Henry had been living at Nicole’s house ever since the incident. Now every time Nicole or anyone else looked at him, all Henry saw was pity in their eyes. Henry’s mother was dead and his father was in jail for committing the crime. If Nicole’s parents had not volunteered to take him in, Henry wouldn’t have been lucky enough to live with Nicole. He would would have been sent to the foster care system. It had been hard for Henry, being only 10 years old. This was the most traumatizing thing that had ever happened to him. To say the least, Henry had not handled it well. He had not gone to school since the incident. He spent most of his time just laying in his bed, staring at the only possession of his father’s that he had kept, his camo hunting knife. Henry had become dangerously thin and Nicole and her parents were worried about him.
It was now spring in Norway and the snow was gone. Nicole and all the other kids would play outside for hours on end, not that it made a difference to Henry. He just stayed inside, laying on his bed. One day Nicole decided to visit Henry while he was moping in his room.
“Hey Henry, how are you doing?” Nicole asked. There was no response from Henry.
“Henry, you can’t be like this! Do you expect us to continue to nurture and take care of you for the rest of your life? You may want to throw your life away, but by doing so, you’re dragging me and my family with you!” Nicole screamed at Henry.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t think of it like that,” Henry responded softly as a few tears rolled down his cheek.
“Hey, I have an idea. Let’s go visit your dad. Maybe seeing him will help sort out some of the things that are going on in your life,” Nicole said as she ran to her parents.
Within ten minutes, Henry, Nicole, and Nicole’s parents were in the car on the way to the local jail. During the twenty minute car ride, Nicole’s parents tried, in vain, to make some small talk. First they asked how their day had been, but after there was no response, they decided to just continue the car ride in silence. At one point in the car ride, Nicole had looked over at Henry and had seen not worry but fear in his eyes. She did not have a possible explanation for this.
Once Henry, Nicole, and Nicole’s parents arrived at the jail, they were greeted by a policeman who said that he had been wondering if they were going to show up. He guided them inside the jail and into one of the many hallways. As soon as the officer, who they now knew as Officer Pete, opened a second door, they heard immediate moans.
“It wasn’t me, I was framed!”
“That is your father,” Officer Pete said. “I’m almost tempted to believe him, but the evidence is stacked against him. No one could have been this persistent on framing him.”
‘Well, unless someone had a very good reason,” Henry said, practically whispering to himself.
“Did you say something, kid?” Officer Pete asked.
“Oh no, I didn’t say anything,” Henry responded quickly.
After about fifteen minutes of talking to Henry’s father, Henry and Nicole’s family returned to their car and began the trip back to their home. Halfway through the ride, Nicole’s father looked back at Henry and said, “You look much better, Henry. I hope this trip helped sort things out for you.”
It was true, Henry did look better, but not because he had sorted things out. It was because he had made a decision. Late that night Nicole’s family all heard sobs coming from Henry’s room until midnight. The family assumed that Henry had just fallen asleep, but sadly that was not the case.
The police came to Nicole’s house as soon as her parents called telling the officers about how they found Henry dead, soaked in blood, with his father’s camo hunting knife sticking out of his chest. There was also a note and it read,
Dear everyone who has cared for me,
I am truly sorry for what I have done. I am the one who killed my mother. It was in a stupid argument and I regretted it as soon as I did it. My father is innocent and I beg that you release him because he is an innocent man. I felt the need to punish myself and that is the only reason I am not telling you this myself. Once again I apologize, but I do not ask for my forgiveness. I ask only that my father be freed.