Eight

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While I'm still trying to think of my response to this - to be honest a little disturbing - revelation, my phone vibrates in my purse. I ignore it at first, but when it stops and starts again right away, I get the feeling that it might be important. "Sorry, I better answer." I get my phone out and see three missed calls from Molly and a text saying I should call her ASAP. I frown and look at Henry. "That's my neighbor; she wants me to call her back urgently."  

"Then go ahead; call her."  

An uneasy feeling takes hold of me while I dial her number. She picks up after the first ring with an agitated voice, which does nothing to soothe my worries. "Lauren! You have to come home; someone broke into our building. The police are here and are questioning everybody."  

"Whoa, wait, calm down! Are you okay?" My heartbeat accelerates, and I have to stop worst-case scenarios from flashing through my mind.  

"Yes, yes I am, just a little shaken."  

"What happened?"  

"When I came home, the police were already here. Mrs. Stanton called them because someone broke into her apartment. And as it turns out into Mr. Hendricks and Dean and Kate's. Now they're asking if they broke into any other apartments."  

"Oh my gosh. Did they break into yours?"  

"No, they didn't. I think neither into yours as your door seems intact. But you should come and check."  

"Of course. Thanks, Molly."  

I hang up and look at Henry. He looks worried. "Someone broke into your place?"  

I nod. "Well, into some of the apartments in my building. I have to go home and check if they were in my apartment, too."  

Henry nods. "I'll go with you." 

At the thought of some strangers entering my home, a cold shiver runs down my spine. I can't even think straight. Luckily, Henry takes care of the check and gets us a cab that drops us off at my building, where Molly is waiting outside. I give her a tight hug. "Oh, honey; I'm glad you're okay."  

"The Police just said that they caught the guys a couple of blocks down," Molly explains.  

I let out a long breath of relief. "That's good. Okay, I better go check my apartment."  

The closer we get to my door the more nervous I become. My breathing and heartbeat accelerate, and my palms are sweating. And I know exactly why I am so nervous. When I was a kid, someone broke into our home and went through all our stuff. Even though nothing of actual value was missing from my things, I still remember the horrid feeling of knowing that some stranger touched all my belongings. That must have made a lasting impression.  

In front of my door, I fumble with my keys and of course drop them – twice.  

That's when Henry turns to me. "Let me." He picks up the keys and opens the door. "The lock is intact. I don't think anyone broke in." He takes my hand and gives it a reassuring squeeze before he pulls me behind him into my apartment. 

Everything looks like I left it. Okay, no one was in here. I wait for relief to wash through me, but somehow it won't come. I enter my living room and nervously look around. Even though I know that no one was in here, I can't seem to calm down. 

I pace up and down until Henry stops me and takes me in his arms. "Shh, Lauren, it's all right. I'm here, and nothing bad is gonna happen. Come on, grab a few things, and then you'll stay at my place tonight." 

I release from his embrace and look at him with a frown. "What? At your place?" 

He smiles. "Does that scare you more than sleeping here tonight? You can have my bed, and I'll sleep on the couch." 

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