I’m so lost in the passion that he’s ignited in me that I barely hear the crash and shattering of glass on the other side of the room. Ryan springs into action, fixing his pants and rushing out the front door in his bare feet. Bewildered and suddenly alone, I struggle to dress myself with shaking hands and labored breath. I’m slipping on my shoes when I hear the commotion outside. A car alarm is blaring and someone, a man, is screaming. Heart pounding, I creep to the door and peer out into the night, but I see nothing so I step out onto the porch and look up and down the street. My eyes grow wide as Ryan comes into view. He’s several houses down, holding another man against a parked car, siren blaring and lights flashing. A neighbor whom I’ve never seen before is standing on his porch holding his phone up in the air.
“I’m calling the cops!” the man shouts.
“Do it, now,” Ryan screams back.
The man that Ryan is trying to subdue struggles to free himself, but Ryan retains his grip on him. He attempts to keep the man pinned against the neighbor's car, but the man won’t stop thrashing so Ryan lifts him off his feet and body slams him onto the street below. He sits on the man’s chest and holds his arms to his sides until the blue and red police lights surround him.
One officer cuffs Ryan while the other cuffs the man on the ground who has requested paramedics. Ryan nods in my direction, and the officer sits him in his patrol car before walking over to speak to me.
“Can you tell me what’s going on here?” the officer asks me.
“We were in the living room and something came crashing through the window. Ryan ran outside and I guess he chased that other man down the street and caught him right there,” I do my best to describe the scene although I haven’t quite made sense of it yet.
“Show me the window,” the officer commands, and I bring him inside and point to the broken glass on the floor. He glances around the area and then kicks the curtain aside revealing a brick painted with white letters that read, “WHORE”.
The officer looks at me and asks, “Do you know who threw this?”
“I, I don’t. Someone’s been sneaking around my backyard. There should be a police report on file from last night,” I stammer, still trembling with fear.
“Would you mind walking with me? I’d like you to try and identify the man that your friend just sent to the hospital. And… you should call your mother.”
“Why? I’m over eighteen,” I say, not ready to explain Ryan’s presence to my mother.
“It’s her property that’s been damaged. We’ll need to speak with her,” he explains.
I walk beside the tall officer, certain that I’ll find Jared Thomas lying flat on the blacktop. As we get closer and the man comes into view, I gasp and stop short, causing the officer to turn to me and ask, “Do you know this man?”
“Yes, I do. His name is Will Smith. He used to date my mother.”
“Do you know why your mother is no longer seeing him?” the officer asks.
Crippled by the frightening reality that I must now face, I tell him, “Yes, I do. She didn’t like the way he behaved around me.”
Hearing our conversation, the other officer helps Ryan out of the patrol car and removes his handcuffs. He comes to me and takes me in his arms.
“This is over now, princess. He’s going to the hospital and then to jail,” he kisses my forehead.
The ambulance arrives, and one of the officers climbs in the back to escort Will to the hospital. Ryan and I go back to the house with the other officer and give our statements while we wait for my mother to arrive. I guess Will has been watching me ever since my mother broke up with him, and seeing me with Ryan just sent him over the edge. The thought sends chills down my spine. I don’t even want to think of what could have happened if Ryan wasn’t there.
MEETING ROSE’S MOTHER
Rose’s mother walks through the open front door with a look of horror and confusion on her face. She spies Rose seated in the kitchen and rushes to her, “My God! Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, Mom. It was Will. He’s been spying on me and tonight he threw a brick through the window,” I explain.
Her mother nods to the officer and then turns her sights on me. “And you were here? Why?” she probes me.
“I was here with your daughter, Ms. O’Connor. She’s had some trouble with a boy at school and we thought he might be the one sneaking around here,” I tell her.
“So, you make house calls, then?” She purses her lips and glares into my eyes.
“Mom, Ryan caught Will red handed. If it wasn’t for him things might have been a lot worse,” Rose protests.
“Ryan,” her mother sneers and shakes her head.