Somewhere, something awful was happing, a murder, a robbery, a rape; somewhere as the fingers of love connected them together, other fingers were prising life apart.
Frank always knew solving these crimes would be like treading water in a pool that constantly filled with hate and intolerance. But it was their city and it was his job, he would make it a better place, if not for them, then for his children.
Twenty-five years later as they sat on Saddler’s Hill watching the city breathe, they shared their traditional anniversary meal from cheap polystyrene trays, but now the sesame buns had been replaced with brioche and the beef was named and traceable, and the pool had spilled over and formed a lake.
‘I’ve let them down,’ he said between bites, ‘let you all down.’
Their son, Jimmy, was twenty and about to become a police officer himself and would continue the family tradition of righting wrongs, of feeling the impassioned guilt of many, he would clean up and absolve this city of its sins.
But forty-years later, Jimmy would have the same conversation with his wife. They sat in their favourite Italian restaurant as the regret weighed heavily on him. He’d failed to clean up these streets for his children. Now his children were cleaning them up for him, as theirs will for them, and they would continue to fight against this disease, generation after generation. Like the inevitability of seasons, crimes turned as a testament to the evil in men’s hearts and kept him awake at night in this city that never sleeps.