Slater couldn't see this happening. He didn't want to see it happen. Before he could have his say in anything, he was already in handcuffs on his way to jail.
Of course, once he was there, he could hear the cops talk among themselves.
"He's that kid, who was left at that National Park, wasn't he?"
Slater winced. It was a headline even in PEOPLE magazine. But he was a kid then. And he'd been brought along, against his will. He was only five with baby teeth. His uncle strangled his mother to death at home.
He'd seen the horror with his own eyes, but never talked about it. And then he'd been left on his own, pushed from a traveling car.
Blood. It still made him squirm to think of it. Slater bit his bottom lip in thought.
He remembered how it didn't hurt until he saw it dripping over his eye. And he'd wondered around, what seemed like weeks on end, just to find out later it was only three days.
He'd never wanted to be a victim. He would not be a victim, but he thought he might lose his senses in the all white shoe box cell they sent him too.
He started hyperventilating, and nobody seemed to noticed.
"Did you know your girlfriend was pregnant?" The man asked who was pulling his eyelids back and checking his pulse.
"What?" Slater felt his insides shake, like he might have low blood sugar. He guess he knew, but they hadn't exactly talked about it. "What are you talking about?" He struggled to get up(thinking it was no concern of there's about Jess), but they pushed him back down like he might be Frankenstein, and he might turn into a killing machine.
Slater took a deep breath.
"Look.." The cop up above blinded him and they would not let him up. He felt as if someone was sitting on his chest.
"I..I was only mad..at..at that guy who Jess works with..he wouldn't leave her alone. I..I only meant to push her out of the way."
He didn't know why he needed to be tortured so.
Of course, he remembered how the local sheriff treated the neighbor, one time when he was walking home without a shirt on. Anybody else, they wouldn't have stopped. But his neighbor was Sioux, and the local law enforcement always treated them as if they were renegades.
"I'm thirsty." Slater managed to say.
"Are you now?"
"I haven't eaten anything, all day." He didn't even know if Jess was all right.
"Did..Did Jess call the cops?" Slater wanted to know.
He knew she didn't.
"Let him up!" Someone said, but they were behind the bars, and Slater couldn't see who it was.
It was someone who worked on the Reservation. Slater couldn't imagine why anyone would send someone from the Reservation. But they let him go.
He was no longer shackled.
It wasn't long until Slater got in the white pickup truck.
His choice was to sit in Juvie or they could take him back to the Reservation.
"Who? Who sent you?" Slater asked, long after he drank the best soda of his life that came from a paper cup at the convenient Quick Shop.
"Your grandmother sent me." The Native American was a lawyer by the name of Blackie, and he lived on the reservation. "She seems to think you'll be safe there, instead of here."
"Safe?" Slater didn't get it. He didn't even know if Jess was OK or not. And what if she did have a miscarriage? Would he ever know?
"You've got some cousins you can stay with."
"But I don't know them?" Slater winced hard. This was news to him. He was a city boy, at heart. He didn't want to go where the streets weren't paved.
"Look, they were going to send you to ..maybe...if you were lucky..Boystown, or lock you up."
Just listening to his words made Slater's ears hurt. This was going to be the worst summer ever.