Ginnie’s Diary, 20th October 1974
Somebody else has gone missing now. They’re not sure since when. I heard Miss O’Reilly and mum talking about it when Henry and I came back inside after playing with Luke in the garden.
A boy is missing, an older boy. 18 years is still a child mum was saying and she asked how it can be that they don’t know for how long he might have been missing. He is a nephew of Miss O’Reilly’s, that makes him a cousin of Henry’s. Ginger Farrell is his name. Henry says he doesn’t know him very well at all and that he is a bully.
Henry’s dad didn’t get on with any of his sisters and he hated the man Aunt Aoife had married, called him a thug in front of lots of people at the wedding reception. Henry’s mum had tried to mend things a bit while she was alive and had invited Aunt Aoife and her family to Henry’s christening and in the years after to Henry’s birthday parties as well. In turn they had been invited when Aoife’s kids celebrated their birthdays.
Ginger is the youngest and there are two older sisters, so I think Henry’s dad must have been the youngest also with two older sisters. They didn’t have much contact other than for the children’s birthdays and then that stopped altogether when Henry’s mum got ill with the cancer.
Anyway, it seems that Henry might have been the last one to have seen him and that was weeks ago. He’s been trying to remember what day it was. It was a few days before my birthday. Ginger had followed him on his way back to Miss O’Reilly’s place one evening, the last bit of the way is through the park and there weren’t any other people around. Henry still had the keys to his dad’s house and they don’t know what to do with the house, he hopes his dad will come back and he still keeps a lot of his stuff there. He went back to get his guitar.
He thinks Ginger might have been looking for his dad because he bullied him for money ever so often, and his dad would give him some. He must have watched Henry leave the house with the guitar and a rucksack with some other stuff, and then he followed him. He attacked Henry in the park and stole the guitar when he found that Henry didn’t have any money on him.
Miss O’Reilly said that Ginger wasn’t living with his parents any longer. He didn’t come to see them very often and when he did they were usually fighting about him not holding down a job and the lads with whom he was hanging around. He was staying with different people all the time and sometimes he was sleeping rough in the park.
He’s never forgotten Aunt Aoife’s birthday though and that was last week and he didn’t call. That’s when they wondered if something might have happened to him and they started looking for him and calling into hospitals as well in case he might have had an accident or something.
© Ash N. Finn, 2016