Genre: Romantic Suspense
“Excuse me, Miss Thomas?” the young, male police officer asks me but begins to speak again without waiting for my reply. “We’re looking for your brother, Grant Thomas?”
The female officer next to him shuffles forward, revealing the flashing vehicle on the road outside of our house. The pitch-black, moonless night makes the lights all the brighter for the curtain twitchers in the neighboring houses. Before I can make sense of its presence, a noisy clearing of the throat refocuses my attention back onto the solemn, firm expressions, plastered on both the officers standing before me. My body shivers with an uneasy feeling, one which is spreading rapidly to every extremity of my body.
“Is he home? Or your parents?” this time, the female speaks with a pitiful smile on her face. Maybe because I’m only a fifteen-year-old girl and a woman seems far less intimidating than a male officer, who I now notice easily reaches up to the top of the doorframe.
“Yes, they’re all here,” I answer in a voice that betrays my fear. “Mom!” I shout out into the room behind me. I don’t even turn around because my body has ceased to respond to even the most basic of instructions. Both police officers offer me uncomfortable-looking smiles while we wait for the shuffling footsteps from outback to approach us. The time it takes my mother to finally reach us feels like years given the intensity of the situation, and I’m about ready to let out the sob caught in my throat.
“What is it, Millie?” Mom asks with a smile in her voice, a smile that drops faster than a lead weight when she finally sees what I’m staring at. “Oh,” she says, clearly lost for words from the shock of seeing two uniformed police officers on our doorstep on a Sunday evening. “Is something wrong?”
Yes, mother, I think something is epically wrong!
“I’m afraid we’re here for your son, Grant Thomas,” the male officer now steps in with an intimidating, angry grimace upon his face. “Can you call him to the door please?”
“Why? What’s going on? What’s he done?” Mom now sounds barely comprehendible with her rapid succession of questions. Not that she bothers to wait for a response before she shouts anxiously for my father, with my brother’s name following quickly after.
“What the hell is going on?!” Dad barks, arriving at the scene first with a mixture of both confusion and irritation marring his usually calm and cool exterior. I guess it doesn’t look good for the Head of Surgery to have the law flashing on his doorstep.
Shifting back, I make way for Grant, who appears moments later wearing his sweatpants and some old football t-shirt from school. He’s also sporting the same look of confusion we all have written across our faces.
“What’s going on?” he asks no one in particular, then pulls away his headphones, leaving the sound of U2 to blast through them as we all bear witness to the nightmare currently playing out on our front steps. Before anyone can answer him, the male officer pulls my brother’s wrist through the door and twists it up behind his broad, quarterback body, where he proceeds to cuff him.
“Grant Thomas, I’m arresting you for the rape of Samantha Phillips,” he finally announces, causing all four of us to drop our mouths to the floor in complete shock over this revelation. “You do not have to say anything but anything you do say will be taken in evidence and may be used in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney…”
The words muffle into white noise as I watch the terrified eyes of my brother dart around so quickly, they no longer look real. My mother cries with greedy intakes of air, just as my father tries to argue with the officers who are now escorting Grant over to the flashing police car.
“Samantha Phillips is Grant’s girlfriend; they’ve been an item for over two years! This is preposterous!” he shouts angrily.
The officers pay him no attention, acting blind to his purple complexion, and continuing to robotically move into the car themselves. I turn away from my father’s obvious frustration with the two cops and look back to Grant’s face now sliding nervously into his hands which are trembling with shock.
“I suggest you arrange for your son to have legal representation, and for them to meet us down at the station,” the female officer says through a fake smile and a wide set of eyes. Eyes that cannot hide the obvious disgust she feels towards the crime at hand.
The car pulls away, still flashing its taunting lights for a long time after the vehicle has disappeared from view. My father remains glued to the spot for just as long, before slowly turning to reveal a broken expression. One of hurt, anger, and complete disbelief.
My brother was sentenced to eight years in prison.
My brother is a convicted rapist.