Odds of Dying: Chapter Six

I woke up before my alarm went off, sat up with a jolt, and swung my feet over the side of the bed. My hip joint twinged and the side of my face felt tender. No matter. Today belonged to me, because yesterday Daniel had finally given me the go-ahead to work on the refinery study.
      I dashed into the bathroom and speed-showered, but I couldn’t move as fast as my imagination. I pictured myself at my desk, already reading the printouts, the results nearly leaping off the page: Living near the refineries was hazardous to your health, and I could prove it. Or maybe it was more subtle than that, and I’d have to do some complicated analyses that took account of wind patterns.
     I towel-dried my hair and pulled on khakis and a knit top while lost in a fantasy of how my dissertation was nearly going to write itself. I’d reached the point of receiving the dissertation-of-the-year award at graduation, me very modest in my acceptance speech, thanking all the people who’d helped me, when the sound of the doorbell stopped me cold.
     I checked the time. If I got rid of whoever was at the door and settled for a quick cup of coffee, I could get to work early. The sooner the better, as far as I was concerned. Whoever it was gave up on the doorbell and took up knocking. I hurried into the living room. Could Frank have come back for another door-destruction maneuver? If so, he was in for a big surprise. Mitch had sealed the door on both sides with strips of lumber. It would take more than a kick with a booted foot to break it in now.
     I pressed my eye to the peephole. The two detectives who’d interviewed me the day before stood on my porch. I groaned. Just what I didn’t need—cops with my coffee.