Around the Corner

Ten year old Nooruddeen stared impatiently at the clock. Two minutes to go, he watched as the second hand ticked its way steadily round in almost slow motion. At last the bell rang and the entire school ruptured with the sound of squeaking chairs and running footsteps.

He sprang from his chair and darted for the door. He ran home, not even noticing the street cricket game that the neighbourhood kids had begun to play. When he reached home, he ate the sandwich, which his mom had prepared, and quietly went to his room to start on his homework. His mom noticed that her son was not really being his usual playful self, and tapped on the room door.

“Is everything alright? You’ve been very quiet since you got home.”

“I’m fine, mom. Just doing my homework. Please let me know when dad gets home from work.” her son replied.

His mom’s curiosity grew, but she accepted the response, and decided to start on supper.

The afternoon went by quite quickly, and the little boy’s father was soon home. Nooruddeen was out of his room, before his mom informed him of his dad’s return. He opened the door just as his dad turned the key. His dad greeted him with a smile; he knew his son had something on his mind.

As his father laid down his bag, and handed mom the bag of goodies she had requested, his father asked, “How is it, son? How was school?

Nooruddeen replied, “School was good, dad. I actually wanted to let you know that I passed the Math test with an A…”

Dad responded pleased, “ Good stuff!”

His son added, “Remember you promised that I could ask for anything if I passed well.”

His dad’s face cast a knowing smile and he replied, “ Yes, I do. What do you want, son, you’ve earned it. Name it?’

Nooruddeen promptly responded, “ All I want is to shave my head.”

His mom, who had been quietly listening to the exchange between father and son, let out a little laugh. The father’s brow furrowed, and he asked with feigned confusion, “ Err, what did you say?”

His mom heard him, all right, and began frantically ranting about how the youth of today were so impressionable, and this was only the beginning of worse to come.

All the while the little boy, listened, and waited for his mom to finish. He then repeated, “ Dad, you promised me ‘anything’, and I would like to shave my head bald, please.”

The father protested in vain, “ I know I said that, but I assumed you would want a bike or something reasonable, not this”

His mom then jumped in, “ You can’t be serious?”

The little boy remained unmoved, “ This is all I am asking for.”

The father stared at his son , and gave in, much to the dismay of his wife. That said and done, the next day, the father accompanied his son to the local barber.

On the way there, thoughts of dread were coiled in his mind. He could not figure out what they, as parents, had done wrong. He looked at his son, walking beside him…for the first time he did know what Nooruddeen was thinking. This disturbed him.

As the barber began shaving Nooruddeen’s head, he looked curiously at the boy’s father, who pretended not to notice and flipped a magazine. In less than ten minutes, it was all over. Nooruddeen happily sprang out of the chair, and ran his hand over his clean-shaven head, quite pleased with himself, as he went out the door and waited for his dad.

As his father stepped out, he noticed another little boy, head shaven too, and a man approaching them from around the corner. The boy seemed to know his son, and was clearly impressed with his son’s new hairstyle. The man, who appeared to be the boy’s father, spoke at this point to him, “You should be very proud of your son…” Nooruddeen’s dad was bewildered and asked,” Whatever do you mean?”

The man smiled and said,” My son was diagnosed with cancer and had been attending chemotherapy sessions, which caused him to lose all his hair. He had been having a rough time at school. All the other kids were teasing him pretty badly. Your son just told him, not to worry, he would sort it out.”


  1. Hey

    I really trully loved your story. I tried to write and explain how I feel and what I think about this story but I cant get the words out. It’s a good one.

    Thank you

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