Tom is meeting some of his army buddies for a drink and Evie's down for her nap. I'm sitting in the kitchen, doors and windows closed despite the heat. The rain of the past week has stopped at last; now it's stiflingly close.
I'm bored. I can't think of anything to do. I fancy going shopping, spending a bit of money on myself, but it's hopeless with Evie. She gets irritable and I get stressed. So I'm just hanging round the house. I can't watch television or look at a newspaper. I don't want to read about it, I don't want to see Megan's face, I don't want to think about it.
How can I not think about it when we're here, just four doors away?
I rang around to see if anyone was up for a playdate, but everyone's got plans. I even called my sister, but of course you've got to book her at least a week in advance. In any case, she said she was too hungover to spend time with Evie. I felt a horrible pang of envy then, a longing for Saturdays spent lying on the sofa with the newspapers and a hazy memory of leaving the club the night before.
Stupid, really, because what I've got now is a million times better, and I made sacrifices to secure it. Now I just need to protect it. So here I sit in my sweltering house, trying not to think about Megan. I try not to think about her and I jump every time I hear a noise, I flinch when a shadow passes the window. It's intolerable.
What I can't stop thinking about is the fact that Rachel was here the night Megan went missing, stumbling around, totally pissed, and then she just disappeared. Tom looked for her for ages, but he couldn't find her. I can't stop wondering what she was doing.
There is no connection between Rachel and Megan Hipwell. I spoke to the police officer, Detective Sergeant Riley, about it after we saw Rachel at the Hipwells' house, and she said it was nothing to worry about. 'She's a rubbernecker,' she said. 'Lonely, a bit desperate. She just wants to be involved in something.'
She's probably right. But then I think about her coming into my house and taking my child, I remember the terror I felt when I saw her with Evie down by the fence. I think about that horrible, chilling little smile she gave me when I saw her outside the Hipwells' house. Detective Sergeant Riley doesn't know just how dangerous Rachel can be.