- Yep, its the third installment in the Forever & A Day series. Honestly thought this would be the last installment, but apparently the story still holds a few more surprises.
I hope y’all like this one. Comment with your thoughts, ideas, or just praise (especially praise. Hehe!) And if you’re new on here and you have no idea what Sam and Sam are about, there are links to the previous episodes at the bottom of the page.
It was a ten minute drive -fifteen minutes tops -from my hotel to campus, and I was pointed to the girl’s dorm by a pair of love birds who had been smooching and kissing under the wash of a butane lamp.
In all honesty I could have asked directions from some other person or persons less…busy, but I have to admit I’d taken great pleasure in breaking those two up. I don’t approve of such lurid behaviour and strongly believe people should comport themselves with the utmost decorum when in public.
‘Its the building over there’ the girl said, pointing in the general direction of a terraced row of dormitories. ‘The one with the brick archway…’ She looked like a fresher. You can always tell them by the way they dress. And there was still something naïve and impressionable about her: the way her face flushed, the look in her eyes. There must have been something about my demeanour that made her uncomfortable.
I thanked them and drove towards the building with the brick archway, watching them in the rearview and wondering if Samantha would do something like that.
No, I decided. She’s after all my daughter, and an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I wondered about the younger generation and their many troubles. And I came to the same conclusion I had reached several times before.
Television! That is the problem. The MTVs and rap music and all that drive-by language. The shows get dumber; ratings get higher. Then suddenly Marijuana is a lot fancier; sex a lot cheaper. R.I.P Morals.
Becoming a retard becomes cool. Prison-yard adaptations become top-rate fashion. Tattoos. Piercing, even in the most cringe-worthy places.
I pulled up before the central building on the terraced row of dormitories that consisted the female hostel and walked in through Plexiglas doors.
I was shown to the matron’s office by a bespectacled young lady who wore braces and looked like she was scared of her shadow. The matron was a corpulent Oriental woman –maybe Chinese or Korean –who looked like the hardest thing she had to do at work was get into her chair –which seemed rather small and uncomfortable for her –and wiggle out of it at the end of a work day. She was fortyish and her face still clinged onto its baby-fat, as did the rest of her body: stomach fat, arm fat, neck fat, jowls… I wondered how much income tax Mc Donalds doled out to Uncle Sam every fiscal year on just her input.
‘Hello Sir… Come in… Do have a seat.’ She had perfect white teeth.
‘Thank you’ I said goodnaturedly and sat in one of the pair of chairs that fronted her desk.
‘So how may I help you… Mr…?’
‘Cohen. Sam Cohen’ I offered. ‘I’d like to see my daughter. She’s a student here.’
‘Well you know what dorm she’s at?’
‘Well why don’t you call her?’
‘Her cell phone’s switched off’ I lied.
‘Oh!’ She turned to a computer monitor that dominated her desk, punched out a few keystrokes on a keyboard out of sight.
‘Name?’ She demanded.
‘Huh?’ I’d been looking at her jowls, watching them quiver with every keystroke.
‘Your daughter’s name…’
‘Oh. Samantha Cohen.’ Keystrokes.
‘Medicine and Surgery.’ Keystrokes.
‘Urm, there’s nobody by that name in any of our hostels who’s a medical student.’
Ding-ding! The alarms went off in my head. I was right! She had dropped out!
‘However there’s a Samantha Cohen in Journalism. And another in Physical Education…’
Journalism? Physical Education?!
A lot better than a drop out, I thought and latched onto that iota of hope.
‘Samantha Cohen.’ She cut me off. ‘Journalism… Brown eyes… Nineteen–‘
‘No. That’s not my daughter.’
‘Samantha Cohen. Physical Education. Blue eyes–‘
‘Her eyes are green. That’s not my daughter either.’
She stared at her monitor a moment longer before facing me. ‘Well I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got here’ she said, watching me warily.
‘Are you sure you–‘
‘I need to speak with the Dean of Student Affairs!’ I snapped.
‘I’ve been paying her tuition. She’s in school! She’s got to be in school!’
‘Well I’m sorry sir, but the Dean of Student Affairs must have closed for the day. Look at the time’ she said motioning to a wall clock. ‘Its way past my office hours as it is. So I suggest you relax and return tomorrow and this whole thing can be sorted out, but I assure you there’s no Samantha Cohen who fits your description in any of our dorms.’ She looked at her monitor again.
I sat there, not sure what I was supposed to do. I felt stupid, amongst other things
I finally gathered myself up and biding the matron farewell and thanking her for her time, exited the office. Gracefully.
I’d just gotten in my car when my cell phone started to ring. Samantha.
I took a deep breath and answered the call.
‘I’m at your hotel and the clerk at the front desk informs me you are out.’
‘Yeah honey. I’m just around the corner. I’ll be right there.’
‘Okay then. I’d just wait for you in the lobby.’
‘See you in a bit.’
‘Yeah. See you…’ The call ended with a click.
I took in a deep breath and slammed my head into the steering wheel. The horn honked, startling a female student who’d been walking by my car at that exact same time, causing her to jump.
She gave me a nasty look, mouthed some obscenity and walked on.
I muled over what I’d just learnt about Samantha… My daughter… And I always thought the apple didn’t fall far from the tree…
I willed myself to be calm. I took in deep breaths till the tremor in my hands stopped. Maybe I’d go through the rest of the day without throttling anybody.
My only child had lied to me, and in doing so had toyed with her future.
I wondered how long she thought she could keep up the deception.
What other lies had she told? What other secrets did she have?
I started the ignition and sighed.
There was only one way to find out…