Carrie poured herself a glass of Merlot that night and sat down on the couch with her laptop, Waffle, and her favorite fuzzy blanket. Carrie attempted to keep her mind occupied with online shopping, but her brain eventually shifted her back to Connor Dalton’s Facebook. She opened up his messenger to see if she could see how long it had been since he logged on; Connor had not been on Facebook for five days.
Carrie called Donovan. She hadn’t seen him in a couple of days, and she missed him. When Donovan didn’t answer, she left him a voicemail telling him about her suspicions about Connor, finding the mug handle, and what Noel had told her at the funeral.
She must have fallen asleep, because when she woke up, it was 2:44 a.m. and Waffle wasn’t on the couch with her anymore. She called out to him, but he didn’t come. She walked to the dining area, where Waffle’s bed was and saw that the porch door was open. Shivering, Carrie pulled the blanket around her shoulders, and hurriedly ran to the door.
“WAFFLE!” yelled Carrie. “Are you there boy?”
Carrie ran back into the house screaming for Waffle, but he never came out. She threw on her coat and her boots. She grabbed her keys and ran out the front door forgetting to lock it behind her.
Carrie drove around for hours looking for Waffle, and in tears she pulled into her driveway as the sun was rising. She dragged herself back in the front door, and when she opened it, there was Waffle stretched out on the sofa.
“Waffle!” squealed Carrie. “Where in the world have you been?”
As soon as Carrie got over the shock of Waffle being home, she looked around the living room. Someone had been in her living room… drawers were flung open, things were thrown across the floor. The wooden box was open. Carrie ran over to it, and horrified she saw that the handle was gone.
Waffle had been let out; she was sure of it. She just didn’t know how.
Carrie didn’t call the police. They’d think she had just dreamed all of it. What could she say “Someone stole a piece of evidence that I didn’t hand over to you”?
So, she made a pot of coffee and got ready to go into work.