Bedtime story

It was bedtime in the William's home and Tracey was taking the opportunity to talk to Linford. His teacher had spoken to her after school and this was her first chance to talk to him on his own.

"Tell me what happened at school today," Tracey began.
"What happened between you and Sean?"
"Don't know," grunted Linford.
"Come on, Linford; Mrs Norman told me you had both got very upset."
"We had a fight in the playground. Mrs Norman said that I've got to work and not go out to play for the rest of the week."
"Oh dear," said his mum, looking concerned. "What happened?"
"He started it," added Linford angrily. "He messed up my game. So I pushed him and he banged his head. Now I'm in trouble."
"Oh dear," said his mum again. "That's not the right way to behave is it?"
Linford shook his head and looked away.
"Did you apologise to Sean for hurting him?"
Linford shook his head once more. His mum could tell that he was sorry for what he had done. "Should I tell you about my day?"
Linford nodded and looked back.

"You know I work with people who have been victims of crime?"
"Yes," said Linford, glad that the conversation wasn't going to be about him for a while.

"Today we had what we call a conference. It's a meeting between the people who have committed crimes and the people who have been hurt by crime: the victims. I was there to support the victims - a couple about the same age as Mr Jones. Someone stole the lady's handbag containing her purse and keys on the bus. A lad, just a few years older than Lewis, was there too. He had been caught with the bag."

"What happened?" asked Linford, sitting up with his elbow on the pillow.
"Well, first of all the old lady and gentleman talked about how distressing it was to lose the bag and how afraid it made them. Then it was the young man's turn."

"What did he do? Did he say anything?" Linford was eager to find out what happened.
"Oh yes, he had something to say although I don't think he found it easy. He told the old people how sorry and ashamed he felt and that he wouldn't steal from people any more."

"Wow!" exclaimed Linford. "I bet that man and lady were glad to hear that."
"Oh yes. And the lad felt better too about admitting his crime and being able to say sorry," said his mum.

A few moments later, when Tracey had left the room, Linford lay awake for a while thinking about what he would say to Sean and his teacher in the morning.