(Rewrite) Jamie pays the price for his carelessness
|RECAP: Jamie and his stepbrother Harvey took their pet dog, Koromaru for a walk. They stopped along the way at to collect a camera from one of their teachers, Mrs. Pringle; whose house is within the same location as theirs.
On the way back they go to a garage sale, hoping to find Jamie’s younger, Deacon a peace offering to make up for a prior altercation. Jamie ties up Koromaru and leaves the bag containing the camera unattended. It is not until they have purchased a comic for Deacon and are part up the street that they realize they have left the bag behind. They returned and found it missing.
We pick up the story with Jamie back home; trying to his best to explain his actions to his stepmother.
-Scolding one the Stepson One-
“I ought to throw you to the wolverines!” scolded Catarina. “How could you make such a pig’s ear out of such a simple errand? All you had to do was to pick up the camera from Mrs. Pringle and take it back home.”
An awkward silence filled the room as Jamie considered his response. He shifted nervously on what his siblings had nicknamed the Scolding Chair. It was a chocolate brown armchair toward the north-west corner of the living room. Above it hung a large framed painting of the Battle of Waterloo. He assumed this was symbolic of the scolding that associated the summons to this particular piece of furniture.
"I just kind-a got distracted,” he offered in a meek tone. “It won’t happen again. Honest.”
“It wouldn’t have happened at all, if you hadn’t been so careless.”
“Maybe it’ll turn up on one of those online auctions. You know, like E-bay, or Trade-Me. I’ll check them out if you want.”
“If someone wants to sell it online they’ll scratch out the serial number. The camera’s gone Jamie and it’s all your fault! What you did was irresponsible and very naughty and you need to be punished accordingly.”
“It was just an accident and not like I did it on purpose Please don’t spank me. I’ll be more careful from now on. Honest I will.”
“Calm down Jamie, I’m not to going to smack you. That would only cause you to focus more on what I did to you, other than what you did to deserve it. Instead, I am withdrawing my permission for you to attend Jody’s pool party. You’re to stay home that day and do chores around the house.”
“That’s not fair. I’ve been looking forward to that for months.”
“It was your responsibility to make sure that camera was returned to me. Being responsible also makes you accountable, which means you have to accept whatever consequence that results from its loss or damage. Doing chores instead of going to Jody’s party is that consequence. You can cry until the cows come home but you’re not going! Do I make myself clear?”
“Good. That’s all, Jamie. Now, go to your room and stay there until I tell you otherwise.”
“I’m sorry Mum. I really am.”
“I know you are. But what is done cannot be undone. I just hope you will learn from this experience and be more responsible in the future.”
“I’ll try my bestest.”
Jamie slouched on the black swivel chair, behind the small writing desk, in his bedroom. Assorted toys littered the grey and white tiled carpet. Inane posters lined the SpongeBob wallpaper. Bookshelves were crammed with disorganized piles of comics, and in the far western corner sat a large green plastic toy box, that often acted as a hamper for discarded clothes.
“I really can’t see how I can raise that sort of money.” he muttered, shifting his attention to his bed; upon which Koromaru was resting. “Unless I borrow it from Dad, but I doubt he’ll help out.”
“Why not?” said Jamie, on behalf of the dog.
“It’d be like him paying for his own peace offering. It was his camera too.”
“You’ve got nothing to lose by trying. The worst he can say is no. Give him couple of days to calm down about it and then approach him. Tell him you’re feeling sick with guilt and are losing sleep because of it. You know; that sort of thing. He’s a reasonable man and loves you very much. I’m sure he’ll help you make amends with your Mum.”
“Yeah; I guess so.”
He drew a heavy sigh then returned his attention to his laptop and added a couple more sentences to “Captain Koro and the Camera Caper.” This was the latest entry of a file on an external hard-drive he entitled “Tales of Naught.” Creative writing was one of the few academic activities he received positive feedback, from his stepparents for. Scorn often proved a much easier task and made times of praise more rewarding. However, this particular creation was strictly for his eyes only, all documents within were password protected and even the hard drive was in a safe hiding place.
Tales of Naught detailed his experiences with bullies and scornful authority figures. His early entries accounted the abuse he suffered shortly after his eighth birthday, when his farther became redundant. An occasional slap across the back of the hand was soon usurped by a sharp smack on the butt. Before he knew it, his siblings and he were receiving at least one spanking every fortnight. The alcohol abuse spun out of control and his father began substituting his open palm for various implements, including his belt.
Josephine tried her best to intervene, often enraging Vincent’s temper to refocus the anger. This in turn motivated some of the most awful arguments between his parents he’d ever witnessed. Most of these were verbal but once or twice it got physical leaving Jamie trembling and sobbing for extensive periods, even after it was over.
The nightmare ended late one evening. Jamie knocked over Vincent’s glass of beer and go punched in the stomach. Josephine went ballistic and his father with a rolling pin. This was not one of those clichéd mother-in-law attacks that Jamie sometimes watched in cartoons, this was a malicious revenge.
Though winded and spiteful of Vincent’s abuse, Jamie struggled to calm Josephine. However she was well passed rationale, so he had no choice other than to phone the police. They broke it up but no charges were laid against her. Several months later Vincent was incarcerated, divorce proceedings were initiated and his nightmare ended. Not long after than another one began.
His recent entries were of a more positive nature, with the addition of a new character Captain Koro, a superhero come canine detective modeled after Koromaru. It would bite bullies, reclaim confiscated toys, seek out lost items, and had special powers to motivate forgiveness from those that were scornful to Jamie.
“I don’t think your stepmum really expects you to replace such an expensive camera.” said Koromaru. “You’ve shown genuine remorse and she’s already yelled at you. She’ll get over it in time and you’ll go back to being her Prince Charming.”
“If you say so,” said Jamie. “She reckons I should be thrown to the wolverines.”
“She’s probably right.”
“What I don’t get is how someone took the bag without us noticing, or you making a fuss. You’re sure you didn’t see anything?”
“Of course not, otherwise I would have bit that person’s butt good and proper.”
“So, must have been sometime after we walked away which wouldn’t have given someone much time.”
“Who wasn’t there when we came back, that wasn’t there before we left?”
“I didn’t really take much notice of the people around us.”
“Maybe we ought-a go back and talk to that guy that was running the garage sale again. He might remember something we’ve overlooked.”
“You might be right, Koro. I think about it…and the load from Dad.”
“What could possibly go wrong with either of those plans?”
To be continued