I was fighting with mummy again, and I’d stomped out of the front door angrily, but I hadn’t left our garden. I always heard Mrs Matthews next door tell my mum that there were kids stealing and beating people in the alleys.
I’d been sitting on the top-step when I caught sight of Old Benjie, or at least that’s what Brett called him.
He was leading the cops to Mrs Pauley’s house, and then I remembered that Mr Pauley had died, and none of her sons seemed to be helping her. She opened the door for them, and I saw her smile as though she didn’t know who they were and why they were there.
A few minutes later, they walked her out of her house, and I stared as she followed two of them, her small, skinny body hunched over with grief until the third cop gave her a bag. She snatched it from him, and hooked her arms around it as they made her enter their white-and-blue car.
Poor Mrs Pauley, I shivered as I opened the door. Six children and not even one of them wanted to help her out. “Mummy,” I asked as I watched her turn her greying head to me. “What’s going to happen to Mrs Pauley?” even Brett looked up from his book to look at her.
“I expect that they’ll be taking her to a home,” her voice was heavy, and it made me look down.
“A home? Is she going with her son?” Brett asked, and I watched as my mother turned her glistening eyes to him.
“No … no she’s not,”