The sun had set, evening was fresh and people were hastening home to see their families. We stood outside of our store while Miss LaDonna locked up for the evening. When she came out and proceeded to lock the front door, I asked if she had set the alarm. She said that she had, and then I let her know that she didn’t need to, because James and a friend who was helping with some build-out would be back to do some work. Without another thought on the matter, six girls, consisting of Miss LaDonna, Robin, Merisha, Jessica, Abigail and myself, and one young gentleman piled into our source of transportation.
The girls and I were “oo-ing” and “aah-ing” over some really cute articles of clothing when the phone rang. I answered and it was my brother.
“Hey Tiffany,” he said. “Did y’all set the alarm?”
“Yes. Miss LaDonna didn’t know that you were coming back, so she set the alarm. Why?”
“I came in the back door.”
*Side note: Once the alarm in our facility is set, you have to go through the front doors to disarm.*
After a quick intake of breath I replied, “No, you didn’t!”
“Yeah, I did.”
“Because that is they way we needed to bring the stuff in.”
“Yeah, and so the security place called, and dad changed the pass code without telling me.”
Another quick intake of breath.
“I didn’t have the code, so they started going down the line of people to call. She tried to reach dad twice and he wouldn’t answer, and then my phone rang because I was next on the list.”
“So, I tried using the emergency calling code with dad, and he won’t answer my calls either.”
“So you’re going to be arrested?”
“I don’t know. The police are on their way.”
“Yup. Oh, and the security people don’t have ‘James VI' on the list, they have 'James IV.'”
“So, what are you doing?”
By this time, all of the girls were hovering around me, pestering me with a ton a questions to ask James. When I hung up with him, we tried to call my dad, and he wouldn’t answer us either.
We left the mall because all the stores were closing and refused to take our money. My parents were out on a date that night. Suddenly, we had a novel idea, “Why not interrupt their date and let them know what is going on!”
So, I called James who hurriedly said, “The officer just arrived.”
“Oh boy. Hey where is the Bistro?”
“Got to go.” And he was gone.
To make a long story short, we raced over to the restaurant and I ran inside and found my parents eating. I quickly told them what was going on and then started the search for the phone. We found it in my mother’s purse. My dad flipped it on and found he had five new voice messages and thirteen missed calls. He called my brother and was informed that James was going to spend a fifteen year sentence. We decided that was fine, because we could send Gaffney to his cell and he could design from there, fewer distractions.