Character Spotlight, Jonathan Randall

Mr Randall

By the time I got finished talking to Mrs. Randall, she looked out the window and smiled, “Looks like my husband is finished with his project for the day. He’s outside if you still want to interview him. He can be a little rough around the edges.”
”Duly noted, Ma’am, but I was told to interview those that got it running.”

I opened the door, and turn toward it as I closed it, “You always leave your back open like that kid? In a neighborhood like this, that’ll get you killed.”
I raised my recorder as turned to face a man who was scratching his stubble. I cleared my throat, “Um, I had never thought about it before.”
”Looks like it. You get sent out of the office much?”
”No, sir.”
”That figures. Don’t ever turn your back to the street, kid.” He held out his hand, “Jonathan Randall, I hear you’re looking to ask me questions.”

”Yes, sir, I am, if you don’t mind.”
He sat down on the stoop and pointed next to him, “Cop a squat. I’m keepin’ an eye on the smaller kids.”
I sat down next to him and watched as one small child snuck up on another, tagged her, and ran off, “Mr. Randall, are you ever afraid of anyone taking any of these children?”
Nodding, “I Would be a fool if I didn’t. This house is surrounded by empty tenement buildings, the gangs hiding in them, and anyone who thinks they can make a quick buck by snapping one of them up and selling them to another sector.”
”You sound like a military man.”
”Don’t you mean former?”
”Once a Marine, son, always a Marine. You never stop being one.”
He took out a cigar and offered me one. I politely declined, “I see you smoke. Do you drink?”
”Only once in a while and in good company, I tend to go too far when I drink alone.”
”In a sense, is there something else you wanted to ask?”
“I spoke to Nigel. He said you used to handle all the security until he came along later.”
”Yeah, it was a lot of stress and I couldn’t find anyone to help. I had four people per floor under me, that’s twenty people in twelve-hour shifts. They would have to wake me up if something happened.”
”Nigel and I swap shifts every three months. We still do twelve-hour shifts, though.”
”I have to interview Kriten next. Any advice?”
”Yeah, be very respectful, and don’t ogle his wife. He makes me look like a teddy bear.”
”Yes, sir.” I stopped for a second and then looked in his direction, “May I ask what happened to change your drinking habits? Statistics show that most retired soldiers-post conflict- have heavy drinking problems.”
Mr. Randall took a long, deep sigh, and his shoulders slumped. He hung his head down, “I came home drunk off my butt one night and hit my wife for no reason. She stood there holding her cheek in shock with tears running down her face. I left. I went and got help.”
”Most take more than one time to stop.”
”I treasure every moment I have with my wife, and I vowed never to make her cry. When she stood there looking at me with those tears, I had to do right by her. There was no other choice.”
”Is there anything else you would like to add?”
”Yeah, as long as there is breath in my lungs, these children will never be harmed again.”


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