Felipe Moore - Chapter Twelve

Kingwell By Kingwell, 24th Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2h9jl87u/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>General Fiction

Felipe spends the summer watching the other boys swim and getting angry with himself for being different. In September he returns to school and becomes friends the only other person in his class - a girl.

Summer Days

Most of the boys who grew up in Southern Arm had learned to swim before the age of twelve while at the same time, none of the girls could swim. The reason for this was simple; parents would not allow their daughters to go near the pond where a few older boys had sometimes been known to swim in the nude, just covering themselves with their hands when not in the water. Swimming trunks were unheard off but most wore underpants. There was also a lot of horse play and few were the days when everyone's underwear remained intact. Felipe however was an exception to the rule. At sixteen, he had never ventured to the pond when others were around, mainly because of his shyness and the rough-housing that he knew went on there. Secretly however, he wanted to know what was happening and the thought of seeing someone embarrassed to the point of tears aroused and excited him. Although he knew that he would deride himself for it later he was unable to control the urge to get as near to the pond as possible where hidden among the trees and bushes he could hear and see what was happening without anyone knowing he was there. Later with his heart beating wildly he would make a hasty retreat. By the time he arrived home he would be feeling terrible about the whole thing and angry with himself and often with God. Why did he have to be so different? Why couldn't he go to the pond like the others? Why had his childhood been taken away? Would this Albatross remain around his neck forever? Felipe knew that he would never hurt or even embarrass another as often happened when the boys went swimming, and was at a loss to understand why he enjoyed watching others do so. He was kind and unselfish, always eager to help anyone who came by yet he knew he would be following the boys to the pond again tomorrow and every day until summer was over and it was too cold for swimming. He hated himself! He wished that God would strike him dead and sometimes wondered why he did not.

Returning to School

September saw the school re-open and a return to classes. Felipe now in grade nine was the oldest boy in school and one of only two children who would be writing the CHE (Council of Higher Education) exams at the end of the year. The other was Mona Giles and the two had known each other since starting school together with eight other students. It was still common for most boys and girls to quit school when they reached the age of sixteen, the boys to enter the fishing boat with their fathers, the girls to marry men who were often ten to twelve years their senior and to raise large families. Being the only two students in grade nine, Mona and Felipe despite his shyness, gradually became friends even to the extent of sometimes doing their homework together at his house. He would always walk her home after and some even began to think of them as a couple. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. They were friends but talked of little except their school work. Felipe felt no physical attraction at all towards Mona - or any other girl but was determined that no one should know but him. He sometimes noticed Mona looking at him in a way that made him feel uncomfortable but nothing was said. Eventually, Mona seemed to accept that they would never be more than friends and their relationship became more casual. They now found it easier to talk about anything that was happening in their life - well almost anything - as Felipe at least, had secrets that would always remain hidden. He realized that the same might be true for Mona but was sure that they were not as twisted as his own.

Preparing for Exams

Since there were only two candidates from Southern Arm writing the CHE exams, Mona and Felipe would have to travel to Harbour Duffet and would be there for five days. Both had expected this when the year started so the word from St. John's in December was no surprise. There was a boarding house in Harbour Duffet who took in students from the small communities and the fee was modest. The only problem was that, depending on the number of students, two or possibly three would have to sleep in one bed. Although he had always shared a bed with at least one of his brothers and usually two, Felipe was a little uncomfortable with the idea of sleeping with one or possibly two other boys whom he had never met. Since it was still six months away however, he decided to put the thought out of his mind for the time being and concentrate on his studies. He and Mona were spending more and more time studying together now and both had become completely relaxed in each other’s company. It was almost unknown at the time for a boy and girl to be best friends yet this was, they both agreed, the best way to describe their relationship. Mona who had dated one boy for about six months the year before had not been intimate with anyone since. She found that she could talk about the young men that she liked with Felipe as easily as she had with her girlfriends, but noted that Felipe never spoke of liking any girls. She put it down to his shyness but had hoped that as they became more relaxed together, he might open up but he never did. They sometimes spoke of their futures though, and both of them wanted to leave Southern arm, Mona to teach in one of the other small communities in the area and Felipe to travel to St. John's or even mainland Canada where he hoped to find work possibly as an office clerk.

Ready for the Exams

Mr. Smith, the only teacher Southern Arm had known in more than twenty years, was eager to help his two charges prepare for the exams at the end of the school year. Only once before had one of his students reached the high school level and she had not only got a passing mark in all subjects but had moved on to become a teacher herself. It would look very good on his record if Mona and Felipe were also to do well and be promoted to grade ten the following September. His offer to help Felipe the previous year now included Mona and would cover any subject in which either anticipated any problems. He was delighted with the close relationship between the two and appeared pleased to learn that there were no romantic overtones which might interfere with their studies. Even the minister, Rev. Dominie, took an interest and praised the teacher for the extra help he was giving them. Perhaps he thought, being chair of the local church school board, that the two might be future teacher prospects in an area where it was always difficult to fill all positions. And so the months passed until they had reached the last month of school and the exams loomed larger every day. The teacher however, was satisfied that both Mona and Felipe were well prepared for the task before them.
To be continued - See Chapter Thirteen.

Read from the beginning - See Chapter One.

Tags

Albatross, Anger, Best Friend, Boys, Canada, Children, Embarrassing Moments, Fishing Boat, Girl, God, Kingwell, Marriage, Sharing, St Johns, Teacher

Meet the author

author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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author avatar Kingwell
24th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you Johnny.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
24th Jan 2014 (#)

Interesting story in every chapter as well exciting!

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author avatar Kingwell
24th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you Fern

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
26th Jan 2014 (#)

The exciting journey continues, thanks Kingwell - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
26th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you Siva

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
26th Jan 2014 (#)

Good morning, Kingwell; still with you on this one. Well done. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Kingwell
27th Jan 2014 (#)

I am so happy that you are following this. It is my friends who encourage me to keep writing.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
27th Jan 2014 (#)

I am so glad he has found a friend...but only hope she is a true friend....thanks Kinwell

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author avatar Kingwell
27th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you Delicia

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author avatar Mariah
7th Feb 2014 (#)

The plot thickens..interested now to see where the relationship goes with Mona as time goes on...I'm hooked Kingwell..thank you for this great reading material

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author avatar Kingwell
7th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Mariah.

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