Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mum and Dad are not coming home

Mum and Dad are not coming home
(An excerpt from my novel ; "I just want to be loved") 

Later in the day, when school was out, Henry, Jimmy and Sheila were excited that school was finished for the day. On the way home, they were playing and having lots of fun and getting into mischief just as most young children do. When the children arrived home, everything was the same as always, their mum and dad were still at work and wouldn’t be home until later. Normally, their parents would get home about dinner time. The evening before, their mum would always prep dinner this way, all she had to do was heat it up in the oven when she arrived home. “Mum and dad are late tonight,” Henry, said, “I wonder where they could be?”  Asked Sheila, Jimmy replied, “Don’t worry sis, they probably stopped off at the store on the way home.” Another hour went by and Sheila said, “I’m hungry,” “Don’t worry sis, I’ll make you a sandwich,” Henry said, “This should do you until mum and dad arrive home.” An hour later and there was still no sign of them, anxiously, Henry kept looking out of the window, but there was still no sign of them. Henry made some more sandwiches for himself, Sheila and Jimmy, as they were all feeling quite hungry. After they had all eaten their sandwiches. Henry had an idea. “I know!” “Let’s play some computer games on the T.V.” Jimmy and Sheila thought this was a great idea. They were laughing and having so much fun.

Suddenly the doorbell rang, in unison they all shouted. “It’s mum and dad,” and in all the excitement, they all ran to the door together pushing and shoving each other out of the way to see who could get to the front door first. When they opened the front door, they were startled to see two police officers standing there. Instantly, they all moved back a few steps wondering what was wrong. Standing at the door was one policeman and one policewoman. The children were very scared. They had never seen police officers come to their house before. The policeman said, “Are you the Maxwell children?” Hesitantly and with a shaky voice Henry said, “Yes sir,” “Can we come in son, we would like to speak with you,” Henry said, “But my mum and dad are not home yet.” The policewoman spoke for the first time, “You see children, we would actually like to speak to you if that is okay. Could we please come in and speak with you for a while?” The police officers were trying to be as tactful as they knew how. “Sure,” Henry said, so the children escorted the two police officers into the living room. As they all sat down, the policewoman said, “Could you please tell me all your names? One by one the children told the officers their names. “Thank you children, you see. We are here about your mum and dad,” Henry said, “But, our mum and dad are not home from work yet.” “Yes, and we know Henry, that’s why we’re here.”

In a slow, solemn, but nervous voice, the policewoman continued, “You see children, your mum and dad were involved in an accident at work today, that is, in the factory where they worked. The factory had a very large explosion and I’m sorry to tell you the news children, but your mum and dad won’t be coming home. I’m afraid they were both killed in the explosion.” Henry, Jimmy, and Sheila all started screaming and crying at the same time. The police officers had a very difficult time consoling and comforting them. The police officers knew, that because of the situation, they should have had a social worker present during their visit, but because of the workload, there was no-one available to team with them to the house. Most of the social workers were at other homes breaking the news to other families involved in the accident. The policeman said, “I think we should phone social services to see if someone is available yet.” The policewoman agreed and phoned social services. She told them that they needed help right away to handle the children, as they were hysterical and crying uncontrollably. Social services assured them that someone would be there right away.

After being told the news by the police officers, Henry ran to his bedroom with Jimmy and Sheila close behind. The police officers could hear them all crying, it was such sad news to break to the children. The policewoman went up to their bedroom to see if she could console them, but to no avail. They cried even more, shouting. “Mummy, daddy, where are you?”

 About an hour later a woman from social services arrived. She said, “I’m so sorry I couldn’t get here sooner, but we’ve been so busy since the accident, so many families and relatives have been affected by this.” As she entered in through the front door, she could hear the children crying from the bedroom upstairs. As she looked at the officers, tears welled up in her eyes, she said, “It’s been so hard for everyone, even for us as social workers, we have been crying and comforting other families all evening. It’s so difficult not to get caught up in the emotions of the families we have visited. We are supposed to be strong, but sometimes we break down too, it’s not easy you know.” “We know,” the policewoman replied. She could see that the social worker was distraught and that she had been through a difficult evening already. The policewoman continued, “Nevertheless, we have to all get through this and be strong for the children, even if we do have to cry with them, they need us so much right now. Their mum and dad are gone and right now they have no-one. Let’s see what we can do to help them, let’s just take one day at a time.” Then the policewoman and social worker both hugged each other, as confirmation that they would all get through this together for the benefit of the children.

The social worker and police officers went up to the children’s bedroom and gingerly entered the room, all the children were sitting on the bed cuddling each other. The social worker spoke and told the children her name, she said, “I’m here to try and help you, but first of all children, I need to know your names. So, if you could please tell me your names that would be great.” They quietened down a little and sobbingly, they each told her their names. “Wow! What nice names your mum and dad gave you. We know that this is a very sad time for you, but you see, because you are so young, you are not able to stay in this house by yourself, it would be too dangerous so we have to find you some other place to live.” The social worker asked the children, “Do you have any relatives close by?” Henry said, “We don’t have any relatives in Glasgow, I think they are living in different countries, but I don’t know where.” “That’s fine Henry, we can find out where they are staying.” said the social worker, “In the meantime though, we’ll have to find you a temporary place to stay, there is a nice children’s home in Glasgow called an orphanage, they can let you stay there temporarily until we locate some of your relatives. You’ll like it there, they are very nice people, and there are lots of other nice children there too.” The social worker was trying to be as tactful as she knew how without becoming too emotional with the children. The social worker phoned the orphanage and made the necessary arrangements. The social worker then asked the children. “Do you have any little bags in which to pack some clothes? You’ll need clothes for a few days, along with toothpaste and some soap. If you want to bring some pictures with you and a couple of books or comics, that’s okay. Don’t worry about your school stuff though. You won’t need them for a couple of weeks. I’ll contact your school and let them know that you won’t be there for a little while. I’m sure you can catch up with your studies when you return to school. I’ll go downstairs now with the police officers and whenever you have your things ready, come downstairs and I’ll drive you to the orphanage.”

 As soon as the social worker and police officers left the room, the children all started crying again. The policewoman went to go back in to the bedroom, but the social worker said, “No, just leave them, let them have their time together, they’ll come down when they’re ready.” When the social worker and police officers sat in the living room, they talked about the events of the day. The social worker said, “You know, this part of the job has been very difficult, but the worst has yet to come. We have all the funerals to arrange yet, we don’t know if the children’s parents had life insurance or funeral coverage and to go through all the parents personal papers would be very time consuming and the chances of the children knowing that kind of information is slim. It looks like the city will pay for the funerals, then when we get the necessary documents that the deceased may have, the city will be reimbursed by the insurance companies. There’s no other way to do it. As hard as this may sound, we have to try and have some closure regarding this event. The children have to try and move on with their lives.” The police officers nodded in agreement.

The children eventually came downstairs. They were all holding each other so tight, tremendously scared of being separated from each other. Their faces looked so withdrawn. You could see the fear and anxiousness in their eyes. There was such a sense of nervousness, as if they had all just had a bad dream. Reluctantly, the Maxwell children left their home with the social worker, “Don’t worry children,” the social worker said, “You will be coming back to your home soon. We have to come back and sort out all your personal belongings.”

Written by Chris Turner
(Taken from the novel: "I just want to be loved')
Available as an e-book from

 I would appreciate your comments below.

Post a Comment