I sit and stare at all the stuff we just stored in the tree house. I know what I have to do but sometimes it’s tough being a ten-year-old kid. I sit and try to think of another way for a full ten minutes. The back door closes behind me with a thunk. My mother is in the kitchen wiping the edges of the table with a damp cloth.
“Hey Mother, where’s the Father?”
She gives me a little hug, “Did your friend go home?” I nod. “How’s he doing?”
“He’s okay. He’s worried but he’s okay,” I just stand there and wait for an answer to my question.
“Your Father is reading in the living room, he had a long day.”
“I know, it’s going to get longer,” I let the words trail behind me as I leave the kitchen and go into the living room. My Mother is correct. My Father is sitting on the sofa hiding behind a fully open newspaper, which usually means he wants to be alone. “Father,” I stand at the end of the sofa, leaning against the over stuffed arm.
“Jimmy,” he looks over the top of the paper.
“I think we need to go back to the police station.” He folds the newspaper into a half sheet, sets it on the coffee table, scoots over, pats the sofa where he wants me to sit and waits for more. I tell him about the basement, what Ricky’s dad does for a living and how the car might be involved.
“So, we need to go right now?” my father may not say much but he’s a good listener and he does something that is hard for a lot of adults – he listens to kids.
“Ricky’s mom works from their home,” my father waits for more. “She’s home almost all the time,” He waits some more. Part of being a good listener is having patience. “Tomorrow is Sunday,” he’s got it now. I can see the light in his eyes.
“I’ll call and see if Detective Randolph is still in, he’s a pretty good friend,” my Father understands adults and how they listen to kids, he knows we need a friend on the inside if we are going to pull this off.
The only spare room at the Police Station is an old interrogation room, it still has the two-way mirror across one wall and there is a place to attach handcuffs on the bolted to the floor steel table. A single white bulb hanging by it’s cord over the center of the table lights the room. Detective Randolph leads us in, he waves at the chairs around the table as he props open the door with a rubber wedge. He looks tired; he was on his way home when my Father called.
“So what’s up Huel?” I look around the room to see where Huel is in the second it takes me to remember my Father’s name.
“I want you to hear the kid’s story,” my Father says and turns the whole thing over to me. I start with exploring the basement and tell him everything I know, he starts to get interested when I tell him about the box bolted into the back of Ricky’s dad’s Honda, I can tell he doesn’t like the part where we move the stuff into the tree house but he listens to the whole story without interrupting.
“So what time is Church in the morning?” I can tell he’s on board. I let out a little sigh of relief. My father fills him in on times and adds a few ideas of his own.
“I’ll call Mrs. Sanchez and bring her up to speed,” and then Detective Randolph looks right at me with his all business face, “and you let us do our job.” I just smile so he adds, “even if you’ve already done half our work for us,” it’s hard for him to say but I appreciate it.