Can We Work This Out?

Glad you could see me so quickly. It’s about Adam. He’s a senior now. Yeah, I know, can you believe he’ll be eighteen in the spring? The thing is, he’s been arrested. Destruction of property, attempted theft, and murder. Oh, you heard about it? Yeah, some guy who was working in the electronics store got killed. No, of course Adam wasn’t involved! That’s just the way the cops are, you know that. They want to look good, so they get some poor kid to take the fall. Adam wasn’t even with those two other guys. They’re lying to throw him under the bus.

I’m not sure. When did it happen again? No, Adam was home then. Yeah, I was there from about, six, I guess, until this morning. We ate at six-thirty, and then Adam went up to his room to do his homework. Yeah, I’m sure. I heard his music. And Nicole said she walked past his room to get to the bathroom and saw him in there.  Eight or so, she said. After that? Hmm, I worked in my office for a while, and Nicole went to the 24-hour gym. No, I didn’t hear Adam go out, or I’d have told you! I didn’t hear anything much until Nicole came home around nine-thirty. She took a shower and then we went to bed. Of course Adam was home then. His door was closed, but I’m sure he was home. His light was on. Besides, he wouldn’t do a thing like that.

Do you even see how ridiculous the whole thing is? I mean, why would Adam steal phones or computers or whatever? We get him anything he wants. We’re always there for him, whatever he needs. All he has to do is ask. I told the police the same thing, but they still think he’s guilty. That’s why they arrested him. It’s the same thing as last time, remember? The cops just had to pin a crime on somebody, and they assumed Adam was guilty. Oh, come on, you know that girl was lying about what happened. Adam told us it wasn’t anything like what she said. Thank God we were able to come to a deal with her family. Good thing for them they worked with us. I’d have had you fry that girl in court. Adam knows he can always count on us.

We’ve had to do that a lot, you know – work it out with people. Like the headmaster at Adam’s school. Once he had the nerve to say that Adam had been caught cheating! And it wasn’t cheating – not really. Brenda had just left me, and Adam was really angry and upset about it. I was, too. Brenda was so selfish about everything. Adam missed his mother, so of course he wasn’t himself. Couldn’t concentrate on his work, so he needed a little help from a friend of his. Who can blame him? I told Brenda she was being horrible about it all and needed to come back, but she wouldn’t listen. No wonder Adam had such a hard time. I had to work it out with his History teacher, too. Yeah, he was failing, and I couldn’t let that happen to him. I mean, he’s a smart kid. He just got distracted when I married Nicole. That’s all. No, the teacher wasn’t going to give him a break at first – what an ass! I was about ready to sue the teacher, but I talked to the headmaster about it and he talked to the History teacher and we worked it all out. That teacher’s lucky I didn’t sue!

Oh, OK. Guess I sort of got sidetracked. Anyway, as I said, Adam was home the whole night. He couldn’t have been with those two other boys, and if they said he was, they’re lying. What? Look, I didn’t stay awake all night. Neither did Nicole. Adam’s not a baby, so we don’t stand watch over him all the time, you know. But I’m willing to swear in court that he was home all night.

Yeah, I know the prosecution would ask me the same thing. That’s why I called you. I’m hoping you can help make this thing go away. Adam can’t have an arrest on his record. He’s been accepted to all three of his top choices for university, and he’s got two offers of a football scholarship. None of it’s going to happen if he’s got a record. We can’t let him fail like that. You don’t want to see the rest of his life ruined, do you? Everything he’s worked for gone? That’s why you need to take care of this. I don’t even want it to get to court.

The DA is pressing charges? Well, can’t you make a deal with them? You know, they drop charges and Adam does a little community service. That kind of thing. Not for murder? What the hell, it’s not like Adam is a serial killer or anything. He says he wasn’t even there. Even if he was there, he wouldn’t have killed anyone. They won’t make a deal? OK, well, who can I call to work this out? Maybe you could talk to the cops or something? There’s got to be something we can do. No, don’t give me that, “I’ll do my best” speech. You’re defending Adam. You have to get him out of this mess! If you can’t, then I’ll find a lawyer who can. We have to work this out.

20 thoughts on “Can We Work This Out?

  1. Wow, Margot, that was great. Adam’s innocence kept unraveling as his dad talked about all the incidences of enabling his behavior. “Even if he was there…” That was the clincher. Makes me think that Adam was absolutely guilty… but what if he wasn’t?


  2. Good luck with your next lawyer.

    What do you mean? You won’t take the case? You have to.

    No, I don’t.

    Don’t lawyers have to represent everyone?


    Why won’t you take my son’s case?

    Because I don’t have a magic wand to make the charges go away.


    1. Oh, Bill, this is fantastic! I can just see this happening as this guy goes from lawyer to lawyer. I especially like the self-entitled You won’t take the case? You have to. That’s exactly how some people feel, and that entitlement can rub off on their children, I think. Thanks for the contribution.


  3. I feel like I’m eavesdropping in on one end of a phone call that I shouldn’t be listening to. I love this style! Where the other person’s questions and replies are all implied! Makes for a very fast, enjoyable read. Less pointless dialogue to sift through. I hope it would be okay with you if I consider using this style? Thanks!


    1. Thank you very much, FFP! I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. And I have to say, I enjoyed working with this style. As you say, it lets the reader infer, and gives a sense of the story without, well, telling it. Feel free to use it yourself, and I look forward to seeing what you do with it!


  4. That worked really well Margot – chilling and oh so believable. Nice creation of several characters in one short piece


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