Chapter 9

Copyright© 2020 by Olga Chinka

I lay in my bed, wide awake. The room is pitch black, and the house is quiet. The light from my clock shows that it is well into the night. I cannot sleep. I wait for Jane.

“Rachel?” I hear her whisper as she opens the door. The light from her flashlight dancing on my wall.

“Let’s do this” I reply as I get out of bed. I grab my flashlight and we both head towards the door. The house is silent, everyone is asleep. Quietly we grab our shoes and coats and slip out the door into the night.

I am relieved to see heavy snow is falling. Our tracks will be gone by the morning. We turn off our flashlights and use the streetlights to guide us as we make our way to Mrs. Wheeler’s house.

“What should we use to break the window?” Jane asks when we are almost there.

“Find the biggest rock that you can” I reply as I scan the ground around me. My eyes settle on Mrs. Wheeler’s garden bed. It is lined with concrete blocks. These will be perfect.

“Watch out Jane” I warn as I grab a block from the garden. I pick it up high over my head and mustering all my strength, I throw it as hard as I can towards her front window.

The sound of the glass breaking pierces the night.

I see Jane start running and I run after her as fast as I can. My legs feel like they are on fire, but I dare not slow down. We reach our front door, and as quietly as we can, we sneak back in, closing the door quietly behind us.

I put away my shoes and coat and tiptoe to my room with Jane. We look out the window and wait. Surely someone must have heard the glass breaking.

The night is silent. The snow continues to fall, and no one seems to have noticed the damage. We wait for what seems like hours. Before I know it, I drift off into a slumber, curled up comfortably on my bed.

“Rachel wake up!” Jane is shaking me awake.

“Wake up and look out the window! The police are here!” Wearing the same clothes from the night before, my sister is excitedly looking out my window at the commotion happening below.

I get out of bed to join her and am surprised at the sight. Our usually quiet street is filled with people. I count five police cars, a fire truck, and an ambulance all in front of Mrs. Wheeler’s house. It seems like the whole neighborhood is outside, curiosity getting the better of them.

“I see mom and dad! Let’s go join them”

Jane runs out of my room towards the door. Grabbing my coat, I run after her, curious to find out what has happened this morning.

I reach my parents who are standing with our other neighbor and music director Mr. Whitmore.

“Penny Lane has always been so safe; I can’t imagine who would do such a thing” my dad says as everyone stares towards the door.

“What happened dad?” Jane asks, trying to sound as innocent and confused as possible.

“Rachel was right, Jane” my dad replies while still staring at the door. “Someone had broken into Mrs. Wheeler’s home and hurt her.”

“Is that why the window is broken?” I ask, hoping they do not notice the guilt in my voice.

My mom puts her arms around me to comfort me “We should have done more yesterday when you tried to warn us honey. Apparently, someone had broken into her house. The neighbors woke up this morning, saw the smashed front window and called the police.”

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