#54 I, Isabel Scheherazade (who’s Dad used to quote Shakespeare when we were in tight spots) would say to The Killer: “Methinks’t thou art a general offense and every man should beat thee.” But I learn that isn’t what Pop and Mimi would say about the sleazy guy who’s ruined my life. And it isn’t Shakespeare to my ears.

Pop slaps high-fives. It’s a leftover habit from his youth. So, after The Scolding we slap five, first me and Pop and then Mimi and me, although Mimi is laughing because we don’t time it right. Slapping five isn’t her way. She gives me another hug and kisses me on the forehead.

On to The Other Topic? Pop looks at me over his glasses.

The it’s-all-okay-now feeling drains out of me. You mean what’s happening with the guy?

Mimi says, Isabel, let’s call him by his name.

What is it, anyhow?  Not that I care.

It’s Smith. Art Smith. Mr. Smith.

Okay, so, what do you know about what’s happening in the courtroom now with Mister Smith?

Pop pulls out his 2Do notebook and flips through pages to some notes. The prosecutor gave me a rundown on how it will go.

I interrupt, Olivia said that the police would have pictures of the crime scene and measurements and test results and stuff like that.

Pop looks surprised. Yup, a report like that will be given to the judge today. What else did Olivia tell you?

Well, then the prosecutors will accuse the guy, er, they’ll accuse Mr. SMITH of breaking a specific law.  She didn’t know what law. Murder One, she thought, or something like that.

Pop and Mimi look shocked when I say Murder One. 

Pop clears his throat and looks down his list. Mr. Smith will be prosecuted based on the law that says he caused a death by being criminally negligent with a motor vehicle.

TWO deaths, Pop. Morning glory muffin crumbs fly out of my mouth. I’d say he’s a CRIMINAL all right.

Well, Pop sweeps the crumbs into his hand, athis hearing, the defendant–Mr. Smith–gets to enter a plea. He gets to say whether HE thinks he’s guilty or innocent of breaking this particular law.

So, Mimi says this next part very slowly and clearly, Mr. Smith is going to enter a plea of not guilty.

I snort.

Pop shakes his head at me. And we agree. We don’t think he’s guilty of being criminally negligent either.

What?!!!  Now I know why they’ve got me pinned in here. They don’t want me jumping up. How can you two say this! He killed Mom and Dad. They’re DEAD.

Pop pulls me back down, and Mimi takes my chin in her hands and says, Isabel! STOP! LISTEN TO US!

This shuts me up. Immediately.

But not because I want to listen.

It’s because the last time anyone held my chin and told me to listen, was this summer.  And it was Mom.

-isabel scheherazade who’s remembering another Dad-Shakespeare quote: Days of absence, sad and dreary, clothed in sorrow’s dark array, days of absence, I am weary; they I love are far away. 



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