While Davy was at the shop, his mom and I chatted. She manoeuvred me into the large sitting room and plopped me down on one of the soft sofas. She sat opposite and rested her elbows on her knees.
‘How long have you known Davy then?’ her use of his not-real-name wasn’t lost on me.
‘Only since yesterday. I met him…’ I didn’t know how to say it ‘outside the Acapulco, when you were…’
She laughed ‘Oh yes, my little protest. Fine thing to do that was, wasn’t it? I got myself taken away before any of the real action started. I suppose you’re wondering why I did what I did?’
‘Yes. I mean, no.’ I glanced up into her face. ‘Yes.’
She patted my hand. ‘Sometimes we have to do things we don’t necessarily agree with in order to stand up for something we believe is right. Our policemen,’ she said the word with loathing and I caught the voice I’d heard twice on Davy now, ‘they’ve got a problem with the immigrant communities in Birmingham and so they pick on individuals who can’t protect themselves. Did you see that fella they’d got on the ground? Did you see how they’d handcuffed him and laid him on his face? Did you see how they hit him with sticks when he tried to move or have his say?’
‘Can you imagine what awful crime he’d committed to warrant that treatment? Go on, Sam, tell me what you think he might have done to deserve being laid down on the street on his face with his hands tied behind his back? Beaten by two nazi bastards? Tell me!’
‘I don’t know’ I stammered, ‘was he a drug dealer? A thief?’