Copyright© 2020 by Olga Chinka
“I think I’m a target Jane” I finally spill. “After our fight last night, I was in my room when I saw Mrs. Wheeler attacked in her home. All I saw were the shadows, but I am sure that I saw a man with her. He held her and punched her in the head! Then he looked out the window straight at me. I think he saw me!”
I could see Jane trying to process the information. “What happened at the mall today?” she wanted to know.
“Someone had tried to kill me. I was talking on a bench with Taylor on the first floor, next to the elevators. I got up and within seconds a huge brick lands where I was just sitting. Taylor and I didn’t get hurt, but I think it was meant for me! Then when I got home, I found a note tied to a branch by my window. All it said was I saw you.”
“Why didn’t you tell mom or dad?!”
“No thanks to you, they think I’m on drugs. They think I am making it up, that it’s all in my head. You heard our conversation this morning! Dad called and checked. He’s convinced that she is on vacation.”
“I’m really sorry I told mom what Steve said. I know he likes to stretch the truth sometimes. I guess I let me anger at you cloud my judgment. He probably misunderstood what he saw. He was really mad at you, maybe he let his anger get the better of him.”
“I hate that guy.”
“I know. What are you going to do now Rachel? That’s twice someone has come after you. You are definitely a target. Should we call the police?” she asks, her face full of concern.
“They won’t believe us. They will go to her door and see that no one is home. A call to her house will confirm that she is safe on vacation. We need real proof.”
“What kind of proof are you talking about?”
“I think I need to break into Mrs. Wheeler’s house and look for proof. If I can find something that backs up my story, it might be enough to get the police to take this seriously.”
“Breaking in is illegal, but so is trying to run you over. The note you got confirms that whoever hurt Mrs. Wheeler saw you. What harm is there in breaking into your elderly neighbor’s house while she is away on vacation right?” With a big smile on her face, Jane says the words I have been longing to hear. “I will help you. I’m in”.
We decide to ditch practice and head to Mrs. Wheeler’s house. Not wanting our parents to spot our car, we park outside of our neighborhood and sneak towards the front door.
Just as I expected, it’s locked. We head towards the back. Reaching over the fence, we unlock the gate and let ourselves into the yard without a problem. We are caught off guard at the sight that greets us. Broken glass. Someone had smashed the window and it was now fully open. Anyone could have climbed inside!
Terrified, I look at Jane.
“Should we call the police now? This is the proof we needed!”
“Not yet” Jane replies as she climbs through the window. “I want to see for myself what happened.”
My sister has lost her mind. She was inside Mrs. Wheeler’s house! Do I run to tell my parents and possibly leave her alone with an old-lady killer? Absolutely not! I climb through the window after her, trying my best to avoid the broken glass.
Once inside, we dust ourselves off and survey the surroundings. No sign of struggle, nothing is out of place. We peek around the corner into the kitchen. Nothing.
“I saw her through the upstairs window. If we are going to find anything, that’s where it will be.”
We climb the stairs as quietly as possible, scanning the house for any sign of movement, any sign of proof.
Every door is wide open upstairs. I do a quick scan of the closest room to me, nothing out of place.