“He’d always been a good boy.”
This much everyone agreed on. His name made him stand out as a leader. Moses was the name chosen by his father, the man who realised soon after his son’s birth that he himself had never really grown up so he couldn’t be a good parent to him. He became a ghost in the young baby’s life before Moses could form a memory of Colin’s face.
Now Colin was back, and everyone instantly knew who he was. Moses was his spitting image. Even after all the years of absence and the elastic anger that stretched through their separate lives, when he walked into the police station Maisie caught her breath. She remembered why she’d chosen him as she looked as his long lean body. He was still in good shape after all these years, she thought. She wanted him to hold her tightly. He was a flicker of light in a place that felt purposefully mean in design.
Colin stood by the clerk’s desk and announced himself. His voice was deeper and steadier than she remembered it. He stood with one muscular arm leant on the desk.
“I’m the boy’s father,” he declared. “I need to see him.”
“Just a moment, sir,” the desk sergeant glanced curiously over to the bench where Maisie sat. He too had noticed that they hadn’t acknowledged each other. Masie’s fingers were digging into Cheryl’s arm, her lifelong friend from school times. Cheryl’s thoughts about Colin were obviously different to Maisie’s, she didn’t try to hide her rage. “He’s got a nerve!” Cheryl rasped; she was desperate for a cigarette but there was no way she could abandon Masie for a moment, even for nicotine.
Colin turned and followed the sergeant’s gaze.
“Masie,” he said with a casual air as if they had last spoken that morning and not fifteen years ago. “I’m going to sort all this out. Don’t worry.”
Suddenly her face closed to him. All she could think about was Moses and the streets that had been his school of troubles and confrontations. She knew that the police had made a mistake, but they hadn’t let her see him since he was brought in sixteen hours ago. He would be 18 in two days time, she wanted him out before then. But she believed that the police didn’t know that he’d always been a good boy. They didn’t really see Moses, they merely saw a black boy on the street where another crime had been committed. They saw a closed case. His blackness was his crime to them. When they picked him up they ignored the innocent surprise on his face and vigorously threw him to the ground breaking his nose and three ribs. With coat tightened against the wind and scarf wound around his lower face he looked like the father he didn’t remember.
The one who had stabbed his sister’s rapist.
“Here’s the knife I used.”
He’d always been a good boy.
© Marjorie H Morgan 2017