Love and Magic Part Two
A skinny, middle aged woman with long flowing, brown hair, rushed over to the kids and gave the distraught Skye a cuddle. Andrew recognized the woman as one of Skye’s mum’s friends, by the way she was dressed with her characteristic flowing sarong and huge dangling ear-rings. He felt annoyed for the interference, it should be him that Skye was crying on and what was that woman saying to her.
Andrew’s parents were probably going to ground him forever. It was Jack’s fault, Jack was the driver he was the one that drove the car over the cliff and they weren't even in it…then.
Two police cars and an ambulance pulled up at the beach car park, all eyes were on the new arrivals for the moment and then back on the kids.
Jack watched as the entire police force (all four of them) and two ambulance officers made their way towards them. In an instant Jack decided he had to accept the blame for the car accident, he’d try and keep his friends out of it as best he could.
The beach was a flurry of activity with people waiting to give their account of what they thought had happened and the ambulance officers checking over the kids to see if they were OK. No-one could quite believe that there were no injuries although there was a lot of talk about giving the kids a good flogging.
The police interview went fairly well for Jack. His mother remained aloof throughout the proceedings. Jack answered the questions as plainly and simply as he could. He didn't want to get his friends into more trouble by offering more information than necessary. Jack figured he’d accept whatever was coming to him. God if he survived the car accident he could survive anything he thought to himself.
The police station foyer was crowded with parents and friends arriving to support or be present for the kids’ interviews. Skye’s mum and boyfriend were standing near the exit as Jack’s mum Adria brushed past ignoring the couple. Jack stopped to apologize to Skye’s mum. Adria realized Jack was no longer following and looked over her shoulder to see what Jack was up to when she realized what Jack was doing her face went bright red.
Adria’s mind had been reeling with thoughts of; 'this isn't really happening', 'it’s all just a bad dream', then the next moment she would be thinking, 'what’s my mum going to say' and she visualized a scenario squabbling with her mother over the days and coming days events. When she was faced with Jack apologizing to Skye’s mother the realization that this was actually real hit her with such force she felt like she was going to explode. She marched back to Jack and grabbed him by the arm.
“Excuse me” she said to Skye’s mother and boyfriend, then proceeded to drag her son to the car, almost dislocating his shoulder. She released Jack when they got to the car and let him find his own way to the passenger door although she felt like throwing him through it. She was also aware that she was probably being watched.
The car trip home was a long one for Jack, his mother refusing to say a word or even acknowledge he was in the car with her. Yet he could feel her anger building like a storm. He was going over what he should do in his head, should he just face his mother or keep out of her way. Sooner or later she was going to blow her top and if it was later she might be more wound up. He decided it was best to take the band-aid approach, confront her and let it rip.
He entered the house in front of his mother planning on sitting at the kitchen table thinking they would talk there. However no sooner had he walked through the kitchen door than WHOP. Jack yelled out in pain at the unexpected blow to the shoulder from his mother’s shoe. He managed to duck in time as his mother hurled the second shoe at his head, screaming a torrid of abuse.
“I should have never given birth to you, you've ruined my life, you’re a useless piece of shit”, she ranted and raved as she stormed into Jack’s bedroom and began dumping clothing out of drawers onto the floor.
“I want you to get out”, she screamed, “Go get out, pack up your shit and get out.”
She was shaking as she was kicking his toys and things about.
Not waiting for any further attack Jack, tears streaming down his face ran out of the house into the front yard. He stood for a moment at a complete loss. Karen the next door neighbour, a tall thick set woman in her forties with enormous breasts, and a shock of red dyed shoulder length hair, had heard of Jacks incident and was expectantly waiting to step in.
Karen had been Jack and his mum Adrias neighbor for two years and in that time she had come under fire from Adria’s psychotic ramblings on a few occasions, the most notable were once for mangoes gone missing and another time for cat poo and Karen didn't even own a cat. Karen was troubled when she noticed how Adria looked annoyed whenever Jack got a compliment; also she seemed to show no affection towards her son but was quick to punish the boy. Karen didn't know why, but she had felt responsible to some extent for not saying anything.
“Stuff it”, Karen told herself, “I’m not going to let the mad bitch get him”.
Karen walked along the footpath then quickly diverted into Jacks’ front yard. She quietly put her arm around Jacks’ shoulder and firmly steered him back to her house, without saying a word.
Karen was no stranger to Jack, on a number of occasions he had gone over to her house for a cup of tea and biscuits when it was obvious he wasn't going to get anything at home. In return he helped Karen bring in her groceries, or lend a hand moving around furniture. Their friendship began when Jack had stacked his push bike right in front of her house, not long after Karen had moved into the street. Karen had her first-aid kit out on the footpath in an instant and tidied him up, from then on he always stopped for a chat whenever he saw her in the yard.
So now here they sat at Karen’s kitchen table, cup of tea in hand. Karen stood up and went into the next room to make a phone call to the ‘Family Welfare Services’, she knew she would be unable to care for Jack herself especially living next door to that horrid woman that was his mother, but even more so, recently, Karen’s own mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and Karen had decided this was the last chance to mend broken bridges and was planning on temporarily moving back in with her mother in her old home town 500 kilometers away to care for her until she passed on.
She wondered if Jack had any other relatives that could take him in but it was apparent that Jack and his mother were somewhat outcasts and she didn’t want to question the boy any further today.
Jack had again relayed his story to Karen as he had told it to the police, then he had confided to Karen that he was scared about what was going to happen to himself.
Karen gently explained that she had called family services as she would not be able to care for him herself. Jack had already known that Karen was leaving soon because her mum was dying and nodded his understanding. Now there were a hundred questions swimming around in his head. Who will he end up with? Where will he get sent? Will he see his friends again and would they want to see him anyway? Etc . He sat in silence for a while staring at his cup of tea, gazing at the tiny painted flowers on the cup and matching saucer.
“Mum’s not right is she? I mean she’s not right in the head?” Jack asked Karen.
“Um, well mate,” Karen paused for a moment trying to think of what to say, “She has issues”.
“You mean she’s real nut job then!” Jack exclaimed, eyebrows raised.
“Oh my goodness Jack,” Karen almost choked. She took a moment to compose herself and looked down at her hands in her lap, searching for the right words.
“Darling lets not be negative. I don’t know your mum very well, but everyone has bad things or big changes that happen during their life and that can affect who they are”. She paused for a moment then continued.
“You had one of those moments today; it sounds like you’re very lucky to be alive. God must want you to be here, so have faith and be strong because there is something special about you darling, it’s just going to be a little rough for awhile until everything sorts itself out”.
He thought for a moment then nodded approval, Karen nodded in turn happy with her answer.
to be continued........