I was holding a slumbering baby in my arms, looking out of our bedroom window at the snowy scene, when the car pulled up. I didn't think anything of it at first - we often get people parking outside our house - but when the two men got out, I started to take notice.
There was something odd about the way they were walking; with purpose but slowly. They were both dressed in dark clothes and looked determined, as if they were actors in a film. The first guy looked back at the second and pointed towards our house. The second walked towards me, through the entrance to our front garden and towards our garage door.
I started. What was he doing coming in through our garden? Suddenly I noticed a thumping in my chest and an urge to run. I went through to the bathroom where Marek was showering. 'There's a man trying to get in our garage!' I told him. He turned off the shower and looked at me 'what?' 'There's a man in our front garden' I said. 'It looks like he's trying to get in the house.' It sounded silly as I said it. Something from a film again or news item, although the adrenaline pumping round my body made it seem all too real.
Marek jumped out and grabbed a dressing gown. 'Get the phone' he said, and went downstairs. I went down to the sitting room and looked out. I couldn't see anything, although the car, a blue peugeot, was still there. I heard Marek on the ground floor, opening the shutters to see into the back garden, opening the internal garage door to see if there was anyone there. When he came up to the sitting room he was carrying one of the girls' walkalong toys. 'There's nobody in the house' he said. I looked at the toy. 'What were you going to do with that?' I giggled.
We went back to the window and Molly stirred in my arms. I jiggled her up and down and she settled again. 'There is someone there.' Marek said and took the phone from my hand. 'Is it 100 for police?' he asked and I heard my pounding heart again. It only got worse when we went through to look out over the back garden and saw the flickering light of torchbeams. 'They're trying to get in round the back!' I gasped.
Marek opened the window and looked out as the first man, torch in hand, came round the corner of the house. He made a noise and the man looked up. Just as I thought this is it, the crunch point, where things could all go terribly wrong, the man spoke. 'Police monsieur!' he said. Marek showed him the phone. 'I'm calling the police right now' he said. 'We had reports that there was a suspicious character about' the man continued. (you're telling me! I thought) 'There has been a burglary a couple of doors down and we thought we'd check out neighbouring areas.' How do we know he's telling the truth? I wondered, but he went back round the front and joined his colleague who had been in next door's garden. Suddenly the dark clothes and set expressions were less sinister and clearly an inconspicuous way for police to explore out of uniform. Before getting back in the car, the first officer stood in the street and radioed through the results of their investigation.
We went to bed. It took longer than usual to get to sleep; a long time before my heart slowed to normal speed.