There Is No Hiding Place
By Roy Jenner
Copyright 2010 Roy Jenner
“If there ever comes a time we can’t be together,
keep me in your heart, I’ll be there forever.”
Winnie the Pooh. A.A. Milne
It was the year of the millennium, July 4th, and the view from Step Green’s window didn’t vary. Mount Eden at 637 feet above sea level was doing its utmost to shake off low-lying cloud, but to no avail. The mountain with its back drop of grey sky was too close to miss. July in New Zealand means rain, and more rain with icy temperatures. Roll on August and September, which means more of the same, but to a lesser degree. There was rain in the air now and rain in Step’s heart; he could feel it. It was there most times. The mountain with its out-of-reach freedom was framed in concrete with vertical iron bars as soft furnishings. The razor wire adorning the perimeter walls gleamed with moisture, repeating the story it told each time he allowed his inner self to weaken and pine for release; ‘you ain’t going nowhere Steppie, but keep the memory alive. One day you’ll get lucky; maybe.’
Step didn’t resent his eleven years in prison. It was part of the price he’d been prepared to pay for something someone other than himself had done that needed doing, but something he should have done himself; and it was Step who had set the price. There were no regrets there, but in retrospect he’d done himself no favours by not expressing remorse. He acknowledged it was a bitter seed that grew within him and there was nothing he could do about it and nothing he wanted to do about it. The words of the sentencing judge had been well recorded in the media of the day.