“Your name, please, ma’am?”
“Alecia Fairway,” she said. “I’m Leila’s teacher at school.”
“And what makes you think that Leila might be being abused?”
“Well, sir,” Miss Fairway said, as she took a seat in front of the police officer. “At recess today, I noticed that there were dark bruises around her wrists.”
“And you don’t think they were from a fellow student pulling her along for something or anything similar to that?”
“No, sir,” Miss Fairway said, shaking her head. “The bruises were too dark to have been made by a student and the marks were too large.”
“Hm,” the office said. He glanced up at her and gave a small smile. Bernard Matthews, his name badge said. He was an older gentlemen in his late sixties, wrinkles pooling around his eyes and mouth. He must have heard so many cases like this, Miss Fairway thought.
“I appreciate your concern in this, Alecia. Thank you for telling us. I will send some people to check out the situation as soon as I can.”
Miss Fairway took her first relaxed breath in a while. “Thank you, Officer. Really and truly, thank you.”
“It’s my pleasure, Alecia,” he said. “Please, let me or anyone else here know if you have anything else that needs to be shared.”
“Of course.” She turned to gather her things and said, “Is it possible for you to keep me updated on anything you find out? I realize, of course, that there’s confidentiality but as her teacher I’m very concerned for her well-being and –“
“I’ll let you know what I can when I can,” Officer Matthews replied, with a smile.
Miss Fairway gathered up her purse and walked out of the police station. She sat for a while in her car, trying to dismantle any worry she still had. “I’ve done all I can,” she said to herself as she backed out of the parking space. “I’ve done all I can. All I can.” And she sent up a quick prayer.
Leila wasn’t at school the next day.