January 9, 2009
Windy Valley Secondary – Trials of the Young and Restless

by Shane Ann Connell 09.JAN.09

As Ras entered the front door, he found Sel and Alecia engaged in a private discussion. Once they realised he was there, Sel and Alecia stopped talking.

“She here?” Ras’s voice was full of concern. “Miriam reach back?”, he demanded. His questions were answered by cold silence. “Miriam!”, yelled Ras.{{more}}

“She not here,” came the terse response from Sel.

She was caught. Those were the only words that were running through Ras’s mind. He imagined Miriam wrestling with the police and forcefully given back to the cruel hands of her father. He had promised her that he would keep her safe; he had let her down.

Sel said “Ras – we don’t want her back here?”

Ras looked up at his brother. The statement was more of a final demand than a polite request. “Sel, you don’t understand.”

“I fully understand. Alecia told me the argument that went on between you and Miriam.”

Ras looked at Sel blankly.

Sel went on: “I know that Miriam’s father has been molesting her.”

Now it was Ras’s turn to respond with silence. Ras swallowed hard. “Then you understand why we must help her.”

“Help her!” came the disgusted response, “What about helping ourselves?”

“We can protect her.”

“Yes, but who is going to protect us from her father.”

“How can he harm us? We have nothing – we are poor – he can’t take anything away

from us. We don’t need to be afraid of him.”

“Wake up Ras, we need to be very afraid – he’s some big shot lawyer!”

“He’s not that big,” dismissed Ras.

“Really? Then why are they talking about him becoming the next prime minister?”

“You’re afraid of a Lawyer – Sel, at the end of the day, he is just a man.”

“A man who can take the most precious thing we have – each other. By the time he’s finished with us we won’t have a family.”

“You’re talking nonsense”

“He would either put us in jail or on the streets.”

Ras jumped up from his stool. There was no way that he was going to listen to any more of what his brother had to say.

“Do you want Alecia walking the streets?”

“No, of course not!” Ras shouted back. Ras realised that he was losing control. The last thing he wanted to do was to have a fistfight with his brother. “We can’t turn our back on those who need our help.”

“Think about it Ras, say Miriam had been molested…”

“What! Now you don’t believe her?”

“Just listen to me….if she’s being molested, do you think that her father would want the scandal to come out? It would ruin any chance of him becoming prime minister.”

Ras went quiet. He knew that Sel was right.

“He’d sooner ruin us than himself,” Sel continued. “It’s time we look after our own, and let Miriam look after herself.”

Ras dropped to his knees and buried his head in his hands. For once Sel was making sense. “I can’t turn my back on her, so long as we can help. I will not turn back on her Sel!”

“Ras, I’m not going to argue anymore – she is not to come into this house – if she does…” there was a long pause. He was concentrating hard to find the right words to say. “ If she does, I’m going to call the police and claim the ransom money for the family.”

Ras gave out a long exasperating wail. He couldn’t believe what his brother was saying. “Do you know what you are saying? Do you know what you are doing?”

“What I’m doing is protecting this family – this girl has gone straight to your head.”

“If you want, then call the police.”

“You’ve been warned,” was all his brother could say.

Ras’ head throbbed. So many questions. would Miriam stay now? But the most important question was, where could she possibly be?

The Windy Valley Secondary series is fictional. Any resemblance to real events, places or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.