I was sitting at home, in front of the TV, bag of crisps in hand, when the phone rang. I wasn’t expecting it, and it was the land-line. That means two things, bad news or someone selling something. I swore as I stood up, and reached for the phone. I was already annoyed.
“Yes,” I answered.
“It’s your son, Michael. He’s been in an accident. We need you to come to the hospital as soon as possible.”
“He’s okay. He was hit by a car, but it’s all been sorted now. He’s going to be fine, just needs to spend a few days here.”
I don’t remember the rest of the conversation. I grabbed Leah, and we rushed to the hospital. And there he is. Laying there, tubes sticking out everywhere. He’s asleep. Has been since the accident. They say he will probably wake up tomorrow some time. They say he’s very lucky. Then they say what actually happened. That he was dressed up as a clown and scared a couple of uni students. That one of them pushed him, and it was just an accident.
“So what have you done to them?”
“The students? We got statements, and then sent them home.”
“You didn’t arrest them.”
“They didn’t commit a crime. He dressed up as a clown. And considering what happened last week. Everyone’s on edge. It was self defence.”
“He’s a kid. He didn’t deserve that.”
“No he didn’t. But he should be alright. The doctor has said he will make a full recovery.”
I don’t answer. I just stand there looking at the policeman, knowing that he let them get away. They deserve worse. They should have known he was a kid. Look at his height. He was just playing a joke. It’s not like he could have known about the murder last week. He was just a stupid kid. And even if he did hear about it, no one knows who did it. It’s not like there was a video of a clown. He couldn’t put two and two together.
“I just can’t believe it. Look at him. He’s so small,” Leah says, nearly crumbling into my arms.
“He’s going to be okay,” I say holding her up. “They said it was just a bump to the head, that he will be fine.”
“I know, but just look at him. He needs to come home. I need to look after him. He needs us.”
“I know he does. He will be home as soon as possible. We will look after him.”
“Why would he does such a bad thing?”
“He’s just a kid. Doing what kids do. He saw a craze online and wanted to be part of it,” he sighs as he looks at the costume the police handed him. “Look, he probably got this from the attic, that’s where we kept his brothers after he moved out.”
“It is. I can’t believe he would go and scare people.”
“It’s not his fault. He’s just having fun. It’s there fault. They should have known he was a kid.”