Marcus did not sleep at all that night. Thoughts swirled round and round his head. What must I do? he kept asking himself. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t imagine telling the police about his sister. Despite everything, Marcus adored his sister. She was kind, loving and caring. Marcus could never have wished for a better sibling.
“What’s wrong, Marcus?” Mum asked him the following morning. He was moping around the house. Marcus looked at his Mum and tears gathered in the corner of his eyes. Was he capable of destroying the little bit of happiness she had in her life? But somehow he knew he had to make a decision. It was going to be the hardest one he had ever made in his young life.
“Please tell me,” Mum urged. “A problem shared is a problem halved.”
Slowly Marcus sat down. He beckoned for his Mum to sit down beside him. Before he could change his mind, he told her everything.
“It was Jonathan I saw at the bank that morning. I’ve been trying to tell myself it wasn’t him, Mum.”
Mum looked at him as if she’d seen a ghost.
Then Marcus said, “I’m sorry I have to tell you this Mum, but I think Gertrude is the woman who was driving the getaway car.”
“How dare you say such a thing!?” Mum jumped up so quickly that her chair fell over. “I don’t believe you. You’re just wicked and cruel. I think you’re jealous of your sister’s success.”
“I’m sorry, Mum. But you know that is not true. I love Gertrude very much.”
“Then how can you say such a cruel and dishonest thing about your own sister? Jonathan is a good man. You’re telling lies!” Mum ran out of the kitchen then, sobbing her heart out.
Marcus lay his head down on the table. He sighed loudly and deeply. He did not know what to do. He would destroy his family if he went to the police. Mum and Gertrude would never forgive him.
He must have fallen asleep with his head on the table, because it was afternoon when he was jolted awake by a cry. He got up and looked in on his mum. She was lying curled up on her side, crying out loud in her sleep.
Marcus sneaked quietly into her room and took her cellphone from beside her bed. He knew now what he had to do. He would not phone the police. Instead he’d phone his sister and ask her to come to the house. He’d first listen to what Gertrude had to say. He owed that to his sister.
Two hours later Marcus heard the sound of the car stopping outside. He peeped out of the window and breathed a huge sigh of relief when he saw that Gertrude was on her own. He had told her that Mum needed her straight away. Like the good daughter she was, she had dropped everything and come rushing home.
Marcus asked himself for the umpteenth time: was such a sister capable of robbing banks?
* * *
Tell us: What would you do, if you were Marcus?