who burst into the classroom.

“It’s prep time. Not a standup comedy session Andy!” Mr Kioko, their class teacher, barked.

Andy fell silent and opened his notebook and started to write voraciously. 20 minutes later, he burst into uncontrollable laughter again. The bell rang and everyone rushed out for the morning assembly, Andy strolled to the parade grounds chuckling and holding his tummy. No one knew, understood or cared what he was laughing about.

Andy was the oddball most people in his class chose to ignore.

“He’s just too much; I don’t get him.” Peter, his last desk mate explained to an exasperated Mr Kioko following his request to sit elsewhere.

Andy sat alone in the corner of the class in what the class called “Andy land”. Today was a relatively good day; it was laughter and not yelling at inanimate objects.

Andy arrived at the parade ground just as the principal had commenced his updates for the week. Mr Yodi lowered his spectacles onto the bridge of his nose and sneered at Andy. Andy nonchalantly joined the other students. After 15 minutes of ranting, chastising and celebrating students Mr Yodi called out “Dismissed! Andy, stay behind!”

There was snickering from the rest of the school, some shoved and punched Andy playfully as they made their way to class. As the crowd fizzled out Andy walked to the principal and stood before him, head hung and hands behind his back.

“Andy, you were late again today. What happened?”

Andy shrugged his shoulders still looking down at the ground.

“Andy, Mr Kioko told me you were laughing during morning preps instead of studying.”

Andy shrugged again.

“Son! Why are you not taking your medication?” Mr Yodi spoke in a lower tone inaudible to anyone around them.

“It’s much more fun this way. Life is more colourful. You don’t get it. You never do. Only Mum understood me. It’s your fault …”

“Stop right there Andy, you know better. To my office! NOW!” Mr Yodi pointed in the direction of his office. Andy was frog-marched in through the office door; the receptionist outside the principal’s office had a look of pity on her face. The situation was all too familiar she knew how it was going to end.

“Hold all my calls, Catherine.” Mr Yodi requested as he shoved a hesitant Andy into his office.

“Take your medication NOW! Andy!” Mr Yodi could be heard yelling from behind the door.

It wasn’t quite clear what Andy was saying, all Catherine could hear was murmurs which soon turned to yells.

Catherine became a bit unsettled, the screams were worse than usual. She opened the door; Andy was breathing heavily holding a belt, drooling over his father who was in a foetal position under his desk.

“No, leave us, Catherine it will be fine.” Mr Yodi popped up his head faltering in a reassuring her. Catherine hesitated; he waved her away, as Andy stood staring blankly with the belt hanging by his side. As Catherine shut the door the screaming resumed and with a more intense reverb of whipping. This time the voice sounded more youthful and more virile. A few minutes later, everything falls quiet. The door was suddenly opened startling Catherine. Andy emerged with a raw hand, Mr Yodi not too far behind limping with a torn shirt and they inched out of the office towards Mr Yodi’s car.

Catherine called the Deputy Principal, Ms Helena.

“You need to come right now, it’s Yodi and his son again, this time it’s worse.”

“Where are they now?”

“Yodi is entering his car with him, you need to stop this, it was more violent in his office today. Today Yodi was beaten.”


The phone went dead and the sound of heels across the corridor could be heard shifting to the gravel in the car park. Principal Yodi had to face the ugly truth, he too like his son, needed professional help the school could not offer.