Chapter 11 (A Secret Worth Fighting For?)
That evening Ben’s mother took Holly out for dinner leaving Ben home alone with his father. It was not uncommon for the Hamilton’s to split up once every couple of weeks and spend some quality mother/daughter, and father/son time.
This week it was Holly’s and her mother’s turn to go out to eat which meant Ben would stay home with his dad. Ben stood by his father watching him carefully grilling the steaks. Ben idolized his father, he was a great man who did many great things. Ben hoped someday he could grow up and help people like his father had, and tonight he had some questions burning in his mind.
“Dad can I ask you a question?” Ben said as his father turned the steaks.
“Absolutely Ben, you know you can ask me anything” his father said turning away from the grill and giving his son his complete attention.
“I was wondering when you are being a police officer, how is that you are able to step into a situation where you know you might get hurt and not be scared or worried about what might happen to you?” Ben asked.
Mr. Hamilton turned the burners on the grill all the way down to low, if Ben didn’t have his father’s full attention before he certainly had every ounce of it now. “To say I’ve never been scared when I’ve been working would be a lie. There have been situations where I was very afraid. There’s been times where I’ve waited for back up to arrive because I didn’t want to rush into a situation, but sometimes we have to get involved in a situation immediately, because immediate action is required.” He said searching his son’s face to see where this question was coming from.
“How do you know when to rush in and when to wait for back up?” Ben asked.
“Sometimes I have to act immediately because someone needs protection who at the time is not able to protect themselves, I have a responsibility to protect the weak from those who would hurt them, even if it means I might have the odds stacked against me or I might get hurt.” Ben’s father said with concern filling him as he knew his son was not asking these questions out of curiosity.
“What if you fail though dad?” Ben asked with a hint of fear in his voice.
“When helping someone who needs you, you cannot fail Ben, you simply are buying them some more time, because when you are doing the right thing, there will always be more good men who are on their way coming to back you up.” His dad said turning his attention back to the grill so his son would not see the concern on his face.
Ben and his dad ate a relatively quiet dinner after that, and as soon as he was finished Ben went up to his room to ponder all that his dad had told him. It all sounded good until the end, but that end part, that made Ben hesitate, he knew there would be no back up for him. It was more likely that Ian would have back up, and Ben knew that he wouldn’t even need it.
Ben knew in his heart what he needed to do, he walked downstairs and found his dad reading the paper. “Hey dad, would you put yourself in a situation to protect someone else even if you knew that you probably were going to lose and that there wasn’t going to be any back up coming?” Ben said. His dad never looked up from the paper which was quite uncommon as he generally gave Ben his full attention whenever he talked with him.
“I would son, because a man who knows what is right, but sits by idly and does nothing is as bad as those who are outwardly evil, and he is no man at all.” His father said.
“Hey dad is it ok if I go to the park and meet a couple of friends there?” Ben asked hopefully.
“Sure son, just be home before dark and make good choices ok?” his dad said.
“I will!” Ben said knowing he was most likely lying about both.
Ben walked out the door and headed to the park. If Ben had real super powers and was sporting X-Ray vision he would have been able to see through his father’s newspaper and see the tears rolling down his face. He knew Ben was growing up and learning an important lesson. He knew Ben was headed to the park to help someone who needed him. What he didn’t know was how stacked the odds were against Ben, and how bad the girl he was helping really needed him.
Brinley meanwhile had left approximately ten minutes before Ben. She walked to the park nervously escorted by Savanna. The girls had tried to get a hold of Gabriella, but she didn’t pick up when they called or texted. Not knowing where she was and with time growing short they had decided to walk to the park and hope she was waiting for them there.
“I got the two hundred dollars, did you get Ben to agree to show up?” Savanna said hopefully as they walked.
“I don’t know, he didn’t really say one way or another but I don’t think he probably is judging from our conversation.” Brinley said sadly.
“We’re pretty much screwed if he doesn’t come.” Savanna said.
“I know, but he’s not stupid, he knows he would get his butt kicked and the more I think about it, the more I hope he doesn’t show up, it isn’t right for him to get beat up on my account.” Brinley said.
“He needs to man up, you know Gabriella is going to fight Ian for those pictures no matter what we say, you would think if a girl could do it that the male race could give us one real man.” Savanna said disgustedly.
As the girls rounded the bend in the road their situation grew from bad to worse. There was no sign of Ben, there was no sign of Gabriella, but Ian and his friends stood waiting as Brinley and Savanna approached.