Monday, August 10, 2009

You'll be visited by a tall, dark stranger...

So our place was broken into late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. No one was hurt, and nothing of any value was stolen. But I swear I'm still running high on endorphins, sweating and shaking alternately. Not because someone broke into our house, because we forgot to lock our security door, so that was our fault, and our place is nigh-impenetrable with the gate locked. What keeps scaring me is how lucky we were. Things could have been a lot worse.

I wake up to the sound of breaking glass, wondering what the hell the cat knocked over. So I am already pissed off. Despite downing a bunch of cold medicine before bed, I am wide awake when I hear the glass. My cat has turned me into a pretty light sleeper over the years. Of course, once I hear footsteps walking through the glass-- even over the sound of the air-conditioner-- I know it is not the cat. I grab my husband's arm, who is slowly gaining a groggy consciousness, and squeeze tightly. The dog has not even made a sound, either sleeping more deeply than either of us or just as confused.

The footsteps stop at our bedroom door, where the door is slowly opened. I feel my husband's hand tighten on mine. I think a million things in a split second: Do they have a gun? Will they shoot my husband first? Do they just want a quick buck? Why didn't we lock the gate?

A lighter flicks a few times before the flame actually stays lit in the blowing of the air-conditioner. Something clicks in my brain: Crackhead.

"Who the f*ck are you?" comes this voice out of my mouth from God-knows-where, that manages to sound more pissed off than I have ever sounded in my life. Was that me? I think.

The lighter is out, and the intruder backs out of our room and through the kitchen the way he-- or she; it could have been Bigfoot, (if Bigfoot knew how to use a lighter) for all I saw of them-- came in, broken glass crunching beneath their feet.

My husband is as wide-awake as I am by this time. He grabs Phase 1 in our home defense plan: the t-ball bat from his side of the bed. I grab Phase 2: the bear-spray, and we both listen for sounds in the house. We are the only ones there.

Everything turned out fine, but I am still shaken up over this voice that came out of me, almost without my even thinking. It was the right thing to do in this situation, sure, but if that intruder had a gun, things could have been much different. Which got me to thinking-- no matter how we think we might respond in a certain situation, we might not be right. I had no idea I would respond in such a way. I always figured it was the man's job, or the dog's job, to chase burglars away, but neither of them was really awake until it was too late. I couldn't count on anyone but myself, and I'm glad some part of me was thinking and acting.

In case you're wondering, we locked the security gate last night. ;)


Rebecca Knight said...

That is AWFUL O_o. I'm so glad you guys are okay!

Growing up, my dad was always an extremely heavy sleeper and some of our windows didn't lock, so I was always paranoid that someone would break in and I'd have to Defend the Family. So scary.

My husband and I have our home defense plan, too (crowbar by the side of the bed in case of zombies or crackheads), so this struck close to home.

Honestly, from stories I've heard of single ladies chasing intruders from their homes, the biggest thing they all have in common is acting scarier than they feel, and intimidating whoever broke in. By freaking out. I think that voice that blurted out is nothing but a good thing, and probably made the crackhead think twice.

Don't second guess yourself. Just thank God if you believe, or luck if you don't, and keep locking that door ;).

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I'm a security nut, but I gotta admit, weapons by the bed are something I'd not considered. Mostly, I guess, I'm depending on the statistic that robberies are daylight hour things when you're likely not at home. Still, your experience shows that's not always true. Think I'll invest in some bedside weaponry. I like the bear spray idea.

Scary story.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

TereLiz said...

LOL, Becca, now that I think of it, I'm so glad it wasn't zombies! Seriously, though, thanks for making me feel better. (You are so good at that!)

Galen, the bear spray says right on the label that it's not to be used on humans. *shrugs* Maybe I thought the intruder was a bear in the dark, right?

But if it makes you feel better, in New Orleans, there is really no rhyme or reason to most break-ins. This person had gathered our laundry supplies in a bucket on the back porch before he ran off. Thinking big, ya know. ;)

Suzanne said...

So scary! In sociology we call that voice the "I" (G.H Mead) The involuntary you behind the you.

Mine is really weak. I run from trauma. (When my children fall I can be found in my bed)

Glad yours is better than mine!

Abby said...

Holy crap! How scary. I'm so glad you're okay!

This is something I've never experienced, but we've always had big dogs. Well, and we live in the middle of nowhere. But our great dane makes a difference, I'm sure.

Still, I think my husband might get a little excited if something like that happened. Then he'd be justified in all his preparedness with his Sig. :) And his AR. Then we'd see why that gazillion dollar flashlight was necessary. ;D

Lazy Writer said...

Holy Cow! That is so freaky! I think I'd never sleep again. Also, I read your post from last week. Congrats on the full request! I can't wait to hear what happens.

TereLiz said...

Thanks for the concern and well wishes, y'all.
Suzanne, I am strangely drawn to trauma. (and drama, but you probably already knew that.
Abby, that is hilarious about your husband! My hubby has been carrying his Mag-lite with him whenever he leaves the house lately. (it used to live in his car)
LW, thanks for the congrats. I'll keep you posted. And no, I haven't been sleeping well, but fortunately, that's working to my advantage. I'll relate more about that in my next post.

Se ya later, y'all!