Peter was heading to the countryside for the holidays. He was barely seventeen years of age and was the first child to his parents. He had two younger brothers, Patrick and Paul. They lived in the city, which was quite a distance from the countryside. Mum and Dad were in their earlier forties and had strived to raise the three sons in the best way possible. Patrick was thirteen while Paul, the youngest of them all was eight. They lived in a majestic urban main house, complete with the necessities for living. The family owned a family car, which was always parked near the front door of the house.

The compound had a small lawn where the boys could play after school and on weekends when their friends would go visiting. It was also a perfect spot for mom and dad to occasionally take an afternoon nap under the shade. Every son had a separate room, and they had to maintain it to mom’s standards of neatness and cleanliness. No one wanted to face the wrath of mother. Peter was relied upon as an example to his siblings in all the matters that they were tasked to do. He was in junior high school, and it was expected of him to have a level of responsibility and maturity.

Paul was the cheekiest of them all, short, always had a smile and was very talkative. Patrick, on the other hand, was reserved and a bit withdrawn as compared to everyone in the family. Despite his outward appearance, Patrick was the brightest of them all and had a deep liking for reading magazines. Peter was tall, always had a sharp look and loved playing football whenever he got a chance. Mother was like the moderator of the home, you could never miss her voice whenever she was around. She was dedicated in making home the best abode to live in for everyone.

It was during the holidays and Peter’s parents had decided that he was to go visit his grandparents and spend some time with them. On this particular day, he was to leave early in the morning. The alarm from the clock next to his bed went off. It was seven in the morning and already the sun was up. The warm rays could be felt from his covers, a slight morning breeze in tow. Some birds were chirping from the old tree nearby. You could sense the laziness in him as he tried to get himself to get out of bed. Still dressed in his pajamas and eyes half-closed, he made way for the door.

The house was silent; no one else was up at the time except for the occasional crowing of a cock from a distance, possibly the neighbor. The neighbor loved poultry and domesticated livestock. As peter was halfway through the hallway to the living room, he accidentally hit a vase on his path. Immediately it fell and in an instant, it broke. This for sure had to get the attention of everyone in the house. “What is that in this early morning?” blurted mother from her room as Peter was still rooted on the spot. In a low and fearful tone, Peter replied, “it is the vase, it’s broken”. All this while, his heart was pounding. “Am sorry mom”, he said.

In a dash, Paul and Patrick were out of their rooms and made way to where he was. They could not hide their scorn, as if to tease him on what he had done. In no time, mother was standing next to him. She just sympathized and told him, “oh well, its done, just clean up and get ready, you have a long day ahead. Patrick and Paul, help your brother. Please don’t take time or else you will be late”. She headed back, and left the boys. The cleaning did not take time, Peter had a quick bath and prepared breakfast for everyone. Paul as always was up and down too, from running errands to occasionally poking his brother from behind.

After breakfast, mom and dad sat the boys at the couch and gave a small talk. “Peter it’s been a while, and your grandparents wanted to see you”, started dad. After handing him the fare needed, he instructed him on what to do. Peter was to carry some forms, drop them off at the post office, make way to the train station and board a train that would take him to the countryside. Mother insisted, “Do not talk to strangers, watch your pockets, do not sleep and most importantly be careful when traveling”. Incase of any emergency he would call his parent through the phone.

After a lengthy hug, it was time to leave. As he waived goodbye, you could sense the somber mood engulfing the air at the time. Paul was emotional and could not contain his tears mother had to comfort him. Peter was known to follow instruction although at times he did let go of his guard. In some cases, while at school he could rebel. After all, he was a teenager and had started feeling he was mature enough and could take care of himself. At the post office, he could hear soft music from the director’s office. He was familiar with the song being played while the sharp aroma of coffee was in the air.

“Son are you okay?” inquired the deliveryman, dressed in sky blue pants and matching shirt and blazer. He was tall and commanding. “Yes, am perfectly okay, just looking around, nothing much”, he replied. Peter dropped the forms at the reception and hastily left to the train station. It was on a Friday and several commuters were at the station eagerly waiting to travel to the countryside. Other school-going children were also headed for the holidays. Peter was by no means a small boy; he could at least wait up like the rest and maneuver his way through the crowds. By now, the sun was getting hotter and everyone’s pace was slowing down. He made his way to the first queue he saw.

It did not take long and the next train arrived. After paying for his fare, he slowly approached the train’s entry door and looked for space to sit. The seats were not worn out, so he could be sure that he was to have a comfortable journey all through. On the next seat was a man who appeared lost in thought. Next on his left side was a woman, probably in her thirties. She had a book and was so engrossed in it. Across were two men in deep conversation, they looked happy and relaxed. They could take glances around the cabin of the train and occasionally nodding their heads as if to record something.

He gently plugged his earphones to his cellular phone and turned on the music. He was completely in a world of his own, singing along to the songs on his play list while other times looking around and at the window. Barely half an hour into the journey, he decided to close his eyes and sleep. Suddenly he felt an arm tap him, “hey, which song are you listening to? Cool phone you have there. Can I sit next to you?” asked one of the men who was seated across. Peter jokingly responded by showing off his phone and talking with the stranger. He could remember his dad’s words about strangers, talking to them and being careful. He said to himself that he was grown up and not small like Paul.

The stranger decided to seat close and have a talk with Peter. It was getting interesting for Peter since the stranger was older, had funny jokes, was kind and seemed to understand him better than any one. At one point, he handed Peter a chewing gum as they kept talking and listening to the music from Peter’s phone. The next thing Peter could recall, he was at the hospital bed. The stranger had drugged him with the chewing gum that made him dizzy and he passed out. He had been robbed of his valuables and left alone in the cabin. The service man of the train had found him asleep with white foam exiting his mouth. With the help of a Good Samaritan, he had been taken to the local hospital. Luckily the payment slip that he had in his pockets, contained his parents’ contact information.

The story is quite significant to me in that it shows how obedience to parents and instructions is quite important in this life. Peter did not follow what he was told by the parents and ended up in the hospital bed. Fortunately, he did not get any serious damage or injury. He only lost his possessions. This reflects on my past when I was a bit younger and did not follow some instructions at times. The repercussions always turned out negatively, until I had to change my ways and become obedient. If the turn of events in the story had been any different, I would see it as justified to be disobedient or rather to act as one pleases.



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