Below is part 2 of my story, Young Offender. For Part 1 please visit (http://newauthoronline.com/2014/11/07/young-offender-part-1/).
Jenny stood in front of the bathroom mirror.
“Little bitch”, Jenny said examining the deep scratch above her right eye. God it stung like hell. Why did she put up with her cousin’s violent outbursts? Casting her mind back Jenny remembered a conversation with her former boyfriend, Rob,
“That kid will end up in jail”, Robert had said.
“Rob, can you put down that bloody paper and have a proper conversation about Luan?” Jenny had said her voice sharp with exasperation.
“You know what I think Jen”, Robert had said, throwing his copy of a leading national tabloid on to the dining table. “The kid’s a no hoper. Bring her here and you saddle us with a delinquent teenage criminal. There’s a piece in the paper saying that criminality is largely genetic”, Robert had said picking up the newspaper and opening it at an article on page 3 entitled, “Scientist says criminals are born, not made by society”.
“So Luan’s behaviour is all down to genetics, it has nothing whatever to do with the fact that her mother is a drug addict and feeds her addiction by prostituting herself? That poor kid, ever since she was a toddler there have been men visiting Grace’s flat for sex. Its no wonder that Luan went off the rails growing up with a mother like that”, Jenny had said, her face flushing with anger.
“It’s bad jenes. Grace has them and the kid’s inherited her mother’s criminal genetic make-up. It’s the pig that makes the sty, not the sty that makes the pig”, Robert had said, reaching for his cigarettes.
“How dare you call my cousin a pig. How dare you do that! You sit in our comfortable home, coming, as you do from a middle-class family and you dare to judge people who have been brought up in an environment which you can barely imagine, and don’t you dare to light up”, Jenny said glaring at Robert’s cigarettes, “you know how I hate smoking. Oh, by the way is your cigarette habit genetic?”
“Don’t be bloody ridiculous”, Robert had said.
“Well its just as ridiculous as you saying that Luan’s behaviour is caused by genetics and we should give up on her. Your mother and father smoked so, obviously smoking, like criminality is genetic isn’t it?”, Jenny had said, twisting the tissue in her hand into a tiny ball.
“If that kid comes here then I’m leaving”, Rob had said.
“When we met Rob I fell in love with you for your forthright opinions. I liked the way you weren’t afraid to express yourself irrespective of what others might think of your point of view but, having lived with you for the last 2 months I find you haven’t got a single original thought in that head of yours. All your opinions are parroted from the tabloids”, Jenny had said.
“You know who you remind me of? Rob had said.
“No but I’m sure you are going to tell me”, Jenny had said.
“You remind me of that joke about the social worker who finds an elderly lady lying in a pool of blood on the street. She is, quite obviously the victim of a vicious mugging.
“My god”, says the social worker, “whoever did this to you needs my help”, Rob had said.
“You are pathetic Rob. A pathetic narrow minded bigot who rights off a young teenager because he is to pig ignorant to understand that the environment affects people, that we are not created bad but our shaped by our upbringing. Just pack your things and get out”, Jenny had said.
Downstairs the clock struck 10:30. The sound brought Jenny back to the present with a jolt. Turning from the mirror she exited the bathroom and crossing the landing entered her bedroom.
Jenny dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Should she put on that necklace her mother had given her for Christmas? Why not, it was a beautiful piece of jewellery and she felt good wearing it. Jenny reached for the necklace on her dressing table. It wasn’t there. Frantically she searched under the dressing table, in every drawer, under the bed, in fact Jenny looked in any place, however unlikely the necklace might be.
“Not Luan. Surely Luan wouldn’t do that to me?” Jenny thought, her eyes hot with unshed tears.