Charlotte's mother took her on holiday at the time of the trial. I suppose it was wise. In a world where teachers, cartoons, the bible, tell you to respect your father, it can be confusing enough just hearing "Your Dad's a monster", as she so often did. I don't think anyone thinks it was wrong of her mother to stop her from reading that very thing on the front page of newspapers.
Of course, she learnt eventually.
Around the time we became friends, her father got out of jail. She also first heard from a potential brother she had in London; their stories matched as did names, but for her father to have also produced this particular sproglet, he would have had to be 12 at the time of conception. Despite this, she knew of six or seven of her half- siblings, with her estimates of a total number being somewhere around the 20 mark.
The father had a three mile restraining order from Charlotte's cousin (in my opinion 300 miles would have been more appropriate), but despite this the police didn't seem to care he moved in just two streets over upon release. They didn't seem to care that the family had to see him strolling to the shops, or cruising past in his car, enjoying freedoms no-one thought he deserved. Somehow, he only served ten years.
A massive coronary.
He died in his front garden in the middle of the night to be found by early morning commuters the next day. Knowing nothing of his past, they yelled for help, called an ambulance, and even attempted CPR on the already frigid body before he was pronounced dead.
She told me with the attitude of not giving a damn, and I genuinely believe that was the attitude she had. If anything the death was convenient as it got him out of their lives, and I saw no mourning. I don't know if it tore her up inside, and she kept it so expertly hidden, but surely having her father do the things that he did tore her up enough to start with.
Did I know what to say? At the time I felt I did;- very little on the issue and I suggested we grab lunch, but reading this node makes me wonder if I was wrong to not instead sit in friendly silence to see if she had anything more to add. I hope she didn't just want me to listen, whereas I just wanted a pannini.