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Saturday, July 26, 2008

How to Serve Leftover Memories:

1. Place on back burner and allow to simmer
2. Add a dash of exaggeration and a pinch of hyperbole
3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly
4. Empty into bowls, making sure to keep chronological order
5. Serve at room temperature

The Robbery

In Oxford, there are more bikes than people and more bike thefts than, um, well…more bike thefts than there are in most other places. So I wasn’t at all surprised when Dane’s (my housemate) unlocked bike was stolen from our unlocked shed. After all, my family has had more than a few bikes stolen from our garage when it was left open. Dane and Will, however, being from smaller towns than Orlando, were a little uneasy about the idea of someone having been on our property without us knowing. But, life went on and there were no more thefts…as least for a few weeks.

A little while after this, around 1:30 in the morning, I was asleep in bed, wearing a t-shirt and pyjama pants as usual. Because the only doors with locks in our house were the bathroom doors, there was a tacit agreement that a shut door was a locked a door. So I was surprised to be woken up by someone knocking outside my room. I turned on my lamp.

“Who is it?”

“It’s Will.”

I got up and a pulled a sweatshirt on over my t-shirt. “Will? What’s wrong?” I opened the door and blinked as my eyes adjusted to the light in the hallway.

“I think someone’s trying to steal our bikes. Listen.” He and I were both silent for a minute. Suddenly, there was a thump-thump from the side of the house, where Will and I kept our bikes. I jumped.

“See?” Will said. “I could hear it in my room. And I saw lights outside the window. I called the police,” he added, matter-of-factly.

“How long ago?”

“Just a few minutes. I was wondering if they might have a car out front. We could see if they leave.”

I nodded, and we both walked over to my window, which overlooked the street in front of our house.

“I don’t see anything,” I whispered.

“Me either.” There was another thump-thump from outside, startling us.

“Did the police say they were coming?”

Will nodded. “Yeah.”

We stood looking out the window for a little while longer.

“They must be pretty determined thieves, to still be out there,” I observed.

“Yeah, but the lock are those big U ones. They probably take a while to cut through.”

“Still, it seems stupid for a thief to stay outside one house for so long.”

There was another thump-thump. “Maybe I should go outside and look?” Will mused.

“That’s a bad idea. What if they’re armed?”

“I could take the big knife from the kitchen.”

“Will, don’t be stupid.”

We stood at the window a little longer.

Finally, Will walked back out to the hall. “I’m going to call the police again.”

A few minutes later, I saw a police car pull up in front of the house. Two officers got out and knocked on the door. Will and I both walked out to the landing on the staircase. Will started to head downstairs to open the door.

“You stay inside,” he bravely told me. I rolled my eyes.

“Do you think we should tell Dane what’s going on?”

Will made a face that clearly said that an atomic bomb could land on our roof without Dane waking up, then went outside with the police officers. I watched from the window while Will showed around to the side of the house and then disappeared out the back, to look at the shed. A few minutes later, the officers got back into their car and drove away. Will came inside, looking rather sheepish.

“No one there, huh?” I asked.

Will shook his head. “No. And I don’t think the police noticed, but while we were outside, I heard the noise again…it was the wind rattling the door on the shed.”

I laughed.

“But I did see lights” Will insisted, turning to the hall window.

I followed his gaze to window, and sure enough, there were three coloured lights blinking outside. Or were they? Will and I figured it out at the same time, turning from the window, and looking at the internet box down the hall. The internet box that had three blinking lights, which were reflected in the window.

The End

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