To Derek’s surprise the Detective did precisely what he had promised. When he was done typing he looked up at Derek, “Now all I need is some form of ID and you can be on your way.”
“Um, I don’t have any on me.” Derek said, relieved that it was over. His neck was getting sore from keeping his head down.
“No problem I can pull up your Drivers license on the computer.”
That would be fine, Derek thought with dread, except for our hair color and our height Sam and I don’t look anything alike. And besides that Sam doesn’t, didn’t, have a license. He only dreamed of and talked about driving cars. The truth was his mother never paid for his drivers ED classes and Sam couldn’t come up with the money on his own. ‘What’s the point?’ He had said when Derek asked him about it, ‘it’s not like we actually have a car. I’d have to pay for the lessons then come up with money for a car and insurance, what’s the point.’
“I, uh, don’t have one.” Derek said.
The detective stopped typing and looked up at Derek with annoyance.
“Well then we have a problem because I can’t release you without proper ID and I can’t cosign your statement without it either. Do you have anyone who can vouch for you? A family member? It has to be someone with proper ID.” His tone had changed from friendly to business like.
Derek’s palms started sweating again. Who could he call? No one who would attest to his name being Sam Benson that’s for sure. The detective started tapping his pencil on the desk making it harder for Derek to think. There was only one person who might be fallible enough to attest to Derek’s name being Sam.
“I have an uncle.” He blurted out.
“An uncle would be fine.” The detective looked relieved. He checked his watch. “Name?”
“Um, I’m not sure.”
“Where does he live?”
The Detective started typing on his computer again then looked at the screen and picked up his phone.
Derek held his breath. Sam’s uncle Paul hadn’t seen Sam since he was seven. That’s when Uncle Paul had started drinking. He and his sister, Sam’s mother, had a fight one Sunday afternoon and she kicked him out. Sam never said what the fight was about but since his mother drinks too Derek doubted it was about alcohol. Up until that day Paul had been Sam’s only Father figure. Sam talked about him a lot, me and Paul did this, me and Paul did that, but when Derek asked him about the day Paul left Sam would just clam up and get a sad look on his face. So Derek stopped asking.
The detective hung up the phone. “He said he’d be here as fast as he can. I used to know a cop named Paul Benson, worked out of Township, this wouldn’t by any chance be the same guy would it?”
“Yep, that’s my uncle.” Ex-cop, damn he had forgotten about that.
“Too bad the Cap’s not here I heard they went to the academy together. Were pretty tight back in the day.”
Sam had told him that Paul had left the force. About the same time he had started drinking and left Sam. He’d shot someone, the wrong someone, and then tried to cover it up. Someone else on the force helped him conceal the evidence but even after it had all come out Paul would never divulge who had helped him.
That was a long time ago, Derek told himself.
But Derek couldn’t shake the growing feeling that he’d just put a nail in his own coffin.