I must preface this story by saying that it is pure fantasy. As you might know, I don't always write fantasy. Sometimes I write fact disguised as fantasy. It's up to you to tell the difference. I avoid the usual disclaimers because, I figure, why are you here in the first place? Wouldn't you like to be surprised for a change?
Francis and the Social Worker
It seems like I have been here forever just waiting and waiting and waiting. I saw My Mom talking to some people out in the hall and I saw Daniel's Parents walk by but I didn't see him anywhere. He must be here too otherwise why would his parents be here? A policeman came in and brought me down the hall to another room. He shut the door and left. The room had a few chairs and a table and curiously, no windows. To say I wasn't worried would be an understatement, but why was I here? There was a large clock on the wall like the ones in school. It just didn't seem to move at all. If it did it moved very slowly. There was a large mirror on the wall. It didn't take a genius to figure that one out.
After she had gotten everything straight she gave me a big smile and said, "You must be Francis. Is that what they call you at school?"
I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Sometimes."
"So what else do they call you?"
I said "Francis."
"You mean you don't have a nickname or something like that?"
Normally, I wouldn't care but she was embarrassing me. "Sometimes they call me Dusty, but maybe you could call me Francis if is alright with you."
"You can call me Dianne if you want."
She looked over her forms. "Francis I'm here to ask you some questions. Now don't worry, you aren't in trouble and we asked your Mother and she said it was ok. The only thing I want you to do is to be truthful because it is very important. Do you think you can do that for me?"
I nodded yes.
She was quiet for a moment and was writing things down on a form. "Now, your full name is Francis Lake"
She looked up at me for a confirmation. "What was your date of birth, Francis?"
"That would make you twelve, thirteen this December, right? Francis, do you have any brothers or sisters?"
I said, "No."
I said "Yes."
It was obvious to me that she already had all this information but I guess she was double checking what she had against the forms.
She went on, "And, what about your Dad?"
I was silent.
She paused for a long moment and then slowly and carefully said, "Francis, I know about what happened to your Dad, I just needed to know if you knew. Suicide is a terrible thing but you must remember that it wasn't your fault."
If she knew, why did she bother to ask me? Why would it be my fault, I was only two at the time.
"Francis, what school do you go to and what grade are you in and do you like or dislike school?"
"I'm in seventh grade and I go to Lincoln Middle School."
I thought for a minute, "It's ok."
"Do you have many friends at school?"
I said, "Pretty much."
"Francis, what do you mean when you say, "Pretty much."
"I don't know, pretty much I guess?"
"Francis, when I say that, I need to know if you have a lot of friends, some friends or maybe just a few or none. Can you pick one of those?"
"I don't know, I guess I have a lot of friends."
Francis, when you think of friends, are friends all the kids that you know at school or maybe Friends that are some special friends that you spend time with?
"I guess I have both kinds."
"How many special friends do you have? You know the kind of friends that you spend time alone with?"
"I don't know, they don't stay the same, they change."
"Would you consider Daniel Woods a special friend?"
I had a feeling that I had to be very careful about what I said.
"Francis, think very carefully, is Daniel a special friend?"
Reluctantly I said, "I guess."
"Francis, explain to me what a special friend is?"
I was thinking that this whole thing was about the old Brooks house getting broken into.
"Francis, tell me about the time that you and Daniel spend together?"
Now I looked puzzled. I tilted my head and looked towards the ceiling as if an answer was hanging up there in space.
"Daniel is about a year older than you, isn't he?"
I said, "I guess."
"Did Daniel ever touch you in a place he shouldn't?
I made a frown like I didn't understand.
"Francis, you've heard of the concept of good touch and bad touch, haven't you? Well I think you are old enough to know what I am really talking about, aren't you?"
What is she trying to find out? That Daniel and I did things? How would she know?
"Francis, in the beginning of this interview I told you that you were not in trouble. I also asked you to tell the truth. If you don't tell the truth, you will be in trouble and lying is a crime. Think about where you are. You are in the police station and we need the truth."
Maybe if I was talking to someone my age, like another boy, I might say something but only if I trusted him really well. Miss Carver was not only an adult, she was a woman. My impulse was to clam up tight.
There seemed to be an angry fire in her eyes. She leaned forward and said, "If someone touches someone inappropriately it hurts people. It hurts people like you and we must do something to stop them from hurting other people."
Her voice has an angry edge to it. "When was the last time you and Daniel were alone together?"
I said, "Yesterday."
"Francis, I want you to think very carefully and I want you to tell me the truth. When you met up after school, and you were in Daniel's room, tell me step by step what Daniel did."
She knows! How can she know anything? Daniel would never say anything and I know I wouldn't.
I said, "We played play station."
She could have asked me what game, but she didn't.
"Well that's not what Daniel told us. He said you two did a lot of other things."
I have no idea where I got the courage but I said defiantly, "Like what!?"
She was trying to trick me into saying something I didn't want to. It is embarrassing enough to be asked questions about what I did with my dickie and what Daniel did with his to begin with but this lady wanted to make a federal case out of it.
My rebelliousness angered her and she raised her voice. "If I find out otherwise you will be in serious trouble!"
She sat down and tried to regain her sweet façade. It was too late. I wouldn't answer any more of her questions.
I was made to sit alone in the room another hour and then finally released to my Mom. She didn't know what she was doing when she allowed me to be questioned. Ms. Carver turned out to be the prosecutor. All her talk about telling the truth. Daniel caught on and did the same thing as I did. He clammed-up. We're not criminals, we're just boys and boys do stuff like that. Had one or the other of us broke down and confessed, the consequences would have been dire and life destroying.
And all over what.....two boys having a circle jerk?
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