When she arrived home there was nobody there. She parked her Four Runner in the garage and lowered the door. The door that lead into the kitchen through the garage door was unlocked. As she pulled it shut behind her, she turned the little nub.
She was just amazed Claudia could have been related to such a creep! Drugs, thieving–maybe Danny had actually killed people. The thought upset her. She walked to the front door and made sure it was locked. Then the sliding glass door that lead out onto the deck yard. Also locked. In the right hand corner of the backyard was the shed. It was full of gardening tools and home repair stuff. A ladder was lying on its side just lying there. Anyone could steal it. Anyone could just grab it and walked away in the middle of the night and sell it for drug money!
Margaret put down her purse on the kitchen table, then thought better of it and picked it up. What if someone broke and took it? She brought it into Gordon’s office with her and set it on his desk. She booted up the computer and sat back in the leather desk chair. Outside a car door slammed. A dog barked. Maybe they should get a dog. Ava would love it and it could keep people like Danny away. Margaret jumped as the computer made out a loud beep! The internal fan started to whir. She heard a lawnmower start up. The house creaked. It was an uncomfortable sound and she held her breath for a moment. It creaked again. Margaret leapt to her feet, clutching her handbag. She walked to the office door and peered out into the living room.
“Hello?” she asked, wishing her voice sounded louder and more confident.
She thought back to the first time her parents had left her home alone.
“And if you cook anything don’t leave the kitchen with the stove on,” said her mother.
Outside it was dark and every window was a black mirror that showed a darker house than the one Margaret was in.
“And if anything goes wrong you can call the restaurant,” Daddy said.
“I know,” whined Margaret. They had told her all of this before. She was 13 years old and Debby Shrumpt and Ryan Fingel had already been left home alone a dozen times–and they were both months younger than her. She could handle an evening by herself. She’d reassured her parents over and over–and did they ever believe her?
“Okay,” said Daddy. “The McKay’s across the street know you’re spending the evening alone, so if anything goes wrong they said you could call on them, just right across the street.”
Again, hadn’t Daddy said all this time and again–really? Time and again. She swore, her parents treated her like a piece of drywall. As if their words just bounced right off her and she was completely incapable sitting around and watching the tv for a whole evening by herself.