In the Wake of Night

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Chapter 21

A frenzy of giddiness flows over me. On the car ride back home, I cannot refrain from fidgeting in my seat. My nerve endings fire with electricity, my skin quivers with building anticipation. The half-smile I forced across my face earlier this morning is now replaced with an uncontrollable grin. I will the car to move faster – closer to salvation.

“You’re like an excitable toddler,” my dad comments.

“I just can’t wait to tell Sophia,” I beam.

He suddenly eases off the pedal and turns towards me with a serious expression.

“Lucas, you can’t see Sophia. You are still on bail. You must obey the rules of your tag. We aren’t out of the woods yet. Don’t do anything to jeopardise this.”

Turns out the smirk can be wiped from my face. I shake my head defiantly, unable to verbally concede to my father’s orders.

“Let Mr Mathews do his thing and let’s see what the outcome is, hey,” he suggests while patting my jerking leg, “today is a good day.”

He is right. I just can’t disguise the pulsating desire to be the one to salvage everything. Never in my life did I think I’d play the role of a hero, and now I have the title – almost, and I can’t even get the satisfaction of seeing it unfold in real-time. As a guy that has been closed off from the world for weeks, this is agonisingly difficult to accept. I want to reclaim myself, my life, my way - the only way I know how. Except for this time, I won’t seek the unknown or unseen. I will venture into the dark to reveal the truth. A truth that I hope will set us all free.

*

“Where have you been?” Mum shouts as dad and I walk through the front door. She places her hand on her hip, emphasising her point.

“Didn’t you get my note?” dad asks nonchalantly.

“Don’t play coy with me, you’re up to something.”

We glance at one another with a knowing agreeance only family members can detect. Dad tells her about the details surrounding our trip, and after a few groans and moans, she’s soon bursting at the seams with joy.

“You mean…”

“Mr Mathews says we can’t get our hopes up, but he feels pretty positive it will be enough to change Sophia’s testimony.”

Her arms drag me into an embrace, and my face squishes against her ribcage.

“So what do we do now? How long will it take for him to speak with the Police?”

“He’s on his way there now.”

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