Face Of The Past

He was so nervous lying in the hospital bed, his face covered in bandages. The surgery had taken 4 hours but it felt like eternity. He wondered what he would look like after the reconstruction. He waited for what seemed like hours for the doctor to return and remove the bandages. It was a slow and agonising wait as the doctor meticulously peeled off the final layer. He search the doctor’s face for any sign of alarm, but there was none. Then the verdict, “There’s a bit of swelling, but besides that, everything looks as it should. Just remember to take these for the pain for the next couple of days”.

His life was different now. He had all but forgotten the troubles of his past. He was now celebrating his son’s 10th birthday. His life was perfect. He worked as a clerk at the Investigations Bureau for the Police Department. His days were filled with archiving evidence and files from unsolved crimes. He was on top of things, he was in control. “Come on the jumping castle with me, dad”, called Desmond. “Ill beat you to it”, he answered. His wife who also worked at the police department had invited some of her fellow colleague. One of these colleagues mentions when they are eating lunch that Desmond shares an uncanny resemblance to someone associated with a case from years ago, a case that had never been solved. They laugh about it.

The next morning he woke in a cold sweat. At work he unusually starts to make mistakes and isn’t his usual self. This raises his co -workers’ alarms and they ask him if everything is ok. When he gets home he tells his wife that he wants to move house away from the city. She questions her husband and he replies angrily “it’s time for a change, it will be good for all of us”. His wife becomes increasingly worried and confides in a work colleague, saying it would be foolish to move now when their life is so settled. Her colleague becomes unsettled and again an old case comes to mind. He can’t get the little boy’s face out of his thoughts. He decides to look back at the case that has been haunting him for many years. Waiting until everybody has gone home and then, in the privacy of his own office, begins to lay out the contents of box number 2131. He has done this before, but this time it feels as if it is for the first time. As he is flipping through the witness statements he comes across an artist’s impression of a suspect. He freezes. It is Desmond staring back at him.

He was so nervous sitting in the back of the police car, handcuffed. He thought his life had been perfect. New name, new face. He thought he had buried his past but it had resurrected in the face of his son, the face of a killer.

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