I’ve never dealt with a lost or abandoned child before. I don’t deal well with kids as it is, but a lost one, I was way out of my depth.
It was closing time when he walked in.
“Sorry kid, we’re closed,” I said putting on my coat.
“My daddy’s dead, ” he said panting heavily, tears beginning to appear on his cheeks.
“Oh no, what happened?” I said crouching in front of him.
Not knowing how to handle the situation, I put my hands on his shoulders.
“Where is he now?”
“129 Acre Street.”
“I know that well, did you just run from there?”
“Are you sure he’s dead?”
He nodded again.
“Okay, let’s get you back there now and I’ll get help.”
He backed away and shook his head, “No, Daddy’s dead!”
“It’ll all be okay, I promise.”
Reluctantly he took my hand as I led him out of the shop.
“Hello, what’s your emergency?” the woman on the other end of the line asked.
“Hi, I am with a child, he says his Dad has died.”
“Okay, what address?”
We rounded the corner and I saw the flashing lights of the vehicles outside the boy’s house.
“Looks like someone else has called already. Sorry for wasting your time.”
“Not a problem,” the woman said and the line went dead.
When we approached the boy gripped my hand tightly.
“Don’t worry son, everything will be okay.”
We moved through the paramedics and police interviewing neighbours and approached the front door.
“Is your mum inside?” I asked.
He nodded again.
“Go inside and see her, I bet she’s been wondering where you’ve been.”
He disappeared inside the building.
“What’s going on?” I asked a police officer as he approached me.
“Sir, this is a crime scene, you have to leave.”
“Sorry, I’ll get out of your way.”
I stood on the pavement outside the front yard when a neighbour approached.
“It’s so sad something like this can happen in this day and age,” he said shaking his head mournfully.
“Heart attacks can strike at any moment; one minute you’re here and the next you’re gone,” I replied trying to console him.
“It wasn’t a heart attack. It appears their little boy just went crazy and stabbed his father to death. How do you wrap your head around that?”
My blood ran cold and my face drained of colour.
“Are you okay?” the man asked.
“Uhh,” was all I could muster.
It was then I heard the feminine screams from inside the house, and I knew what happened.
The boy reappeared at the threshold of the door, his t-shirt painted red, and said, “My mummy’s dead.”