What a ______ World -- Page 6Mature

Rosa still had her hand against my cheek and was brushing it slowly. We sat like that just for a moment, me smiling lopsidedly at my own silliness, her still with a slightly bemused look on her face, before someone cleared their throat. It was Officer Davis, standing in the kitchen as before with what looked like the entire task force now watching us, some on the other side of the doorways into the living room and front room. I cleared all expression from my face and just sat there, turning my head to look at her. I kept hands where they were on Rosa's lap, waiting, letting her be the first one to speak. Davis still had that carefully neutral, unreadable expression on her face. An awkward silence passed, and finally Davis cleared her throat again and said, “We have completed our search.” She waited again.

Rather than keep the repeated awkward pauses going all day, I asked/signed, “And did you find anything?”

“No … no, we did not.”

I was a bit surprised at this. “What, you didn't even find something you can claim looks suspicious at least so you can show your boss you have something for testing?” I asked incredulously, in sign and spoken.

Davis raised an eyebrow, but otherwise maintained her unreadable expression. “No. Nothing for testing.”

At this I looked around the room, disbelieving. Many of the officers looked away when I looked at them, uncomfortable with my gaze, but I noticed that most of their expressions looked either unreadable like Davis or perhaps a bit surprised. They hadn't look surprised at what Davis said though – they looked like I surprised them. The few that had a more unpleasant expression on their face looked confused, or like they were struggling with something internally. I wasn't sure what to make of that, so I held my tongue and went back to watching Unreadable Davis.

“You'll also receive a copy of this in the mail, but here is the documentation showing that your house was searched based on a legally issued search warrant – and included here is a copy of said warrant.” Davis laid some papers on the kitchen counter, which thankfully was not as messy as usual. The previous exchange with Davis had been simple and Rosa had been watching it so I hadn't translated, but now I tried to keep up with Davis' words, signing them to Rosa this time without vocalizing anything. Officer Unreadable Davis, for her part, watched my hands and didn't continue until they stopped moving. It took me a while, since I didn't know the signs for a few of the words and had to spell them, like 'warrant'.

When I didn't say anything else and Rosa didn't ask anything, Officer Davis looked at the other officers and released them back to their normal duties. They filtered out through the kitchen door towards the front and out of the house, some of them glancing at the two of us still sitting in the middle of the floor. The hard kitchen floor was starting to be uncomfortable on my knees. When I shifted to try and relieve my tense muscles, Rosa stood up and then pulled me up after her, briskly wiping her face with her free hand but keeping her other hand clasping mine even after pulling me up. Seeing her wipe her face reminded me about my earlier tears and so with my free hand I scrubbed my face and hair, too. She squeezed my hand reassuringly.

Once all the officers had filed out to the front room, I slowly walked that way pulling Rosa after me, unsure of what we would find. It wasn't as bad as I feared – somehow I imagined something like the aftermath of a big earthquake with all the furniture and other things spread out all over the ground. This just looked like what I imagine would be the furniture equivalent of ruffled hair. Things were rearranged or out of place, but they weren't spilled out on the ground, and nothing appeared to be broken or irreparable. I frowned in thought and wondered if this were normal. After I surveyed the room, my eyes found Unreadable Davis standing just inside the door having a quiet word with another officer. She nodded to him and he left, the last of the officers to leave except for Davis herself, who met my gaze.

“You can find a form to be reimbursed for damage to your property in your paperwork,” she said, tapping at the damaged door that had been forced inward when the police arrived. I signed this to Rosa and she nodded in comprehension. Officer Davis stood there a brief moment longer looking at us, still unreadable, then went out without another word, surprising me. I had thought that she had something more to say from the way she was standing there, but maybe I was wrong. It certainly wouldn't be the first time, not with my story I'd just told.

I looked down at Rosa's hand in mine, thinking about what had happened today, about my history and hers, then pulled her into my hug. There we stood, with the door gently flapping in the breeze against the now partially splintered door frame. I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and even here surrounded by the chaos of the house, with my arms around my happiness, I knew I found peace.  Finally.

The End

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