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Monday, 11 April 2016

The Weight of Things Removed Chapter 3 (Part 1)

The Weight of Things Removed | Novel | Milo

Chapter 3 (Part 1)

A number of days had passed since Leonard had finished his first draft of the manslaughter commission, and had submitted it to Alby for an appraisal. However, since he had made the decision to re-examine the case for his own personal reasons, he was yet to have any significant findings. The most Leonard had achieved was to put together a, not entirely helpful or productive, table on his computer, which listed the reasons that implicated him in Paulie’s crime, and those which absolved him. The list was as follows:  

I am Involved
I am not Involved
I didn’t do enough to stop the other children from picking on Paulie
I did more than anyone else to stop the bullying.
I didn’t do enough to stop the gossip
Trying to stop the gossip might have made the topic more ‘juicy’.
I should have told a teacher about the gossip
Would another teacher have believed me?
I’ll leave this blank for now.
I was just a student, how was I to know that the allegations were true?
Not sure what else to put down. Still feel guilty.
It’s hard to believe that I am any more responsible, than any of the other hundreds of students who attended our school.
Still feel guilty.
Mr Morgan wasn’t that bad was he? Moreover, was he really abusive enough to cause Paulie to kidnap a child? Maybe Paulie was just a ticking time bomb?

Leonard’s problem was very simple: he didn’t know how to gauge his level of responsibility in a situation like this. After all this was the most unfortunate and disturbing event that he could tie himself to, and so he was woefully inexperienced when it came to dissecting a tragedy. It suddenly occurred to him that there was an entire world of misdemeanours, pain and suffering which he had had, as of this moment, only a cursory exposure to. He was accustomed to, and had never thought to question, the idea that there were only two parties involved in a crime: the perpetrator and the victim. Nevertheless, that binary definition of criminality had failed to stymie the gnawing guilt he had experienced since reacquainting himself with Paulie and Marta. It was at this juncture that Leonard realised that he had to either abandon the pseudo-investigation, and simply burry his discomfort, or properly commit to the case. He ultimately decided that due to the boredom he had felt in recent weeks, as well as the ever growing need for emotional closure, he had to take this investigation to the next level. Leonard knew that he had to speak to Marta and Paulie, in order to find out if they held him responsible for what happened.    
   This in itself presented further problems for the young father, as he wasn’t sure how to reconnect with these friends of yesteryear without offending them or pushing them away. A quite timely and coincidental encounter with another past acquaintance, however, showed Leonard one approach that might work. As Leonard was shopping in the city centre, sliding behind a trolley as he purchased their weekly foodstuffs, his phone vibrated in his pocket and made that increasingly annoying buzzer sound. He pulled it out as he sidled down the aisle and dropped a carton of green lidded milk into the trolley, however his well-rehearsed movements slowed to a stop as the notification drew him in.  

Hi Leo,

Long-time no speak! It has been a few years hasn’t it? Anyway I’m just sending you a message because I wondered if you were free for a catch-up, it can be whenever works best for you.
I just want to get a few things off of my chest, and it doesn’t feel right to do it through Facebook.

Hope to hear from you soon,



Leonard dipped his head in thought, as he couldn’t imagine what Tyrone Cousins could possibly have to say to him after all these years. They had lived together during their first year of university, and hadn’t always seen eye to eye with one another, but had been friends for the most part during their shared scholarship. He looked at the message again and saw from the little phone icon in the corner of the page that Ty had sent it from his phone, as opposed to from a computer, and that he was surprisingly close.   

Hi Ty,

This was a surprise! I hope you’ve been well? Anyway I’m free right now if you want to chat?
We can meet at the Wetherspoon’s on Broadway Road at 5?

Let me know if that’s too soon.


However, before Leonard could even return the phone to his pocket, it vibrated again and he could see that Ty was happy to meet him at the aforementioned time and place. Leonard scratched his jaw before shortly forgetting the interruption and carrying on with his business.    

End of Chapter 3 (Part 1)

< Chapter 2 (Part 2)                                   -Contents Page-                               Chapter 3 (Part 2) >

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