It seemed like a normal robbery when we woke at 5am last Saturday to discover the chaos the robber had left behind.
Audacious, even – he’d hovered by my daughter’s bedroom door in the dark, waking her by drumming his fingers on the doorknob as he surveyed the dim scene (wisely deciding that to enter my daughter’s room was probably to fall into The Dark Abyss of tangled clothes), moving on into the house to fling open drawers and cupboards, loudly rifle through filing cabinets and boxes, before returning, laden, up the hall and out the front, with the slam of the heavy wire screen door punctuating his exit.
Perhaps we were the ones who weren’t so bright – we all 3 were there; my partner, my daughter and me. My daughter thought it was my partner at her bedroom door, looking to put the cat out. She thought the slamming drawers were him, suffering jet lag (he’s French). He thought it was her, packing for her trip to NY the next morning. Both thought the other endearingly odd. I snored through the lot.
But once the words “We were robbed!! “ were uttered by my partner in the early dawn (albiet, in a sexy French accent), my small, sweet daughter transformed into someone from CSI. 000 was called. Annoying parental figures held at bay. Crime scene secured, muddy footprints identified, entry and exit marked, itemised search for goods undertaken. Coffee and croissants were acquired.
A trail of discarded treasures led to carefully hidden home computer down the street (hooray!!), bags taken from my bedside (chilling), a man’s coat with her front door keys stuffed by a neighbour’s bin, out of sight. The coat was deemed to be the robber’s, but in case it was a neighbour’s , it was left by the front gate in full view.
At the kitchen table, awaiting the cops, my daughter postulated that said robber would return to collect the computer, too heavy to heft the night before, and use her house keys to come in and finish the job.
There was a knock at the door. She went to let the cops in, but it wasn’t them.
A tall, fidgety, speechless young man, with a cab waiting and the dubious coat tucked firmly under his arm, stood there, shifting from foot to foot. In a rush, he lamented that we may have been robbed, having himself seen someone jimmying our front window overnight. He demurred when we asked him to give his name as a witness. Full of concern, he asked after the computer he thought he’d seen hidden in the bushes, when he’d circled back later.