“Mommy I had a bad dream,” My four-year-old son, Michael, tells me. I rise up and he’s standing in front of the bed, rubbing his hands together on his blue flannel pajamas. He walks over to my side of the bed.
“Can I sleep with you and daddy?”
“Sure honey,” I respond with my hands out to pick him up. I place him in the small space between me and David. Michael faces the back of his father, but I grab him and cuddle him in my arms. In fifteen minutes he’s asleep.
I stroke his soft brown face and run my hand through his curly black hair. How can someone so little, have bad dreams. Nothing tragic has happened to him in his short life.
Fast forward twenty years later.
I’m standing by the stove cooking dinner, and waiting for David to come home. I hear the house phone in the living room ring, and I walk to it and pick it up.
“Hello, Anderson residence,” I said rushed.
“Hello, is there an Angela Anderson there by any chance?” Said the scruffy, bass voice on the receiver.
“This is she, who might this be?”
“Mrs. Anderson. My name is Deputy Eric Everett with the Atlanta Police Department. I’m calling about your son Michael Anderson.”
“Okay, what happened sir?”
“Mrs. Anderson we got a call about a body being found near the campus of University of Georgia. We had the body taken to coroner, and they found a wallet with a driver’s licence and your son’s name was on it. I’m calling to let you know your son has been found dead.”
My heart dropped. Everything around me froze and the phone felt like a dead weight. I dropped the phone and tears soon streamed my face. Remembering the phone, I picked it back up and put the cold reciever to my ear.
“Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Anderson, are you still there?” Dept. Everett’s voice ringed.
“Um, um, what do you mean my son is dead?” I shakily said.
“Mrs. Anderson, we may have found your son dead-”
“My son is dead? How could this have happened? He’s never done nobody wrong! Not no one!”
“Mrs. Anderson, I’m going to need you to calm down. I know that this is an upsetting time, but we need your help.”
“How can I help?”
“We need you and your husband to come down to the coroner as soon as you can. We just need you to identify the body and also give us necessary information. But we would like to know of any information about who could’ve done this.”
From that point on, I’ve always been involved with my son’s case. Shortly after the funeral, David and I worked with the police to find the culprit. We were able to get one suspect. But something inside of me didn’t feel right with the investigation and the trail. Something just didn’t. Still to this day, I regret not saying anything. If I had said something, would the trail have gone different way? Or would I have made it worse? These questions have plagued me.
Now it’s been nearly 20 years since Michael’s death. Now I’m getting new call.
“Hello, does a Mrs. Angela Anderson live there?” asked the rough voice on the receiver.
“This is she, what might you need?” I responded.
“Oh, well, hello Mrs. Anderson, my name is Zander Polski, and I’m an investigator for the Atlanta Police Department,”
“What might you need to call me for?”
“Well, I recently was going through some old case files and I happened to come across your son, Michael Anderson. As I was reading it, there seems to be some off facts about it and I would like to bring it back and delve deeper into it.”
I sat down at the kitchen table and felt my heart. It’s racing, tears are on the verge of breaking on my face and I dropped the phone. Never have I ever felt this way since I got that hated phone called.
“Hello, Mrs. Anderson, are you still there? Hello,” the phone screeches on the floor. I pick it up and slowly put it back to my ear.
“Yes, I’m still here,” my voice and my hands are shaking.
“Okay, I heard a loud bang and got scared.”
Gaining back my composure, “Um, sir why do you want to do this?”
“Well, Mrs. Anderson, I was reading through the file and there seems to be a lot missing from it. Also the case doesn’t add up. There are many unknown answers to how your son died, who committed the murder. It seems as if no one took the time to really figure out this case. Also, I feel that the advancement of technology would greatly impact the case.”
“Oh, LORD, Jesus, so I’m not the only one.”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Anderson, I don’t understand,”
“During that entire case, something felt off. Like the pieces of the puzzle weren’t fitting. As his mother, this was very frustrating. I told his father, but he told me to not worry about it. But for me as a mother it always bothered me.”
“Ahh, I can see. That’s why there’s people like me to help with that uncertainty feeling. I want to be able to give you a sense of clarification and understanding. Would you want us to open the case back up?”
“That’s such a bold question, to ask, my first instinct is to say no. But I’ll never be able to get this opportunity again. To finally know the answer to this question after 20 years. If I may, I need to talk with my husband about this. I want this to be a decision that is jointed, not singular.”
“That is totally understandable, and yes, take all the time that you need. I know that I’m bringing up a time of so much pain, and I don’t want to cause any other scars. I’ll leave you with my number. Feel free to call me anytime.”
Mr. Polski gave me his number and I hung up the phone. All at once, heavy raindrop tears fell from my face. I kept wiping them from my face, but they kept coming down. Years of pain, years of hurt, years of confusion now might have an answer. I walked down the hallway to the bathroom. I looked at the rustic red walls and stared at the pictures of Michael. We have one for every milestone of his life. Kindergarten, middle school, high school, high school graduation, college, and college graduation.
I finally reach the bathroom and look in the mirror. I see myself. Bloodshot eyes and a tear stricken face. I take a face towel from the cabinet and wet it with cold water. I pat my face with the wet towel and let go a deep sigh. I put the towel away and walk back to the kitchen and grab my black leather notebook and pen attached to it. Opening the door to the front porch, write down everything that has transpired today.