“What’s that?” the cop says. He’s got a hand on his hip and frowns at me as I stand by my car, the garage door open.
Where did he come from? I was alone in the garage and then this police car accelerated down the driveway, until the cruiser slid to a stop, throwing the gravel around in ruts.
“It’s nothing,” I say. I hear my voice, thin and high.
“Let me see it,” he demands.
“The painters moved all the furniture into the middle of the room and it’s just something I found behind the bookcase,” I say. I step away from him.
“Give it here,” he says. He extends his hand towards mine.
“No, it’s garbage. I’m going to throw it out.”
I walk quickly up the stairs into the house, grab a pair of scissors from the junk drawer in the kitchen and attempt to cut it up. They’re dull and all I can do is hack a rough notch on the edge.
“That’s destruction of evidence,” he says, grabbing the CD away from me and roughly taking hold of my arm.
“Come with me. You’re under arrest.” His voice is loud and he pulls me along to the front door and down the front stairs.
“Wait, I have to make a phone call.”
“When we get to the station, you’ll have plenty of time there,” he says.
Yesterday I discovered five CDs that Paul must have hidden in the bookcase and then forgotten. The date on each one is August 2002. I put one in the CD drive and immediately felt sick when I saw photos of little girls. His betrayal and lies went back more years than I ever thought possible. And how did this police officer know I’d found more evidence against Paul? I’d told no one. I was in the process of destroying them when he showed up. The old fear slammed itself back in my face, but this time, it was a dream. I woke with a start, panting, my heart pounding like a jackhammer. Only a dream, thank God.