The sound of the police banging on the door to my house next door was loud enough to wake up the whole street. James was sleeping on the sofa in Sarah’s living room while I was looking through the window. There was a van parked on the driveway and I could see more police inside it. There were four of them outside my house hammering Steve awake. He wasn’t answering. Sarah came downstairs.
“You okay?” She asked. I let the curtain fall close, leaving the police banging next door.
“He’s not answering. She told me they were going in if he didn’t” I said, already knowing that he wouldn’t answer and within a few minutes the police would be breaking down the door and going in to fetch him.
“It’s okay,” she said with a tired stretch and a yawn, “you can stay here for as long as you need to”.
Another bang from next door and then the sound of a man shouting the words, “POLICE!” and something about “Steve”.

The police woman who had been speaking to me 30 minutes before had told me that they had been looking for him for a while. He was wanted for drugs offences and assault. Even though I knew him, and I knew what he was like, it was still painful to hear. I think that it only just hit home when I heard her telling me what would probably happen to him. The police had found a body in the boot of a car during a raid on a house the other side of town a few hours earlier and when I called in they had extended their investigation to my house. I was fully expecting to be taken in and questioned too, but that would come later. Thank god I had Sarah helping me through this.

‘BANG!’ From outside. Sarah and I ran to the window. ‘BANG!’ Another one. We opened the curtain wide to the first peek of daylight outside and the sight of the police ramming the side door to my house. A third bang an the door flung wide open. They charged inside followed by more of them from the van. It was at least 15 minutes before they came out of my house empty handed.

“Do you know where he could have gone?” They had asked me as we sat on Sarah’s sofa. The sun was up now and the house raid at dawn was over an hour ago. The truth is, I had no idea where he could have gone. He had a whole secret life I knew nothing about and he could be absolutely anywhere. He must have climbed out of bed and left shortly after I went to Sarah’s. That means he probably did see what I was doing in the shed. He probably did know that I knew, and he definitely knew that I had shopped him. He wasn’t stupid. And neither was I. I had to get out of there before he found me, but the police had other ideas.

That night, they were sitting out the front in an unmarked car. I had been assured that there was a whole team just around the corner and had Steve visited my house that night, they would pounce. I knew he wouldn’t, like I said he’s not stupid. He would know exactly what they were up to. I totally expected him to vanish for months, which filled me with fear. To know he was still out there, furious at what I had done, was not a nice thought. I left the lights on in my house, but I was next door at Sarah’s. “Make it look like you’re home”, the police had said. Sarah was working a night shift, her husband was working away for the week and James and I had her house to ourselves. He was sleeping upstairs while I was sitting downstairs, the police were watching next door, front and back. They were expecting him to visit the shed. I thought he would be long gone. I was wrong. So were the police. They were watching the wrong house. I realised this when I heard a back window smashing upstairs…