“We just want to show you some pictures of local criminals,” the shorter of the two officers said.

Marcus slowly exhaled the huge breath he had been holding in. He told himself to stay cool and everything would be alright. He sat down between the two men. Slowly he examined every photograph they showed him.

“No, he’s not in any of these,” he told them. The detectives looked disappointed.

“We have just heard that the bank in Green-Bushes was robbed this morning. We think it is the same two people who are carrying out all the robberies. We also now know that the driver of the getaway car is a woman.”

Marcus breathed a huge sigh of relief. He wanted to jump up and down, he felt so happy. It couldn’t be Jonathan then. If it was, the woman who was driving the car would have to be Gertrude. And his sister didn’t know how to drive a car.

He felt very bad for not believing in Jonathan. He had just jumped to the conclusion that he was threatening him. Just because he wore the same earring, didn’t make him the robber. It just goes to show you how wrong you can be about somebody, he thought. He hoped Gertrude would be very happy with Jonathan.

The week went by. Marcus was beginning to put the bank robbery behind him. He was feeling happy again. He was working hard at his lessons, and spent all his free time playing soccer. His coach had told him that there was a very good chance of him winning a soccer bursary.

On the following Saturday afternoon Marcus shouted goodbye to his mum and raced out of the house. There was a soccer practice at three and he didn’t want to miss it. Then he noticed a shiny black Mercedes driving up his street. It looked exactly like Jonathan’s car, but they were not coming for a visit today.

Marcus stood and watched as the car stopped right outside their house. The driver’s side of the car opened and Gertrude stepped out. She was alone. Marcus just stood there with his mouth hanging open. His sister could drive after all!

“Surprise, surprise,” she grinned. “I got my driver’s licence this week. I wanted to surprise you and Mum by learning how to drive.”

She looked so happy standing there. Marcus realised how elegant and beautiful his sister really was. She came over and hugged him. Marcus couldn’t move; he couldn’t say a word. He just stood there, opening and closing his mouth like a fish, staring at his sister.

“I can see I’ve surprised you,” Gertrude giggled. “I’ve come to take you and Mum out for a drive. We can stop off somewhere and get something to eat.”

Mum came outside and when she saw her daughter her face broke into a huge smile.

“Come on. Let’s go,” Gertrude tugged her brother’s arm. But Marcus stood rooted to the spot.

“I don’t want to go for a drive,” he said, finally finding his voice. “I’ve got soccer practice.”

He knew he had hurt his Mum and his sister, but for once he didn’t care. When they left he walked slowly into the house. He didn’t want to go to soccer practice now. He looked down at the new ball in his hand and felt the tears well up in his eyes. He opened the cupboard in the hallway and threw the ball inside. Had his sister bought that ball with the money she had robbed from a bank? Stolen money!

* * *

Tell us what you think: Is it just a coincidence that Jonathan has the same earring as the bank robber?