Jaffa’s bedroom would have told anybody what kind of person he was. There were books everywhere and the titles were those that only a true academic would be interested in. Physics, psychology and philosophy were well covered and there were also more than a few piles of mathematical books lying around.
The walls had several posters on them illustrating Jaffa’s main interest – space. There were pictures and diagrams of the moon landing and the mission to Mars, the Noah’s Ark III expedition and the United Nations Solar Sortie.
Aside from the books lying all over the place, the room was immaculate. No mouldy pieces of bread in the bin, no half-drunk cans of cola. There weren’t even any dirty socks under the bed!
The room was well-aired and well-lit with plenty of windows and a skylight over the neatly made bed. A window-seat looked out over the manicured gardens of this white-fenced house set in the middle class area of Bellevue Valley.
This home was shared by Jaffa’s parents – Sheila a medical receptionist and David, a sales rep. An over fed and spoilt pug dog that answered to the decidedly unmasculine name of Perky completed the family.
Jaffa was the apple of his mother’s eye and when she wasn’t feeding Perky the best-chopped steak that money could buy she would spend time (and more money) on Jaffa and his obsession with space.
The two of them would go up to the Observatory in Lakeview for a look at the latest exhibition and Sheila would marvel at her son’s vast knowledge of what was out there in the deep dark beyond.
A tradition on the way home would be to stop for tea at the famous Bogarde’s tearoom where Sheila would show Jaffa off to her bridge player friends.
Jaffa and his mother got on famously and he was great company for her when her husband was away selling insurance to little old ladies who didn’t know any better and who would part with their life’s savings just because this lovely man told them to.
David also loved his son and the two of them would spend weekends together on the roof looking at the stars and planets that hovered above them.
Jaffa enjoyed his life. He was pampered as an only son would be and he loved the attention he thought that many of his classmates missed out on. Poor Martin for example was always being overlooked because his brother Bray was the golden boy of that family. Jaffa had no such worries. No sibling rivalry for him!
Somewhat of a nerd and very much an academic, Jaffa kept himself to himself at school. He kept his head down and got on with the work that he actually found was far too easy for him. He longed to have his mind stretched and he would spend his lunch hour in the library looking at encyclopaedias and the teacher’s reference books.
The school bell at the end of the day was always a welcome sound and Jaffa would sit at the front of the school bus next to the teacher, eager to get home ass fast as possible so that he could go and read some more and make notes on the movements of the stars.
One sunny afternoon Jaffa was called out of class by a worried headmaster, pushed into a taxi and sent to the hospital to say his farewells to a suddenly terminally ill father.
Jaffa couldn’t understand what was happening to him – that morning his father had been his usual happy self as he went out the door and now here he was, lying in this cordoned-off ward with some of the sickest people that Jaffa had ever seen.
What was going on?