Doorbell. Door opens.
—There’s been a report of abuse at this address.
—Somebody’s already reported that you’re about to get hurt?
—There’s no need to threaten me.
Door closes.

Doorbell. Door opens.
—I know why you’re upset.
—No you don’t.
—All right, maybe not, but I’m obligated to investigate.
—By what authority?
—Child Protective Services.
—Wouldn’t that be me?
Door closes.

Doorbell. Door opens.
—May I speak to the child?
—We haven’t established I have a child.
—Who’s that, Dad?
—Not for you, Chris.
—May I speak to your daughter?
—Chris is a boy.
—My report says a girl.
Door closes.

Doorbell. Door opens.
—May I start again?
—I think you should. Next door.
Door closes.

Doorbell. Door opens.
—Why? Was there abuse next door?
—I would imagine so.
—Do you have a reasonable suspicion?
—I do. I suspect there’s some sort of abuse or neglect in every home, don’t you?
—Why would you say that?
—I grew up in one.
Door closes.

Doorbell. Door opens.
—May I ask you one question?
—If you answer one first. Who reported me?
—I can’t say. He wasn’t a mandated reporter.
—He volunteered? And what was his reasonable suspicion?
—Your child is too compliant.
—Too compliant, too eager to please.
—I see. You had a question?
—Do you abuse your child?
—I imagine he would say so. If he thought you wanted him to.
Door closes.

Doorbell. Door opens.
—Do you have anything to say?
—In my defense? I have a theory.
—I’ll take it.
—I have reason to believe my accuser, who thought my boy was a girl, did not find him compliant enough.
—In what regard?
—In some regard. And not having gotten what he wanted, filed a complaint.
—That’s an outrageous and reckless allegation.
Door closes.

Copyright © January 03, 2009 David Hodges

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