The girl - American Tune
(a Hutch snippet)
by Elsa ©
The little girl looks in the distance with big, frightened eyes. Like saucers they are, darkened by the things her young mind should not have to witness at all. Hutch slowly kneels in front of her.
"Hi," he says softly. "My name is Ken."
The girl looks passed him. He sees the horror in the depth of her blank face.
"I'm a police man. I'm going to take you home, Becky."
Her eyes stay fixed on something behind Hutch.
"The bad men are gone. They won't come back. You don't need to be scared anymore."
The girl just sits there, clutching a rag that once was her sweatshirt. Hutch hears his blood pounding in his ears. **Goddamn you, bloody Rip. I'm going to tear your heart out for doing this to her.**
"Becky, can you stand up? Can you do that? Not for me, sweetie. For yourself. Not for anyone who forces you."
He's scared to touch her, although there's nothing more in the world that he wants to do than put his arms around her and hold her close, protect her from evil that awaits her.
"Becky, maybe you are scared if I lift you up. Maybe you want to walk on your own. Can you stand up? Can you do that?"
Still no reaction. Tears and dust have made streaks on her face. Hutch begins to feel slightly desperate. More than anything she needs to make the first move, he knows intuitively.
He turns while still being on her eye level. Slowly he extends his arm to the open door, where bright daylight beckons.
"That's the way out. Do you think you can walk to that door? Shall I walk next to you?"
No other reaction than slow blinking, once. Hutch sinks to the ground, crosses his legs.
"Did you know that police men are scared just as well? Just like you. I am a police man and I'm scared too. And you know what I do when I'm scared?"
Does a flicker of light show? Hutch dares not hope. He's standing on the thinnest ice ever.
"I sing, Becky. Because I like it. And it helps." Softly Hutch begins to sing. It's a song that Simon & Garfunkel once wrote. It's called American Tune. He sings it tenderly, the lyrics rolling of his tongue with feeling.
"But it's alright, it's alright, alright, I'm just weary thru my bones…" He sings and finishes the song, caught up in the words that he thought he'd forgotten. To his pleasure and relief he sees the eyes of the girl on him now.
"I'm going to stand up now, Becky. Do you think you can trust me enough to walk with me outside?"
Carefully, not to startle her with any brusque movements, he rises. The little
girl slowly shifts forward and leaves her safe little spot on the crate she's
been sitting on. Her feet touch the ground. Cautiously Hutch takes a few steps.
He smiles at her, encouragingly.
She doesn't smile back.
"And I dreamed I was flying… and high up above my eyes could clearly see…" Hutch very calmly walks and sings softly. He's not looking at her anymore. He hears her little feet on the concrete floor as she follows him outside.
Then her little fingers find their way into his big hand and Hutch feels triumphant. A victory. As little as it is, it's the start to restore her faith in people again.
"High up above, my eyes could clearly see, the statue of Liberty…"
Sometimes he doubts himself, his judgement, his profession. But a victory like this makes it all worth while.
Elsa, March 2004