After the police took him away, we waited longer, trying to stay put as long as possible before emerging. It had been a long wait already and once one of us cracked and decided to come out of hiding, there wasn’t much point the rest of us staying hidden. It was cramped, the air was stale and our nerves were on edge, our muscles quivering with exhaustion. I come out first, deciding I was damned if I cared about the consequences, hoping enough of the crowd had dispersed that we wouldn’t draw too much attention to ourselves. A few people gasped and rushed up with blankets and water. There were some straggling authorities who pestered us with questions. Content we weren’t part of the problem, they left us be and went on their way.
I managed to break away from the fussing of people who really had no bloody idea what I’d just been through and found a corner to hide in. I watched as the others left, until it was just me and Brody, exchanging the odd glance, wondering when it might be safe to walk around and stretch our legs again; wondering when we could get some peace and head home, wherever that might be now. They’d taken everything from us.
I realised I needed to go to the toilet and went inside the building. It was deserted now. I tried to get my bowels to relax but it was impossible. I was painfully aware that the building was about to be locked up and sure enough I saw the patrol vehicle pull up in a reflection on the window. The last thing I wanted was be trapped in this building again so I gave up and scrambled out of there before the guy could turn the key.
Brody was there, waiting. We looked at each other. His eyes moved away from mine towards the carpark. My eyes followed, then narrowed. They had my fucking car. Two of them, in their black suits. Bloody hell! I might not be able to stop them from taking it but what was inside it was definitely mine. I ran. They looked up, surprised to see someone approaching so quickly in the dusk light, then scowled when they realised it was me.
I reached in through the open window and grabbed some of my clothes. “That’s mine. You aren’t going anywhere until I get my stuff.” I wished I had a bag. Damn! I couldn’t even remember exactly what I had in the car and what to save before it was too late. I scooped up as much as I could and then remembered the glove box. “Open the glove box”, I ordered.
I knew I was pushing my luck. Both of them were looking irritated. I was taking too long. Luckily one of them obeyed and reached forwards to open the glove box. Thank the Goddess! I’d forgotten my microphone and CD’s were in there. I hurriedly adjusted my load and reached my hand towards the mic. The guy closest to me probably realised I’d be out of their hair quicker if he helped so he pulled the lot out and dumped it on top of the rest of my loot.
As they pulled away I heard one of them say to the other “We’ll get a good price for this car.” Man was I pissed! Sell my car, my fucking arse! I was determined to find a way to stop them. Which then made me realise I was standing in the middle of a deserted carpark with night coming on, loaded down by my only possessions, with a house I couldn’t go back to because it would be crawling with police. They’d probably sell that too. Shit!
I heard Brody coming up behind me. “Want a hand?”, he asked. I didn’t answer, unless you could count my glum sigh as some kind of intelligent reply. I dumped the lot on the ground and hunkered down beside it. “Now what?” I muttered.
Brody just lit me a cirgarette. Damned things were like gold these days. Lovely gesture. I took a drag and we shared it in companionable silence while we thought about where home might be, now that our family had been destroyed by a man who was meant to be the heart of it. No, not only the heart, but the protector, and he had betrayed us all.