My Father’s Name – Chapter 18

I felt so very alone. The two detectives had gone. Before they left they said that they’d arrange for me to meet with a Victim Support Officer. However, they didn’t know how long that might take and it probably wouldn’t be for a day or so.

I had their numbers and was under strict instructions to call them if John phoned me or turned up at the door – I promised I would. Pathetically I heard myself pleading with them to hurry and find him.

I couldn’t settle to do anything. There was no way that I was going to work. It was way too late for me to accomplish anything anyway and I knew that what had happened would fill my mind. Yes, I wanted to call Frances but how could I. Pride got in the way. She had been right all along but there was so much more than John just being ‘a bit off’.

The detectives had been with me for a couple of hours. I made a sandwich and took a pizza out of the freezer ready for dinner. Life had to go on, didn’t it?

I dragged out the albums of photographs. Me and mum; pictures of all our times together, at the beach, parties, Christmases and in all of them she had been carrying that huge secret.


But why? Okay, when I was little it would have been too much to tell me and all too horrific for a young brain to deal with. But why not later when I was old enough to understand good and evil? Was it because it was just too hard for her to talk about? I had thought we were close. I had believed that we told each other everything and now it was clear that had been an illusion. Maybe, she had worried I would let something slip. The detectives had said that when she was relocated it was like witness protection. She was advised to tell no-one about her past. She was given the option but chose not to change her name. That decision was possibly her biggest mistake. She was told to never talk to reporters if they did manage to find her. She knew, always, there would come a time when he would walk out of jail. She had lived with that hanging over her all of my life and never spoke of it.

I cried for her bravery and for her loneliness and I wanted to tell her it was alright. He wouldn’t hurt me and she had done everything she could to protect me and I loved her for her lies.

Eventually, it was time to go and collect Suzie. I set off early hoping I could be first and whisk her away before I had to speak to anyone.

We have a system at the school where you go into the small entrance and then you have to ring a bell. The teacher or teaching assistant on duty will open the door. After that you have to give them a password and once they have that they let your child out. It seems crazy, overdone but it works and the children are safe. I remember back when I was little, hairing across the playground with my friends and searching for my mum in the crowd of other parents. Sometimes I had to wait for her. I’d be climbing on the railings and laying on the grass in the summer. It’s not like that now.

I wasn’t first but I didn’t really know the couple of other parents and so I didn’t need to talk to them. A bloke had already rung the buzzer and we waited for the teaching assistant. She gave us a wave as she came along the corridor.

One little girl came out. She went off with her daddy.

The assistant looked at me and frowned. I just nodded at her and whispered the password. ‘Unicorns’. Suzie had chosen it.

The girl shook her head and frowned at me. There was a strange sort of silence. I know I smiled. “Suzie,” I said. Though I knew the girl and she knew us. She glanced back into the school and I felt my stomach clench. “Suzie,” I said again.

The girl came closer and spoke quietly. “Your friend collected Suzie a few minutes ago.” Well, I was livid. Frances and I often picked up each other’s children. It was a very regular thing in the days when we were talking. But now, how dare she. I knew Dylan and Suzie were puzzled about what was going on. I knew they were both pestering about why they weren’t playing together as much. But really, to pick up my little girl without my permission was shocking and unforgivable.

Then I saw him, Dylan, waving at me from his classroom doorway.

I could barely get the words out. “Who collected her? Who collected Suzie?”

“Your friend Mr Wright. Suzie said he was her granny’s friend but I know I’ve seen him with you before and he knew the password. She was happy to go with him and he said that you’d been delayed at work.”

“But, you’re not supposed to do that, not without prior notice. You’re not supposed to do that!” I was crying and now the teaching assistant was crying because we both knew. We knew right then that this was terribly wrong.

1 Comment

Filed under Serials, Serials, Shorts and Stuff

One response to “My Father’s Name – Chapter 18

  1. Fran Macilvey


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s