Cookies and Theft


Baking always calms me down. Nobody ever expects an ex-con or a construction worker that can bake, but here I am. Learned in prison, turns out I liked it. I slowly mix the eggs into the mixture. Too many eggs, and the cake will be too dense. Just one at a time or the mixture won't be even. Ahh, one more should do it. Perfect, now I just need to know what to flavor it with. Oh, I can do vanilla and chocolate chips. I didn't expect to bake a cake today so I don't have that many options. 

I hear a car pull into the driveway. I'm not surprised it's the police. I make my way through the house and meet them at the front door. The older officer with the salt and pepper hair from this morning smiles when I open the door before he can knock.

"What happened," I ask immediately.

"Wow, something smells great in there. Home baked cookies? I thought it was just you and your daughter who lived here," he tries to change the subject.

"Officer, I've been around the block a few times. If you want some cookies, feel free to take a batch. But, I just need to know what happened."

"Well, the bad news is we didn't find your truck, or your tools. We probably won't find them any time soon. The good news is we've got your daughter, she's not hurt and she's got a lot of money that can be used to start replacing your tools. She seems to have fallen in with a bad crowd."

I lean over and look past the officer. My daughter is sitting in the back of his cruiser. She turns her head away from the home refusing to make eye contact with me. She's still my baby girl in there somewhere. I don't know what to do. Since her mother has passed she's been rebelling. I just don't know how to handle it. Her mom was always better at those things.

"So what do you want to do with her? We can book her, and the courts will handle it. Might lock her up for a while. I don't really know if she needs all that. Seems like she's just lonely. I've got a daughter and you'd be surprised the shit they can get into when left alone. Worse than the boys I tell you," the officer looks in my eyes.

"What do you think I should do," never thought I'd be asking a police officer for advice.

"Well, if it was up to me. I'd send her down town and book her," he uses air quotes. "Have her go through an interrogation. Hopefully she tells us about the truck and tools. Then you can rush in and make the save. Done it 100 times."

"You promise she won't get a record? I don't want her to end up like me," I ask him.

"Yeah, I promise. I'll have my partner do the interrogation. Javon is real big on second chances. Good cop bad cop and all that."

"Thank you, Officer..." what was your name?

"It's actually Detective Harlem," he extends his hand.

"Thank you, Detective Harlem," I shake his hand.

I share another glance at my daughter as the cruiser pulls off. I wipe a tear from my eye and head back inside. I forgot to give him his cookies. Well, I guess I'll bring him some when I pick her up. I really hope he doesn't give her a record. But this might be for the best.



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