This is the thirteenth part in a series, so if you have not already done so, you might want to read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X, Part XI, and Part XII before continuing.
Lilah’s heart felt like it was trying to beat its way out of her chest. Her first thought was of her husband, but then she remembered he was at work. She called his cell phone, but he didn’t pick up. She hoped that was because he was in his meeting and couldn’t answer his phone, so she left a voicemail, trying not to sound too frantic as she urged him to call her back ASAP.
Lilah didn’t even think to call 911, but someone else must have because she heard sirens shortly after she hung up from her husband’s voicemail. She couldn’t help a wry grin from creeping across her face when she saw the cop cars pull up. Oddly enough, the sight of them calmed her down. She felt her heartrate slow and her breathing return to normal as she watched them get out of their cars and look over the scene.
The EMTs reached her first, asked her questions, had her stand up and move around to prove she could, took her heartrate and blood pressure. She went through the motions, her mind already racing ahead to how she would write about this for her next article and what she would say in her next TV appearance.
When the cops finally approached, Lilah couldn’t help asking them before they had a chance to say anything, “Now do you believe me?”
They gave her a quizzical look and Lilah was caught between the desire to laugh and the desire to scream. She didn’t recognize any of them and she doubted they had been briefed on the threats she had received, so she supposed it was hardly fair to blame them for being uninformed. But she did blame their department for dismissing her concerns and failing to inform any of their beat cops about the possibility of an attack on her house.
“Ma’am, I’m Officer Dever and this is Officer Huertas. Do you have any idea how this might have happened?”
“Yes. I have a whole folder full of suspects and so does your department – assuming Officer Kahn hasn’t trashed it.”
Dever and Huertas exchanged a look and Lilah forced herself to take deep breaths. “Look, I’ve been getting threats for more than a month now and I reported all them, but no one wanted to take me seriously. Fortunately for you, I accounted for his incompetence and maintained a complete record of every threat I ever received.”
They bristled at the word “incompetence,” but Lilah continued. What did she have to lose?
“I’m afraid my personal computer has just been destroyed because you guys refused to put any kind of surveillance on my house, despite the many death threats I received,” she gestured towards the gaping black hole in the ground that used to be her house. “But I planned for that too, so I backed everything up to the cloud. I can access it whenever you guys decide a missing house is worth investigating.”
Lilah ended her speech with an exaggerated smile that she knew didn’t reach her eyes.
Dever and Huertas looked at each other again before excusing themselves go call their chief. Lilah let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. She didn’t really want to fight with two lowly cops who were not personally responsible for their bosses’ failure to do his job, but she had been frustrated with the situation for a long time and it was getting harder and harder to keep her cool. Plus her house had just exploded, so she thought that, if nothing else, should be reason enough for her to be short on patience.
To be continued…