# 80 I, Isabel Scheherazade find out what will happen to Arturo’s Papa. I’ve been almost sick with dread.

by storytellerisabel


You know how they have those movie awards, where the master of ceremonies with dramatic flourishes, opens a fancy envelope and announces, And the winner is…!!!

For some crazy  reason I have that phrase in my mind’s ear when Pop says he’s just learned the judge’s decision.

(I’m also tying my new Nikes, and I hear DAD speak up from the Way-Back-Seat of my memory: Nike comes from the Greek verb “nikao,” Isabel. It means “to conquer, to overcome, to have victory.”  And while I double-knot, I think, So what would “victory” be in this situation, Dad?)

Of course Pop is NOT fooling around, so there’s NO dramatic pause and NO drum roll. He just says,   Okay. Here it is. Mr. Smith has been sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended as of right now. BUT during these months, he can’t have any problems with the law, or he’ll go to jail. He also must do 18 months of community service.

How will he have time? I ask to distract myself from how weak with relief I am that he’s not going to the slammer.

Pop thinks Habitat for Humanity has a project he could help with, says Mom. Right here in town.

That’ll work, I say,  since one of his jobs is putting up drywalls. (Remember he’s always covered with drywall dust?)

Later I wonder to Olivia if Mr. Smith knows that I’m one of Arturo’s buddies.

Olivia gets her sneak-and-creep look. He does.

How do you know?

He told Judge Sweeney. I heard.

I give her my one eye-brow-up look. You snuck into court AGAIN?

Olivia flips her hand up and down at the wrist in a let’s not talk about it gesture and keeps explaining. Mr. Smith says, One of the buddies who got Arturo talking again was the DAUGHTER of the people I killed.” Then he chokes up. His lawyer had to pat him on the back to calm him down.

So it’s over.

Sort of.

And we all have the rest of our lives ahead of us.

Except for Mom and Dad.

Isabel Scheherazade