I went to the dollar store as instructed then proceeded to drive around. After what seemed like hours but was really only about one, I called him. He answered, “Just come home.”
“Is everything alright? Is he still there? Are the kids ok?” I rapid fired the questions at him as if he would actually answer me.
“Just come home.” He repeated.
I turned off the back road I was on and headed for the house. When I pulled up the long driveway from the road, I saw an unfamiliar pickup in front of the house and I tasted pennies. The adrenaline surge told me all I needed to know but I pulled up and got out of the car. I walked in and there, in my house, stood a Texas Ranger.
He called be my name and greeted me and I felt ill. I ignored him and asked Tucker, “Where are the kids?”
“Freddy is out feeding the horses and Harlow is in her room.” I turned from them standing in the kitchen and went down to check on Harlow. She jumped up from her bed and ran to me and wrapped her arms around me. “Momma! Is everything alright?”
“Of course it is baby. It’ll be fine. Just stay in here awhile and then I’ll start supper.”
I unwrapped her arms from around me and she smiled up at me like I had come to rescue her. You could see the relief in her face as if the cavalry had arrived. I wished I felt like the cavalry. I felt like a pawn in a fucked up game of chess.
I left Harlow watching the Disney Channel and went back to see what was going on in my home. Tucker was sitting at his desk with the laptop fired up and the Ranger said, “Show me how you make a bogus check.”