the missing link

Tom had always wondered what his life would of been like if things had been different. so he went on an adventure to try and find his dad but things didn't turn out how he had planned.


1. The Missing Link


I stood there looking over my Mums dead body, tears in my eyes I fled from the room. Blood pounding in my ears, I suddenly felt cold and shivery. My shaky hand picked up the phone to call the ambulance, even though I knew there was nothing they could do, she was dead.

I could hear the faint sound of the sirens in the distance. Getting closer, closer and then the paramedics were calling the coroner.

I had no one. I never met my Dad all I know was his name, Robert Bowles.

I woke to my alarm at 7:00. I pulled open  the draw of my bedside cabinet and shoved  in the alarm clock to muffle the sound. I tore of my warm duvet and forced myself out of my cosy bed! I stared across the room to the picture on my wooden desk. It was of my mum and me. Her long blonde hair framed her smiling face, her big blue eyes glinting in the sunlight pouring down on us. Me in her arms. I was about two, a blonde nest of hair on my head! Staring into the camera with a big toothless grin on my face!

I glanced at the time, it was 7:10. I raced across my room to the bathroom and washed my hands and face. I pulled my favourite red t-shirt over my head and slid on my jeans. I grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl and raced down stairs, slipped into my trainers and stepped outside. The cool wind whipped past me and the smell of the freshly cut grass was refreshing. I ran down the path to meet my best friend, Matt, on the corner by the church.

“ First day at college and you are late!” Matt said sarcastically. “I know, I know but I was looking at the picture on my desk, you know the one of me and mum, and it got me thinking” I paused “ I want to find my dad.”

Matt stood there thinking about what I had just said before coming out with “ok Tom, you know I will support you in everyway possible but your mum died 6 years ago you are 16 now so why the sudden thought?” “Well I don’t want to be stuck at Ballenstine children’s unit for the rest of my childhood and besides my Dad might be really cool!” Still in deep conversation we walked up to Northbrook college.

I went into my first lesson with my mind somewhere else. The voices in the room muffled and I was mentally transported to my old house.

In my mind I am sitting in front of the fire watching the flames dance around. Then suddenly my Dad is in front of me. He is tall and has short brown hair. He has a moustache. He is wearing a blue and white stripy t-shirt and blue denim jeans. His mouth is moving but no words are coming out. He looks sad, I reach out to try and touch his arm but he vanishes right in front of my eyes.

“Tom, Tom.” Mrs Sinsbery was shouting in my ear. “what did James just say?” her brown teeth moving every time she spoke. “um… I don’t know Miss?” “well Mr Bowles that isn’t good enough, you can stay after class with me for 30 minutes.”

After I had served my time with Mrs Sinsbery, I walked the 10 minute journey back to Ballenstine.

Once in my room I kicked off my trainers and opened my mini fridge to get out a can of coke. I ripped open my bag and pulled out the wedge of homework I had gathered over the day and got to work.

By the time I had finished my maths it was dark outside. I was really tired so I had a quick shower and put on my stripy pyjamas. I climbed into bed and switched on the sports channel on my tiny T.V.

I woke up to the Brighton and Hove Albion replay at 7:30,on the T.V. I had a banging headache and a sore throat so decided not to go to college. I switched off the T.V and went back to sleep.

I then awoke again at 10:00. I pulled off my duvet and padded across the carpet to my laptop. I flicked on the switch and double clicked on Google. I put the curser over the search bar and typed in Robert Bowles. 283 search results came up and I clicked on the first one. No, it was the wrong one. I pressed the back button and then scrolled down and clicked on the sixth one. As it loaded it looked more promising than before. It was an information page telling me everything there was to know about this man. I quickly jotted down his phone number, email address and home address and shut down the laptop.

I went to bed at 10 o’clock that night because I was putting together a plan to find my Dad. I wasn’t going to go to college the next day as I was going to spend it tracking my Dad down.

I had set my alarm for 6 am so I could sneak out before Jenny, my social worker, woke up.

When I was outside the sun was just rising. I took out my map and followed Tarring Road eastwards. I got out my red marker pen and highlighted the road and circled the house that Robert lived in. Having walked for an hour in the beating sun, I was becoming weary. Not knowing the area, I hadn’t got a clue where I was but I knew I couldn’t be far away.

It was getting dark now and I found myself in a cul de sac and thought I must have gone wrong.  Then I saw the sign saying it lead to Barton Road – the only way to get to it seemed to be through a wooded area.  I wasn’t scared of walking through the forest but there was something about the trees that made me feel uneasy. I kept my head down and started to speed up.  It was almost as if the trees were watching me as I continued.  A few metres ahead of me I was relieved to see the opening to Barton Road. Now in the road, I looked for number 10.

2…4…6…8…and finally 10. There was the house my Dad could actually be living in. I was nervous now – what was I going to say? I had planned this moment over and over in my head but now I was here I felt so daunted. I walked up the swept pathway to the big black door and rang the doorbell with my sweaty hand. A man came to the door. He was tall with short greying hair and was wearing Adidas jogging bottoms with a blue sweatshirt. Standing there and staring down at me, he waited for me to say something.

“Err…Hi. I’m Tom Bowles…are you Robert Bowles?” I said nervously.

“Yes I am, can I help you?” he replied.

“Umm…I think I…I might be your son.” I stuttered.

“Excuse me, is this some kind of dare? Where is the rest of your group?” he said, almost pushing past me to look for someone sniggering in the background.

“No, it’s not a dare.  My Mother died 6 years ago and I never met my Dad.  I’ve been researching you because I didn’t want to be stuck in a children’s home for the rest of my childhood.  I’ve been walking all day to find you so please listen to what I have to tell you.” I pleaded.

A look of softness came over his face that I didn’t expect to see.  Then he spoke in a warm and calm voice, inviting me inside. I hadn’t really thought about how I would react when we met but I was desperate to find out the truth so I decided I had to go in.

As I stood in the warm lounge Robert came in with a mug of hot cocoa for me, tea for himself and a plate of chocolate biscuits. I felt strangely comfortable as we began to talk.

“So tell me your Mum’s name” he asked.  “Helen Bowles” I replied.

Robert’s eyes filled with tears as he tried to force them back.  In a cracked voice he confirmed that he knew my Mum and that he was indeed my Dad.

“We were married for 3 years and were only young.  As soon as I found out Helen was pregnant, I panicked and left.  I feel so ashamed.” Robert sobbed.

I felt such a mixture of emotions, feeling happy that I had found my Dad but disappointed to hear he had abandoned my Mum. Robert wiped his eyes.

“It’s too late for you to get home – you can stay here if you like?” he said.

As we walked upstairs, a sudden feeling of security came over me; something I hadn’t felt in years.

I went into the spare room.  It had yellow wallpaper and brown carpet. I took off my trainers and put them beside the bed, along with my rucksack. I climbed onto the mattress and pulled the soft duvet over me and was asleep within seconds.

I then awoke at 10.30 the next morning but I wasn’t in the box-like room that I’d fallen asleep in – I was on a boat…

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