Thursday, April 18, 2013

Story # 49: "In All Likelihood"

I think you'll quickly figure out the inspiration for this one. It is a work of fiction, but I think there's a lot of truth in it. ~ JH


We never found out who did it – the scoundrels got away with it! – though not through lack of trying on our part. We scoured the area thoroughly, not just for hours but for days, to no avail. It was hopeless.

Somewhere out there, in all likelihood now far away from here, they are alive and well, gloating in the fact that they've made their escape, from their capture and our punishment. We sincerely hope, unabashedly and unrepentantly, that their lives are short-lived.

Perhaps the abominable absconders will cross paths with a runaway truck or a falling piano at just the right moment. Perhaps, in a twist of divine irony, they will fall victim to a senseless crime much like the one they perpetrated. Or maybe there is no justice, and they will live to see their children and grandchildren grow up.

In all likelihood, they will carry on with their lives, however long the duration, without ever again reflecting on the ones they took. They will watch the harrowing news stories and smile silently. They will see the pictures of the victims and casually walk away. But they will not regret. In all likelihood, they will forget – not the event itself, never that, but the extent of the event, the extinction of innocence.

As for us, in a day or two, once a bigger story takes its place, perhaps when a familiar face from stage or screen gives birth, marries, or overdoses, we will stare transfixed, in wonder and amazement. And we will stop searching, we will stop remembering, we will stop grieving.

Perhaps that is the greatest tragedy of all.

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