We rode the last bus of the night. The sun had crept behind the buildings on campus and was replaced with a crescent moon; a slice of ivory pinned against the black sky among a myriad of stars. Efad and I talked as we rode toward the Stadium. We were the only passengers. The operator of the bus drove like a man possessed; barely slowing at the speed-bumps, our bodies rising and falling quickly like the undulation of a wave breaking on the shore.
From the Stadium bus stop, we walked the twenty or so feet to my small red G3. I used the remote locking mechanism on my key to open the doors before got close—Efad calls it my wand, which, for some reason, always puts the thought of the expelliarmus charm in my head. When we finally sit down, I start the car and look over to see that the passenger window is rolled halfway down.
“Did you roll the window down that quick,” I wondered aloud.
“No,” Efad assured me with a shake for his head.
The thought that I might have accidentally left my window down and that something could have been taken from my car entered both of our minds at the same time. Our eyes widened. Our heartbeats picked up the tempo. I quickly reached in the back seat for my GPS. It was still there. We’re safe. That’s when I looked at the dashboard and noticed that the face to my XM radio was missing, its base left stark.
I phoned the police and a car was there rather quickly. The officer had already been patrolling the area; he hadn’t seen any suspicious activity in the last few hours. My window had been down since early that morning. He did his report. Checked for finger prints. There were none. He retrieved the serial number to the device in case whoever ran off with it tried to sell it.
As I began to pull out of the parking lot, I noticed something small and black sitting under my car: the head to my XM radio.
“They must have thought it was a GPS,” the officer hypothesized in a matter-of-fact tone, “and when he realized that he wasn’t, he placed it under your vehicle.”
I couldn’t help but wonder as I pulled out the spot for the last time, what if the robber had just placed the XM radio back on its base? Would I have still noticed that it was gone?