Monday, February 21, 2011

I Can Get at You Anytime I Want

I've never been a nervous sort of person. I don't get scared easily and have no problem walking home or to my car alone when it's dark. My story happened when I was about 17 and at my mother's house. My parents are divorced, and though it was a day I usually spent at my father's house, I was at my Mom's because her computer far outstripped my father's and I needed to do research for a paper. It was getting relatively late, and I didn't feel like driving out to my father's house, as he lived about half an hour away. My mother worked nights and wouldn't be home until around 8 in the morning, so I made dinner and took a break from my paper. The evening was normal, if not a little boring, for a bit, until I got up to go the bathroom.

The house is a ranch with large windows in most of the rooms--for an airy feel, I guess, as there are a lot of trees surrounding the house. This is a nice neighborhood, and though I was pretty vigilant about locking the doors, I never really worried about shutting the blinds. Either way, nature called and I went to use the bathroom, which separates two bedrooms of the house. My room had its own bathroom, but I decided to use the main one because it was closer. The wall of the bathroom is the back of the house; a small window allows you to look outside into the backyard. But as I walked in, just as I was reaching to turn the light on, I heard something. It wasn't very loud, and I don't know why I even thought it strange, but instinct just pulled me to the window. At first, I didn't see anything, but then, toward the other side of the house, something seemed to move. I figured it might just be a kid cutting through my yard to get to theirs because it is a bit shorter than using the sidewalk that winds around the houses, but at the same time, I was left uneasy. Something just didn't feel right.

Either way, I went back to the living room, now very conscious that the windows would be behind me, meaning when I sat on the couch, someone could be looking at me and I wouldn't know. A few minutes went by and nothing happened, so I relaxed a bit. But then I heard something coming from the front yard. At this point, yeah, I was a bit freaked out. There are three main doors to the house: one in the living room to the backyard, one to the front and one leading off the deck where I'd parked my car. The sounds were like someone stepping very, very softly because of the leaves on the ground, like they were trying to keep from being heard, and it was coming from near the front door. My heart was in my throat by this time, so I called my Dad, absolutely flipping out, whispering like an idiot because I was afraid whoever was outside would hear me. My dad is really, really overprotective and his first instinct is to come to the house. But that would mean I'd have to wait on pins and needles for him, so I refused and said we'd meet halfway and have him come back with me because I didn't want my mom coming home to some sort of psycho. I really should have called the police, I know, but for some reason I was afraid he'd be gone as soon as the sirens got close and they would think I was wasting their time (I knew a few of the cops, as it is a small town, and one of them was a huge asshole, thus my reticence.)

I've never been so afraid in my life; getting off the couch, even still on the phone with my dad, took everything I had. I grabbed my keys and walked through the house calmly, babbling to him about anything to keep from losing my shit. I opened to the door and sprinted to my car, though it was literally maybe two feet away and the driver's side faced the house, meaning I got in in about two seconds. As soon as the motor caught, I was out of there, and was obviously upset. My dad thought I should go to the police first, but I just wanted to get to him, then go. Anyway, my dad met me halfway and we took his car back, pulling up to the house first. And when we did, we saw that every single door and window of the house was open. And inside, too--the attic, the basement--rooms that had been shut were all opened, having been at least walked through. But nothing was gone, and no one was there. The police were really good about checking and making a report, but I never felt comfortable there again. It felt like a threat--like an 'I can get in anytime I want,' sort of thing.

Nothing has happened since and I now live abroad, but that night still freaks me out and makes me glad I live in an apartment with good security!



Aloneinthenight said...

I wonder if they didn't relize you left, and were looking for you, and that's why all the doors were open...

Ashley said...

That's a pretty terrifying idea, but I left my driveway like a bat out of hell, so he/she/it most likely did hear me. I'm just glad my car wasn't imitating horror movie cliches and started as soon as I turned the engine. But to me, the implication of not being as safe as I thought left me far more scared than the events of the night itself.

Anonymous said...

that's the worst thing knowing you should feel safe in your home but sometimes you just aren't, glad you were outta the house though :D