When I was 15 I arrived home from school to find the police waiting there.
Someone had broken into our house.
The police were interviewing my Aunt and my Dad. They asked us to take an inventory of the house and let them know what was missing.
Downstairs they found a bag with a broken watch and junk jewelry from my grandfather’s dresser that had been left behind. My father was missing his baseball cap and an XL jean jacket. Next to my father’s ’41 Chevrolet, parked on the hillside in the backyard, the police found a pair of work gloves.
In my room there was a dollar missing that I had left under a small salt and flour mold of my handprint as a child. I had just done my laundry but I had left a lilac bra in the basket. It was gone. I walked down the hall and asked my aunt if she was missing any bras. She went back to her room to check. She was missing two.
Later the police found the man sitting at the college, a half-mile from our house, wearing my father’s hat and jacket. He was over six feet tall and mentally disabled.
Two weeks later, I was home alone after school when I heard someone come into the house. I said, “hello” as I walked down the hallway just in time to see a shadow disappear out the front door.
We had to start locking our doors.