So, my little house was broken into. Again. Six months after the last one. Less damage done this time around, for that I am grateful, if that’s the word. But it doesn’t really matter what was taken. It’s the intrusion.
When I return home, I see the back window wide open and I innocently think that perhaps I had left it open - I hope. But when I see the children’s money box smashed on the table, my fears are confirmed. The first time time that I was broken into, I ran around my ransacked house, screaming. This time, I get spooked, run out and lock myself in my car (which I have thankfully left parked outside my gate) fearing that the intruder is still there and phone the Gardai.
I think of Mr Private. Just a few weeks ago, we knew each other’s every move. In fact, I was supposed to be with him now. But I can’t contact him. Too much water under the bridge.
I phone my mother and text Just Friends, a guy I dated at Christmas and stayed in touch with. Just Friends and I have made a pact – half joking, but deadly serious - that if neither of us meet anyone by next St Patrick’s Day, that we will get together. There is nothing that they can do.
The sympathetic Garda leads me around my house. Relief this time, that my boy’s bedroom wasn’t wrecked, that all the damage is in my bedroom. My favourite pearl-drop marcasite earrings, that everyone admires are gone. Worth nothing to anyone, except me.
Taken too, is the brand new iPhone 5 that my boy disabled before I got to use it. I never found the time to unlock it. Hoping they get no good out of it either.
Waiting for the Gardai to come to take fingerprints is the worst part – trying not to touch anything that the greasy hands have touched. I can trace where they have been, their presence marked by the uninvited disturbance by their unwelcome hands. I feel like walking away from this place I call home and never coming back.
Before the Forensics arrive, the children and I take down their ‘Crime Scene’ kit and the friendly Garda confirms that the contents are very similar to ‘the real thing.’ He gives them a demonstration of how to brush for prints and the pair seems pleased – a news item for school next day. I think it’s called ‘making the best of a bad situation.’ We don’t dwell on the mean-spiritedness of someone who would break children’s money boxes to take their few euro. I cringe at how dusty my house is and think that, had I known that I would have a break-in, I would have made a better effort to clean before I left.
We laugh that our cat, Sparky has taken advantage of the break-in, climbing in through the gaping window and taking residence in my bedroom. He has pooed on the duvet. I kid you not. I decide that I will treat myself to new bed linen.
The school tour the following day is a welcome distraction for us all. I get a house alarm installed – shutting the gate when the horse has bolted. There is great excitement too, examining the monitors and setting and un-setting the alarm. My daughter wonders if a fairy visits, or if her 'Sylvanian Family' animals move around the house when we aren't there, will they set off the sensors. I reassure her that the
@ePhoneWatch installer told me that they were too small for that to happen.
The memory on my ancient iPhone 4 is at capacity. I need to delete something to create space. I scroll through the hundred of messages between myself and Mr Private and decide that it’s time to press ‘delete.’ I wipe the grey finger print dust from the windows and around the house. And move on.