answering the door

The police knocked on my door last night - well, I think it was them. I was sleeping in the sitting room on the sofa bed because my younger son Liamh was staying and he was tired and went to bed early in my room. I'd fallen into a deep sleep so that when the rat-tat-tat on the door sounded, it seemed part of some other world, not even my dream world. Kept on happening. Attention must be paid. I rolled over and realised it was my door being knocked upon. There's two doors to this flat, one that leads out into the front garden, which is where I come and go, and another, always locked, that comes off the hallway where the official entrance to the building is. They were rapping on the official door. Oh, god, I thought, where's the key? Now they changed from knocking on the wood to banging the metal knocker that's there. It sounded much more urgent. Where was my dressing gown? In the room where Liamh was. He hadn't woken yet, which suggested he wasn't going to. Okay. Maybe I would get up to see who it was. It was on the third rap-rap-rap on the knocker that they said: "Police ..." They always drop their voices to the lowest register when they say that - I don't know why. "Police ..." comes out gravelly and low, like a warning: irony free zone impending. Fuck it, I thought, I'm not getting up for the police. Doesn't sound like they're here for me. Doesn't feel like they're going to break the door down. And anyway I haven't done anything wrong. Or at least nothing chargeable. Course I did get up, did get my dressing gown, did pace around the flat with my heart hammering, feeling furtive and guilty as hell. No longer secure in my own place, one of the usual suspects, a miscreant or a fugitive. Didn't dare turn on a light. Heard them through the bathroom window saying something to someone about a radio. That was when they were walking away. Their car started up and off they went. Now of course I'm consumed by curiosity. What did they want? What was happening? Wha ... ? I asked my next door neighbour but she slept through the whole thing. The Chinese across the hall? Seems unlikely it was to do with them. Liamh didn't hear anything either, though he was entertained by the tale. Damn! Wish I'd answered the door. Wish I knew ...

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