May 9th, 2008 06:49 EST
Know the Facts Before you Accuse
When I was 16-years-old our home was robbed. Every room was destroyed. However, I had $600.00 in an envelope laying on my TV. Though it was on the floor when I returned, the money was still there. I thought that was both very cool and strange. The bulk of what was stolen was thousands of dollars of jewelry from my Dad and his girlfriend.
When I arrived home that afternoon, the police were there. I was freaked out. I thought I was getting busted. But I played it cool. It turned out that my Dad's girlfriend had called the police because of the robbery. I recall the police asking my Dad's girlfriend if she noticed anything unusual when she left in the morning. She said she saw an older green Chevrolet pick-up truck with a white shell over the bed. What caught my attention to that statement was that a friend of mine had a truck just like that. As a matter of fact, he wasn't in school that day. My initial thought was that this so-called friend robbed us.
When I returned to school the next day, this "friend," along with another "friend," whom I realized wasn't in school the day before either, were both wearing new gold chains. I inconspicuously attempted to question them both as to why they weren't in school the day before, but was unsuccessful in getting them to incriminate themselves. But from that moment on, I suspected that together they robbed my home. And therefore, never again allowed them in my home.
I never accused them of breaking in and robbing us, but that was only because I didn't have proof. The circumstances of the situation made them appear guilty. But what could I do without proof? I need facts. I needed evidence.
It wasn't until 14-years later that I was glad I never straight out accused them. My Dad was now deceased and I was on vacation in San Francisco, when I bumped into an old friend of my Dad's (also now deceased) and we made plans for dinner that night.
While at dinner, we talked about my Dad, and all the fun they had together. When all of a sudden, he begins to laugh and said, "remember the time your Dad and I faked the robbery at your home so he could collect the insurance money?" I was floored! I NEVER knew. For 14-years I suspected my two friends.
As you'll read in my upcoming book, I loved my Dad, but he wasn't the greatest role model. Perhaps this is why I'm what I call, an optimistical/cynic.
Glenn Brandon Burke, M.A.Ed