So Jimmy, when was the last time you saw Dave? The last time I saw Dave… Yeah, Dave Boyle. Dave Boyle… Yeah Jimmy, Dave Boyle. That was twenty-five years ago, going up this street, in the back of that car.
He turned back toward the screen and that’s when Jimmy called his name, his voice hoarse, as if the screams in his head had found his vocal chords and stripped them: “Sean!”
Sean stopped, caught Friel looking at him.
“Look at me, Sean!”
Sean turned back, saw Jimmy arching up under the young cop’s weight, a dark sudge of soil on his chin, whiskers of grass hanging off it.
“You find her? Is it her?” Jimmy yelled. “Is it?”
Sean stayed motionless, holding Jimmy’s eyes with his own, locking them until Jimmy’s surging stare saw what Sean had just seen, saw that it was over now, the worst fear had been realized.
Jimmy began to scream and ropes of spit shot from his mouth. Another cop came down the slope to help the one on top of Jimmy, and Sean turned away. Jimmy’s scream blew out into the air as a low, guttural thing, nothing sharp or high-pitched to it, an animal’s first stage of reckoning with grief. Sean had heard the screams of a lot of victims’ parents over the years. Always there was a plaintive character to them, a beseechment for God or reason to return, tell them it was all a dream. But Jimmy’s scream had none of that, only love and rage, in equal quantity, shredding the birds from the trees and echoing into the Pen Channel.