Saturday, 21 December 2013

I saw the police car

as I was passing on Wednesday. It was in the driveway of the house opposite the one most people would have expected to find it. After all that house is rented out to a mob of boys who appear to have no regard for their neighbours.
But the other house? Oh, a quiet couple with two small girls. The little girls are nice children. They seemed pleasant enough. I knew them on an "acknowledge each other as we pass" basis after having been introduced by someone in that street I do know.
It's a very nice house. I knew the previous owner, an elderly woman. When she left it the house was "done up". A good deal of money was spent on it. There is a two car garage - and two nice cars.
You can't see through to the back - or over any of the fences and they never had visitors but then, some people just like to be private.
They were friendly enough and the neighbour who introduced me seemed to get on well enough with them.
There were raids across the city on Wednesday - nine houses and eight men arrested. The little - and not so little - green plants were uprooted and taken away as "evidence".
Such things have always bothered me but, this time, it bothers me more than most. I am worried for the children. The little girls are about four and six. They are old enough to understand that something is wrong but not old enough to understand all the implications.
The father is going to lose his job. He will probably be given a custodial sentence. He is going to find it almost impossible to get another job. His wife may also, because of the nature of her work, find herself out of a job.
It is going to have a major impact on the lives of those two small girls. They will have to change schools and, even then, people may find out who they are and refuse to let their children associate with them. As they grow older and want jobs of their own people are going to inquire into their backgrounds and hesitate - and yes, they will inquire and they will hesitate. It will prevent the girls from taking up employment in some fields because competition for jobs is going to be so tight that, unfairly, their father's behaviour is going to have negative consequences for them.
But, the more immediate impact is perhaps the saddest thing of all. There were Christmas decorations in the front yard - put there by two excited little girls.
Daddy won't be home for Christmas and it won't be an accident. He made a deliberate choice not to be.

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