She froze as the hairs stood up on the back of her neck. The detectives entered through the main door of the old pizza place where she worked and headed in her direction. Never having good experiences with the cops in the past she was freaking out on the inside. Trying to figure out if she should run or stay and see where this went. Were they here for her? Was she outted ? Had someone narked on her for working there underage? She had poured and drank many a draft in this safe haven of hers. Was it over now? As they approached her it felt like everyone knew she had lied about her age and now she would lose everything if she were found out.

The lead detective stepped forward and handed his business card to her and asked to speak about her brother….the criminal. He was the oldest out of four brothers and there would be no question it was him they were asking about. Sigh of relief, she thought, its not me. Not this time anyway. So what did they want with the criminal? To lure her in they took the nice guy approach but she new at any time her world could be turned upside down . So she listened to what they had to say.

He was in trouble and someone was looking for him. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time sort of thing, but he was in danger. She hadn’t seen the criminal lately but he had called her. He was looking for a place to hide out. She only had a studio apartment and that was it. She had learned to survive on so very little. The questions kept coming at her. Where was he? Did she know of his latest involvements? They told her that some very bad people were looking for him and he would be better off if he turned himself in. If the bad guys found him first anything could happen.

She had heard some rumors that he was on the run again. She was afraid for her brother, things never ended well for him. What to do? What to do? Should she try to help him or would it in fact be hurting him? She took the detectives card and said she would see what she could do. Later she put the word out for the criminal to call her, and he did. He confirmed that some dangerous people were looking for him and so were the cops. She asked him if she could set up a peaceful way of turning himself in would he do it? This way the cops wouldn’t rough him up and the bad guys wouldn’t kill him. He was tired of running so he agreed to meet her at her place.

It was strange to have him walk into her apartment. It was a clean space and not much in it but a pull out couch and a long line of empty Jack Daniels whiskey bottles that lined one side of her wall. Hanging on the wall above them was the infamous Debbie Harry poster she bought at Tower Records. To make him feel at home she went and bought him a few cans of malt liquor. She was sixteen. Her fake I.D. had never let her down.

So it was all set. He would stay at her place and she would call the detectives from work and let them know he was waiting. He would be taken in calmly and nobody would be hurt and he could stop running. Ok he said, he would stay and drink the beer and wait for the police. He waited long enough to drink the beer and then bolted again. After going through all of the effort to call the detective and open her world up for possible collapse, he ran anyway. The detective said when they arrived the door was open and nobody was there.

She had been lied to yet again and was now waiting for the other shoe to drop. It didn’t though, not yet anyway. As it turned out they just left her alone. The feeling of dread had never left her. Who would it be next time? Who would walk through those doors to change her life? The good guys or the bad guys, and how would she be able to tell them apart?