Remember Exhibit A? It’s the post where I admitted how inept I am in emergency situations. I said I suck in emergencies. Like…I REALLY suck at them. In case you weren’t convinced after reading Exhibit A, I present you with Exhibit B.
Along with the truth of my emergency ineptness, I must admit I am also a bit of a ‘fraidy-cat. And a very heavy sleeper. These two additional flaws of mine cause me to believe that one day I will awaken from a deep sleep and discover I have been violently violated. Then, I’ll have to file a police report in which I will state “…the next thing I knew…” and you know police officers never believe stories that have that line in them. But, it’s a legitimate fear of mine. I can and have conjured up multiple perceived scenarios in my mind–all of which result in me being pillaged, plundered, pilfered, ransacked, ravaged and raped—before I even wake up.
Now, my guy gets up super early to go to work…like 3:15 AM, which is totally ridiculous but true. His schedule is completely predictable which causes me to worry that pillagers will be watching my house, see him leave on schedule, break in and begin marauding while I sleep. He knows my fear and therefore he is cautious to always lock the door from the garage into the house when he leaves. This, in my mind, will at least slow them down enough for me to awaken before they manage to purloin my house, spy me naked in bed (don’t get any ideas—old ladies just get very hot in bed—temperature wise, of course) and begin a violent criminal attack on me. (I do realize at this point in my story that I have a significantly inflated opinion of myself to assume it would be every criminal’s dream to find me nude in bed—but nevertheless, it’s true.) He also makes certain to try and rouse me enough before he leaves to say goodbye so I will know from that moment on, I’m no longer under his protection and am very vulnerable to attack.
On this particular morning just a few short weeks ago, things were going just as they always do. It’s dark, he’s roused me slightly to tell me he’s leaving, I’ve pulled the covers up and spread out over the whole bed and I’m sawing logs. Everything seemed so idyllic.
Then. It. Happened.
BAM BAM BAM BAM. I’m suddenly startled awake. I sit up in bed wondering what I just heard.
BAM BAM BAM BAM. There it is again and it’s clearly someone banging on the French doors at the back of my house. Right by my bedroom. Warning! Warning! Danger Will Robinson!
I immediately know it’s a violent criminal and my worst nightmare is about to come true. I’m going to hear glass breaking any minute and then come face-to-face with my assailant. I’m going to be raped and killed. I know I have to think quickly which turns out to be a bit of a problem because I’m in a sleep-induced fog. My first thought is that it’s my husband so I grab my cell phone and try to dial his number. Straight to voicemail. He’s already at work or he would have answered his cell phone.
BAM BAM BAM BAM. More banging on the door.
I’m trying to think. I’ve got to get dressed. At least if I’m going to be raped, I want to make it as difficult as possible for the rapist so I’m running around trying to find something to put on. I grab a tshirt and yoga pants. That’ll do. What now?????
BAM BAM BAM BAM.
Call 911. But, not on the cell phone. Get the house phone and dial 911. The operator answers.
“911. What’s the address of your emergency?”
It’s now I realize that I do not ever drink enough water and that is going to be a problem because my tongue is completely dried out and stuck to the roof of my mouth. I try to tell her my address but it sounds like I have a mouthful of marbles and she can’t understand me. I pry my tongue loose and repeat my address.
“What’s your emergency?”
“Someone is trying to get in the back door of my house and I’m here by myself.”
“The police are on their way. Do you have a room that has a lock on the door?”
“I want you to go to that room and lock yourself in. After you’ve locked the door, I want you to hide somewhere in the room, okay?”
Now…as soon as she asked about a room with a lock, I begin running through my house like it’s a maze I’ve never been in before. I’m running from room to room to room…upstairs, downstairs, in and out of closets, back and forth from the front of the house to the back of the house. BAM BAM BAM BAM. I can’t seem to think about which rooms have locks. (Picture a Family Circle cartoon with the dotted lines all over the house showing where Billy has been.) Finally, I end up in a front bedroom and manage to get the door locked.
“Are you locked in a room?”
“Yes, I’m in the front bedroom.”
BAM BAM BAM BAM. Now, the knocking is at the front door. DING DONG DING DONG DING DONG. The doorbell is ringing. Banging on the door. Ringing the bell. Banging Ringing Banging Ringing. Louder-Louder-LOUDER.
“OH MY GOD. He’s at the front door now trying to get in! OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD.”
“He’s at the front door now?”
“Yes. OH MY GOD. What should I do???”
“Go to the back of the house. Get in a room at the back of the house and lock yourself in.”
I run out of the bedroom, into the bathroom, out of the bathroom, through the living room, down the stairs. I think…No! Don’t go into the basement…you’ll be trapped! Run upstairs.
BAM BAM BAM BAM. More banging at the back door.
“He’s at the back again!”
Now, it’s just before dawn and as I’m running up and down the stairs, which are by the back door and there is just enough light for me to see his shadow now at my back door. He is HUGE. I mean the guy that is going to attack me is GIGANTIC. I see his arm banging on the door and he’s a big guy.
“Oh my God! I can see his shadow and he’s huge.”
“Can you see if he’s Black, White, Hispanic? What is he wearing?
“I can’t see him. I can just see his shadow. He is so big. How much longer until the police are here?”
“They’re on their way, ma’am. They should be there any second. Is he still at the back?”
BAM BAM BAM BAM.
“Yes. He’s huge and he’s at the back door.”
“OK, ma’am. I need you to take a few deep breaths and slow your breathing down. Go back to the bedroom and lock yourself in. If you can look out a window without being seen, watch for the police.”
“Ok. I’m locked in the bedroom. I’m watching for the police.”
I finally see the police car drive up to my house. Of course, you know by now that I am in full out fight-or-flight mode and I’m in no shape to fight. That leaves me with one option. Flight. For that reason, I decide I should fling open the front door, flee my house, and fly outside (past the police officer standing in the yard) and scream: “He’s at the back! He’s at the back! He’s at the back!” I crouch down on the sidewalk by the police car (like I’m taking cover in a gun fight) at which time the nice officer says “What are you doing?? GET IN THE CAR!” She flings the back door open of the patrol car, throws me in the back seat (Did you know those seats are basically just plastic buckets and not at all comfortable?) and says “STAY HERE!” She begins to make her way to the back of the house.
At this point, I hang up on the very calm and helpful 911 operator and decide it’s a great time to phone my son who is a police officer and lives two hours away. Not really sure what I thought he was going to do for me, but it seemed reasonable to dial him up for an early morning chat. Of course, I’m sobbing uncontrollably in the back of the police car and don’t have my glasses on so I’m fumbling around with an ancient land-line phone trying to figure out how to dial the stupid thing and remember what his number is anyway. I finally manage to dial it and as luck would have it….he didn’t answer. Guess he sleeps soundly, too. It was really best anyway because he wouldn’t have been able to understand anything I was saying in my current state of hysteria. Just as I hang up the phone, I look up and see the officers coming back around my house with the suspect. Through my tears of fear, I catch a glimpse of the gigantic 6’4”, 230 lb. white male. I have a stunning moment of clarity. And, at that very moment, I said it:
“ARE YOU F@&*ING KIDDING ME? THAT’S MY HUSBAND!”
“Yes ma’am. He accidentally locked his keys in the car and was locked out of the house. He needed you to let him in.”
I fall face-first into the cage sobbing. I’m in the back of a police car hyperventilating and the officers and my husband are standing there looking at me like a tree full of owls.
“Ma’am? Are you having trouble breathing? Do you need me to call an ambulance for you?”
“YES I NEED AN AMBULANCE!”
“OK. I’m going to call an ambulance for you.”
“NO I DON’T NEED AN AMBULANCE.”
More looks of disbelief. They clearly don’t know what to do with me. (I strongly suspect when they left my house they put a note on my address to alert other officers that an elderly 10-96 white, poorly dressed, female resides there.) My husband apologizes to the police. He’s not even mad at them for holding him at gunpoint in the back yard of his own house. (Which just proves the point that if you don’t want to get shot by the police, you should put your hands up when they say to put your hands up.) He pulls me out of the car and sort of stabilizes me enough for me to wobble into our house where I promptly fall prone upon the carpet (even though it really needs cleaning) still sobbing uncontrollably.
He says he was calling my name, whilst he was knocking on the door. I never heard THAT but it was probably because I was running so fast through the house.
Yeah…I am really bad at emergencies, both real and perceived. I’ve put an extra key in the garage, just in case. But……what if a pillager finds my hidden key? Oh no……….here we go again.