THE DESOLATE GARDEN
Let me first confess something to you. I'm vain and like talking about myself. Usually, I'm surrounded by people who only want to speak about themselves. I call them selfish and myself; misunderstood.
I will not bore you with my likes and dislikes, there are far more interesting people out there where you can measure your own against theirs. Instead, I will give you an example of what influenced my life. Just past my seventeenth birthday my father died suddenly leaving me, his only child, and my mother, who was verging on blindness. I was studying to be a Chartered Accountant, having changed my aspirations, from becoming a Helicopter pilot, on getting my 'O' level results from Shooters Hill Grammar School. I was a disappointment to both parents, having concentrated more on becoming a competent cricketer and the best open side wing forward never to play rugby for England than on my academic studies. Anyway, there I was on my way to the office when, without rhyme nor reason, I signed up to become a Police Cadet.
At the age of nineteen I was an up and running Police Constable, and here comes the thing. One day, whilst on duty, I found an eight-year-old boy who had been reported as missing from his home. Dutifully I returned him there to be greeted by a thankful Mother and a contemptuous Father sitting next to a roaring fire, stoking it with a steel poker.
When I saw the fear in his sons' eyes I knew immediately what had caused the inch wide festering wound on the boy's face. I'll let you imagine what injuries I wanted to inflict on that man, but I didn't, and I've been ashamed of myself ever since. I had a short career in the 'Job,' but no less eventful. I was the first to arrive at three deaths. One a sudden natural death, one a very 'bloody' suicide and one, where a jealous soldier shot his wife full in the face with both barrels of a 12 bore shotgun. All three were horrific and disturbing, but nothing has haunted me as much as that eight-year-old wounded child. I wonder if he ever lived long enough to extract revenge on his father. I guess, in the age that we all live, I shouldn't say that, should I?
Perhaps I should become a copywriter, highlighting cruelty in this world!