I watched Mom lock the door after the policeman left and ducked out of sight so she wouldn’t see me. I was supposed to be upstairs in bed, but when she went to the bathroom to take her shower, I came down to the kitchen to get a drink of grape Kool-Aid, my favorite. I was on my way back upstairs when he knocked on the door. I froze in the middle of the steps, thinking “Oh crap, I’m gonna get it.”

“Sara! Get the door please.” Mom yelled at me, thinking I was still in my bedroom. Before I could turn around to go back down the stairs to open the door, he knocked again.

“Sara! Open the door, I’m in the bathroom girl!” Mom yelled louder.

“OK Mom, I’m getting it.” As I got to the last step, he started banging on the door all hard and everything, and I knew that Mom was gonna come out of that bathroom and handle this person because she hated it when people knocked hard on her door. Said people needed to learn how-to knock-on people’s doors like they had some sense. Only people that knocked that hard she said had “better be the police or have a damn good excuse for knocking like that on my door.” Sure nuff, Mom came storming out of the bathroom towards the steps. 

I hurried up and ran into the kitchen because she would want to know how I got down here before she did and why I didn’t answer the door the first two times. I was peeking at her from the kitchen entryway and saw her fling open the door shouting at the policeman. He came in and Mom didn’t ask him to sit down or anything, just stood there blocking his way into the house so he was standing just inside the doorway. He shut the door behind him and pulled out this little black notebook and started acting like he was reading it, but I saw his eyes, they were checking out our crib. 

Then they started talking and I couldn’t believe my ears. I heard Smooth’s name! What was this about and why was he asking my Mom if she was with Smooth? I didn’t know she knew Smooth.  I heard the policeman ask her about the day of Smooth’s death and he looked like he didn’t believe her answer.  As he was getting ready to leave, he saw me! I ducked as fast as I could behind the wall, but it was too late. I held my breath, praying that he didn’t call me out of the kitchen and let out a sign of relief when he finally said he was leaving. 

Mom stomped up the stairs back to the bathroom, slamming the door behind her. I quickly ran up the stairs back to my bedroom and softly closed the door. I heard the bathwater filling up the tub with water so Mom could finish her bath. I pulled out the picture I took from Mr. Jimmy’s room earlier and sat down on my bed looking at it. 

This day was getting stranger by the minute. Mr. Jimmy has a picture of someone that looks like Annie and the cops think my mother has something to do with Smooth’s death. I was feeling confused and kind of scared. When I felt like this, I usually would talk things over with Annie, but I couldn’t do that now. The only person that I could talk to about this was Jean and she was still at school. It was almost time for school to get out so there was nothing that I could do but wait.