Owen woke up to the banging on the door. He grumbled as he pulled on his shorts and went to answer the door. He saw his mother coming down the stairs.
“Go back to bed, Mom. I’ll take care of this.”
“I’m too awake now. Who would be at the door this time of night?”
Owen looked through the window and saw the two police officers. He remembered the last time police had knocked on the door. They had arrested his father for murder.
He opened the door.
“We are looking for the boy, Aiden Mell. He ran away from the youth center.”
“And why do you think he is here?”
“This is the last home he was in. Do you mind if we check the house and property?”
“He’s not here, but go ahead. Just don’t wake my kids.”
Kenya came out of her room rubbing her eyes. “Too late, Daddy.”
Owen sighed when he saw the others coming from their rooms.
“Do what you need to do so I can get my kids back to bed.”
“Is there anybody else in the house?”
“My husband is downstairs in our bedroom.” He saw the look the two officers gave each other and felt himself getting angry. That attitude was the reason Aiden was out there instead of tucked into bed here.
Raelyn put her hand on her son’s arm. This was the first time she has witnessed this treatment toward her son. “Calm down, dear. Let them search the house.”
Owen sat with his mother and the kids. Kyle came up the stairs confused. “What is going on?”
“The cops are looking for Aiden.”
When the cops were finished they stopped and looked at the kids. “Whose kids are these?”
The cops looked at Owen then at the kids again. “None of them look like you.”
“They look like their mother.”
“Their mother? And where is she?”
“Most likely at her own home with her husband.”
“I’ll never understand this crap. These people are so strange.”
“These people are my son and his family. You came here to search for the boy. You searched and can see that he is not here. Now you can leave.” Raelyn was not going to allow her son to be judged and harassed in his own home by anybody.
“If the boys shows up here, call us.”
Raelyn watched them leave. “If he shows up here, there is no way in hell I will call them. The way they treated you.”
“Just let it go, Mom. They are not the first to act like that. They won’t be the last.”
Raelyn frowned hearing that. “Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
Kyle took the kids back to their rooms so Owen and Raelyn could talk in private.
“There was nothing you could do, Mom, so I saw no point in telling you.”
“The point is that I am your mother and can support you through this shit.”
Owen shook his head. “I appreciate the support, but just seeing it is not the same as living it from my shoes. You only experience a small part of it.”
“Help me understand it them. Talk to me, honey.
He sighed and opened a web page on his phone. He handed it to her. “That is the website for “Meow the Mouse.” Look at the comments.”
She read through them and felt the tears in her eyes. She couldn’t believe that people could be so cruel to someone just because of who they loved.
She handed his phone back to him. “I’m sorry you have to deal with that.”
“I refuse to change who I am to make other people happy.”
“You shouldn’t have to.” She hugged her son. “I am so proud of you.”
“You should try to go back to bed, Mom. They shouldn’t be back.”
“If they do come back, they will get an ear full from me.” She kissed Owen’s cheek. “You get some sleep too.”
He watched his mother go upstairs, then he went down to his room. Kyle was sitting on the edge of the bed.
“Thanks for getting the kids out of there. We will have to talk to them about this at some time, but not tonight.”
Kyle looked at him. “I have never wanted to hit anybody as much as I did tonight. To say things like that in front of the kids…”
“I know. That made me angry.” He pulled his shorts off then climbed into bed. “Come to bed.”