Kevin is an accidental nephew. He joined the family in May 2012, when my Jamaican sister-in- law fetched him to England to be with her, to complete his education, to have more and better opportunities... . I cannot say, , we never discussed the matter.
Sylvia was desperately ill, even then, last May, and in September she died.
So Kevin, recently reunited with a mother, who in all honesty, he hardly knew, found and lost her in less than six months.
One small tragedy perhaps, when the totality of human suffering is taken into account, but one that is having a profound effect on the life of this orphaned boy, and everyone around him.
My brother does his best. And he does well; he is patient, and kind - but he is fifty-seven years old, and has never been a father before. He too, is grieving, and the anger, resentment and pain of a twelve year-old boy is a huge load to carry.
Kevin loves school. He is bright, questioning and keen to do well, but he just isn't coping. Neither is the school. Nor is Mervyn.
So today's challenge is to go for that very difficult interview with The Head Of Year at Kevin's school, that will, in all probability, end in Kevin's permanent exclusion.
Added to the constant interrupting, the petty larceny, the occasional fight, Kevin has sworn at a teacher. (At least he didn't hit him. Kevin says the teacher called him 'a plonker' . Perhaps he did. Some teachers might,)
I don't know what I shall say, other than to repeat what I said the first time Mervyn and I were called in:
'There are five well- meaning adults in this room. Surely, between us, we can rescue one little boy?'
I had hopes then. Now, I'm not so sure.