“Give me a second,” the agent said before pulling the phone off his ear. He turned to the police officer. “Get this door closed and tape off all the entrances. Don’t forget about the side doors and the back. I’ve got a forensic team coming in. And please tell me you didn’t touch anything.”
“We didn’t touch anything?”
“Was that a question or a statement? Never mind, just get that tape up.”
With that, Agent Taggert went back to his phone call. He didn’t like what he was hearing.
“I don’t care if he’s already home for the day and doesn’t want to be disturbed. You pick him up and get him back here, now.”
When the agent saw Morgan watching, he lowered his voice and turned away before he went back to talking. Morgan was left wondering who he’d been talking about. Something about the way Taggert had said, ‘back here,’ stuck in her mind.
The police officer was struggling with the open door. Taggert put his phone down again to give him a look. The officer turned a little red and tugged on the door even harder. With a grinding pop, the door pulled free.
“Darn thing was wedged into the brick somehow,” the officer said, but Taggert had already turned away again so his explanation fell on deaf ears.
Morgan could see a chip in one of the bricks that hadn’t been there before. It was right where the door handle had been. The door had been opened so hard it stuck into the brick wall. She’d opened it that hard.
Soon Morgan’s mother arrived. She’d left work early when she got the call from the police. All the parents were going out of their minds. Principal Andrews had straightened his tie at this point and between him and Special Agent Taggert, Morgan must have heard the phrase, “just a precaution,” at least a thousand times before she left.
As if all that attention wasn’t bad enough, Morgan had to relive every detail during dinner and after. Her mother told the story to her stepfather over and over. Then there were the endless questions. No one seemed satisfied that she hadn’t really seen anything. After the policeman had given Morgan and Teri funny looks when they’d tried to tell him about the attacker, their whispered and texted agreement was that they just say they saw ‘something,’ without giving many details.
Morgan lay in bed, trying to remember everything that’d happened. Teri wasn’t responding to her texts anymore. She must be asleep. Morgan wanted to grill her. She got the sense that Teri knew more than she was letting on. But it’d have to wait until tomorrow. Who was that person she’d seen? It felt like hours, lying on her back in the dark, imagining every long shadow was a long-haired girl moving towards her, before she fell asleep.