“What do you mean, you don’t have him?” shouted Mr. Scheller. “For God’s sake, he’s a small boy with special needs you people frightened half to death, tore him from a brother who loves him and serves as his protector, and you tell me you don’t have him? Where the hell is he, if I can be so impertinent to ask?”
The Captain shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know.”
The Chief of Police was reaching for the phone at this point in time! I assumed he was going to call around and find out where the officers stashed Will, but I guess when you assume, you put an “ass” before “u” and “me” because he called the city attorney instead. After a few words, he smiled pathetically and ushered us into his office to await the appearance of the requested individual. Offering us seats, he waited until we were properly placed, and began a prolific litany of apologies, concluding with “I’m certain we can get this little misunderstanding rectified immediately to everyone’s satisfaction.” A pandering, sickly smile spread across his broad face, in an effort, I should suppose, to relax us and give us comfort in the ability of his department to discover the where-a-bouts of my brother. All it did for me was to convince me this was a department of fuckups, run by the biggest of the bunch!
Momma smiled back, that hard, piercing smile she uses when she is really pissed and controlling carefully what she’s about to say and just as phony as the Chief’s apology, remarking, “I’m certain you’ll try, but rest assured, it’s not going to stop me from suing your ass off.”
Before the Chief could respond to Momma’s very direct threat of lawsuit, the door popped open and a very rotund gentleman carrying a battered brief case, huffed into the room, gasping, “Well, we don’t want to do anything hasty now, do we?” when he overheard Momma’s last remarks.
Carl Scheller smiled his best court room smile, looked at the rotund, rotisserie of revolving legal jargon, and commented mildly, “No, Harold, we won’t do anything in haste. I think you and I’ve been at logger-heads in the past, engaging in delivering our best approaches to jurisprudence, and you should know by now, I never do anything in haste. In fact, Harold, in the instant case, I’ll be extremely thorough, subpoenaing every record, every recording, and person even remotely involved in this case. If I thought, for one moment, your pet dog overhead anything whatsoever, I’d have his paw on the Bible before you could say “woof.” I think this’ll probably be one of the bigger civil suits you’ve ever experienced. I bet you have to hire outside counsel through the city’s insurance to help out. Think what that’s going to do to the liability rates the city pays. My, my, what fun we’re going to have unless you order this collection of incompetents to locate Will right now, Harold, where is he?”
Harold hemmed and hawed around, wiping his profusely sweating brow with an already damp handkerchief, while we waited patiently for him to answer.
“Well?” Carl asked again.
“We don’t know,” Harold murmured. “Social Services were contacted, they sent a case worker and an intake officer over, and they took custody of the boy. I assume they’re processing him for temporary placement in foster care until the status of this case is concluded. Even then, if they think there’s any danger in the home, they’ll retain custody of the boy until a court hearing decides his permanent placement in foster care. That’s what they usually do with endangered and abused children such as this boy.”
“For God’s sake, don’t you people get the message?” Carl snarled. “This ‘boy’ as you refer to him isn’t endangered or abused; his name is Will Boulton and I insist you refer to him by his name, not as ‘boy.’ If anything, you and your goddamned system is in the process of doing to him what you think you’re trying to prevent! Will and his brother were showering after swimming, nothing more. Jason is his caregiver and protector. Now, Harold you call Social Services and locate him because you and your cronies here in the Police Department and Social Services are digging yourself in deeper and deeper into a very smelly pile of bovine fecal material.”
Momma sat quietly, a tear slowly slipping down one cheek, fully realizing we had a fight on our hands, all because some meddling busybody imposed what his views of ‘proper’ behavior was on a situation and jumped to unnecessary conclusions, or in his mind, a manner through which to exact revenge on those exhibiting “perverted” behavior. The police, not happy dealing with university students on a daily basis anyway, presumed everyone guilty and often acted before campus security could intervene, so they took the man’s word and proceeded to assume me guilty also. I was just plain, outright furious and thought if I didn’t get out of there for a minute or so, I’d tell them all to stuff it up their asses, but I couldn’t leave Momma.
Harold dug into his suit coat, produced his cell phone and made a telephone call. Turning his back to us to prevent us from being part of the conversation, he talked and talked and talked some more. Finally, he turned around, smiled weakly and said, “They won’t tell me where he is, only he’s in a place of safety and the case worker will be conducting interviews with the family and the alleged molester in the morning. They certainly don’t want to send the boy, err- Will, back into a situation where he will be harmed.”
That did it!
“Alleged molester my ass,” I shouted, “He’s my little brother you dumb fuck! Step a little closer Fat Boy and I’ll molest that face of yours with my fist if you keep this up, then you’ll have a good idea of what ‘molest’ is!”
Momma stood up, grabbed my arm, turned me around, and sat me down in a chair, shaking her finger at me in her most authoritative manner and ordered, “Jay, you settle down and keep quiet. I don’t need any more trouble than I already have, besides he’s bigger than you.”
She was right, of course. I’m not what you’d call a muscled individual, able to beat the shit out of anyone, but more of a well-fit, well proportioned, young man, perhaps a bit on the skinny side, but wiry and feisty. Turning her attention to Mr. Scheller, Momma ordered, “Carl, give Judge Nelson a call. Tell him what I’m up against and tell him I’m asking for his help. We’ll sit here while you do that. In the meantime, clear some of this riff-raff out of my sight,” sweeping her hand at the various police officers and the other attorney.
Carl did as she requested, although the police did leave one uniformed officer watching us, although he didn’t come very close. He must’ve been cautioned about interfering with attorney-client privilege or he was afraid Momma would attack him. Personally, I think he saw what happened to his buddy when Will scratched the shit out of him and wasn’t all that positive it didn’t run in the family! In about ten minutes, Carl returned saying softly to Momma and me, “Judge Nelson has issued a court order releasing Will from custody and demanding Social Services and the police produce him or face charges of contempt of court. A clerk is on her way over here now to deliver it to the Chief and City Attorney. Another clerk is delivering a copy to the Director of Social Services.”
The arrival of the clerk caused the station house to become a hubbub of activity and brought the Chief out of his office and announcing, “I’m certain we’ll find him very soon,” and returned to his office. He was clearly and plainly pissed at the Judge’s order and demand they produce Will or face contempt. I guess he didn’t know Momma knew Judge Nelson; shit, I didn’t either!
While we continued to wait, Momma began instructing Carl what she wanted done. “Carl,” she began, “once we have him back in our custody, I want to sue the City and everyone involved in this fiasco. Will is going to take some additional counseling to work through the trauma and I want some bucks to pay for it. Prepare the necessary paperwork getting Judge Nelson to declare Jason as Will’s caregiver in my absence and his legal guardian should anything happen to me. Carl, I want that court order unbreakable, if you know what I mean. I’ll not take this chance again. When that’s all done, we need to talk about a new will for me and some other things.”
“How about identification bracelets such as the ones used for medical alert,” Carl suggested. “The bracelets just might head off any trouble in the future, should this bunch of Keystone Cops decide to do something foolish.”
While they were talking, I began pacing the floor, worried sick over how Will was coping with all of this nonsense. He’d never been in the presence of strangers, except for his teachers and they weren’t strangers anymore to him, without me or Momma with him. I knew he’d be in a state of panic since his entire world collapsed around him and he was no longer in the safe harbor of home where Momma and I protected him and kept everything on even keel. I wandered out of the room we were in, under the watchful but suspicious eye of the officer assigned to us, into the hall, where I stood reading the bulletin board on the wall. I was still in view of the cop, but he wasn’t very happy with me leaving. He didn’t know whether to watch me or Momma, trying to decide which one of us was the bigger threat to his safety and possibly, his job.
With nothing else to do but fuss and worry, I scanned the bulletin board, reading those items which seemed to interest me or at least I thought they might. Most dealt with the sale of tickets to the Policeman’s beef raffle, employment opportunities, kittens to give away, and one business card printed with “The New Light Christian Home for Abused Children – Licensed Foster Care.” Pulling the card from the board, I hustled back into the room and gave it to Momma to read.
Carl, after reading the card Momma proffered him, nodded his head saying, “I know where this place is. It is just possible Social Services might’ve placed him there until they can finish processing him and find a permanent location. It’s about the only place they could’ve moved him to so quickly.”
With a smile and a nod to the very confused cop standing nearby, we quickly exited the police station, loaded up in Carl’s car, and drove to the “New Light Christian Home.” The two-story brick home, surrounded by a head high woven wire fence, posed a foreboding sight to the three of us. Carl parked the car behind a municipal vehicle already parked by the curb. We walked through open gate and up the walk to the front entrance. Carl rang the doorbell and a rather somber looking gentleman answered, dressed in white shirt and black pants, greeting us with no more than “May I help you?” as he peered around the door, restricting any access with not only the door but with his body.
Mr. Scheller was nonplussed, answered authoritatively, “Yes you may; I’m Carl Scheller, attorney for Mrs. May Boulton, Jason Boulton, and Will Boulton, whom I believe you are currently holding young Will. Please get him for us.”
The gentleman looked us over carefully, suspicious of anyone I should think who might question his authority or attempt to invade his domain without his permission or other authority, answered, “I’m sorry, but if he were here we wouldn’t release him to you without the proper authorization. You’ll have to contact the Department of Social Services to find the location of Will Boulton, which I doubt they’ll give you once a child is placed in protective services.”
“Excuse me,” Momma interrupted, “but that car parked out front is from the Department of Social Services which means they’re still here. I’d like to speak to them please.”
His response was quick and succinct, “I’m sorry, but you don’t have permission to be on this property and I must ask you to leave or I shall be forced to summon the police.”
“Oh, please do,” I shot back at him, pushed open the door and him with it, then zipped around him into the house before he could grab me. Shouting Will’s name as I began running down a hall as Momma and Carl argued with the man, desperate to find my brother. I finally heard him squealing for me from behind a closed door!
Giving the door a shove open, I saw Will backed into a corner of the room, facing two very bedraggled social workers, a man and a woman. The woman suffered many of the same battle injuries as the police officer did when taking Will into custody. I reminded myself again to trim Will’s fingernails a bit closer after his next bath. Turning at the sound of the door opening, the man made a lunge for me, but I dodged him, gave the woman a push out of my way, and scooped Will up in my arms.
Both of them confronted me, glaring with hostility, moving in my direction, preparing to wrestle Will from my arms. I held up one hand in a gesture holding them at bay and growled, “Don’t you fucking touch me or him! Call the police right now!”
I doubt I could’ve put up a very effective defense since Will wrapped his legs around my waist and his arms about my neck. His head was buried in the crook of my neck as he sobbed his relief. The man hesitated, evaluating what he could and couldn’t do, but with a word from the shredded-dress woman, backed away. Evidently, they’d suffered enough damage at the hands of the Boulton Family since, within minutes, four squads, one holding the Chief, sirens blaring, red and blue lights flashing, roared up to the front door of the “New Light Christian Home” and before you could say, “I’ll be dipped in honey before taking a bear for a walk” there were cops all over the place. Before the social services people could complain concerning our aberrant behavior, the Chief served them with a copy of Judge Nelson’s order and, “zippity-do-da” we were on our way home, after a short detour to reclaim my car at the swimming pool.
That night, after supper and repeating numerous times to Will that no one would take him away again, we put him to bed. I was just plain worn out, but really upset over what happened at the pool, the police station and the foster home. I tossed and turned, trying to sleep, when I heard my bedroom door open and little feet cannonaded across the hardwood floor of my bedroom. He hesitated a moment, lifted the covers, and snuggled up against me. I placed my arms around Will and pulled him closer to me. Just before he drifted off to slumber-land, he raised up, kissing me, saying softly, “I knew you’d come get me, Jay, before they could fucking touch me again!”
Oh, shit, Will now has a new word to use and it’ll be the very devil to pay trying to convince him it’s a word he really shouldn’t use. Gonna’ be hard though; he heard his older brother use it and it got results.
To be continued.
Thank you for reading “Where there’s Will, There’s a Way” Chapter Three - “Terror comes and terror goes.”- (Anon.)
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental or used in a fictional content.
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