“Okay, ma’am. Let’s take a look.” The cop is a large, heavy set black man with a friendly smile.
I look behind me at the door to the garage. Then decide it was best to go up to the screened porch. “The alarm company said it was the back porch door that was open. Here, just this way.” He turns on his flash light and we wander cautiously down the sidewalk and up the stairs to the porch. The officer approaches the door and says aha. My heart sinks. He calls me over and pushes the door which swings wide open. Yup. The door had been forced open somehow. At this point I realize that this is for real and not just some kind of accident. We enter the house through the door onto the carpet of the living room. The furniture is pushed against the wall and everything of value is covered in plastic. The officer gives me a puzzling look.
“We’ve just had our hardwoods redone.” I go on toe explain to him how I was supposed to stay at my friends house again and that my mom was at my sisters but that I just wanted to go home. And that I had convinced my parents that I could dance my way in to the house. He chuckled. He flashes his flashlight straight ahead of him, up the staircase to the second floor.
“Well, I need to secure the house. I need to check all the rooms.” He asks me how to get upstairs. I panic.
“Actually, sir. The only way I’m allowing you upstairs is if you dance your way in.” I’m not kidding. I actually said that word for word.
“Whatever you want, ma’am” he says with a smile. I swear this man must have thought he was on candid camera. We exit the house through the screened in porch door and re-enter through the side door in the garage. We stand in the doorway and I try to explain to him how he needs to get in. He looks at me puzzled at which point I demonstrate. Viola. Simple as that.
The large man holds onto the door frame as he stands on his tippy toes and outstretches his left leg to the outer rung of the staircase. He reaches his left hand for the railing with his left hand then pulls himself up. I watch from the stairs. Time seems to slow as he stands for a brief moment on the wood outer rung of the stairs. I watch his face morph to panic. Then I hear the snap. Then he and the wooden rung fall to the floor. The wood floor. The one we aren’t supposed to TOUCH for three more days. And this two hundred fifty pound man hasn’t just stepped on it, he’s fallen onto it. Even in the midst of an emergency, I can’t help but think my parents are going to kill me.
“Oh, well.” I shrug. “Might as well continue on.” My phone chimes. An email. From my best friend.
“So sorry. I see that you are calling but I’m on the phone with E (her boyfriend) and he’s having a rough night. Will call soon.” Great, that’s helpful.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post how no one was answering their phones, right? Not my mom. Not my sister or her husband. Not my (then) fiance. Not my best friend who also lived at her parents’ house five minutes down the road. No one. Okay. Keep that in mind.
After we finish checking the second and third floor, the officer explains to me that he cannot secure the house because he could only check a portion of the first floor because of the wood floors. I cannot stay there. (Not that I wanted to at this point anyway, thankyouverymuch). My phone rings as the officer and I stand on the landing of the back stairs. I answer, it’s my bff. “What’s that noise,” she asks me. She’s referring to the officer’s walky talky in the back ground, which I explain to her. To which I follow with, “and fyi. The next time I call you fifty times in a row, chances are I’m not calling to find out how your day went. Answer your phone!” We chat for a moment and I tell her I’ll call her later, which I did.
The officer waits for me while I grab my stuff from my bedroom, and we leave my house in our separate directions. I drive the twenty minutes to my sister’s house and pray that her door is unlocked. It is.
I wander in and figure I’ll go up the stairs quietly and find a place to crash until the morning. As I turn the corner at the base of the stairs, my brother in law calls out from the living room. “Honey?” He thinks I’m my sister. I peer into the living room. He recognizes me and is instantly concerned. He knows I made a big stink about wanting to stay home. He launches from the couch and at that moment I finally lose it. He collects me into a hug and I explain what went on in the last hour. He leads up me upstairs to where my mom was sleeping and tells me I need to wake her. I am crying, and I shake her awake. It takes me a moment to find my voice at which point she panics that something happened between J and I (it was only three months until our wedding).
I tell her what happened. We call my father who tells us to stay at my sisters for the night and we’d figure everything out in the morning.
The cops never actually determined anything even after coming out again the next morning to investigate. All we know is that our porch door was somehow opened after I arrived home and after I set the alarm that night. And can you believe they had the audacity to charge us for a “false alarm call?”
And that’s the time I asked a large police officer to dance his way into my house.