In honor of the upcoming holiday I want to share a very scary and true story that happened to me several years ago.
Bob was working a swing shift at the production facility he was managing. He was gone from about 3 in the afternoon to 2 or 3 at night every night. One Thursday in late summer I had made arrangements to have a babysitter come and watch my girls so I could attend my book group. Bob arranged his "lunch" so that he could take the babysitter home and then return to work once I had finished book group around 10.
At the time I was completely engrossed by a book entitled These Is My Words, and was thrilled to be able to return to its pages. After a few minutes of reading I could hear a small shuffling noise on the stairs and discovered 3 year old Kristen sneaking out of bed. After a story, a hug and kiss I returned her to bed and excitedly got back to my book. But once again a noise interrupted my reading. As I walked to the stairs I said "Kristen, you little turkey? What are you doing out of bed?" But as I looked on the stairs I couldn't see Kristen there. I went down to her room and saw she was fast asleep. I tiptoed into Nicole's room and discovered that she, too was sleeping peacefully. Although nervous I was certain that I had heard something and decided to investigate.
I went into the toy room and discovered the sliding glass door was wide open. I began to feel very nervous. I quickly checked the girls closets and under their beds and then closed their bedroom doors. Not feeling brave enough to go through the house alone I decided to call my neighbor, Robert, to see if he would make sure the house was safe. Although it was midnight I knew he would just be returning home from the restaurant he managed and would still be awake. He answered the phone on the first ring (no one calls with good news at midnight) and said he would be right down. At this point I began to feel a little embarrassed, but grateful that he was willing to investigate with me.
We both nervously giggled that he had come armed with a steak knife, in case he needed to fend off any burglars. We started downstairs, checking each room and every possible hiding place and fortunately found nothing out of order. We went upstairs and began looking through the room off the kitchen and the back hall that provided an additional entrance to the master bedroom. Unfortunately, there was no light switch by this back entrance, so the room was dark as we looked through the walk in closet and headed toward the master bath. I was chatting mindlessly as Robert headed toward the bathroom door. He peered into the bathroom and began to close the door while mouthing to me, "There's someone in there." He immediately wedged himself up against the door, with steak knife at the ready, while I tremblingly dialed 9-1-1.
The 911 operator tried to calm my frantic nerves as we waited the few minutes for the sheriff to arrive. I couldn't believe that someone had come into my house and was hiding there as I sat reading and the girls were sleeping in their rooms! The sheriff came to the door and told Robert and I to leave the room as they needed to draw their weapons.
"This is the Sheriff's department! Come out with your hands up!" (Yes, TV gets that line right.) There was no response from the bathroom. The deputy repeated the command, again with no result. "We're coming in!" he shouted. I held my breath while I heard them open the bathroom door. There was a long pause...no noise or commotion. "Ma'am, could you come in here please?" I walked toward the bathroom and saw that there in the shower stall were Bob's jeans and t-shirt hanging on the shower door and faucet handle - Robert's perpetrator was merely dirty yard clothes!
Robert turned to me, "Bye" he said and quickly crept back to his house. I was mortified!!! The sheriff then lectured me on the number of windows that I had open, considering I was a woman alone with children, and that I needed to take safety more seriously. I apologized to the deputy and tried to explain that I had never seen anything, I was going on what Robert had said and that was why I had called 911. He was unimpressed, but kind enough to make sure that the whole house was intruder free.
After the deputies left I called Robert and told him he had to come sit with me until Bob got home. My adrenaline was coursing through my veins, and in spite of the fact that my intruder was merely an outfit too dirty for the hamper, I couldn't seem to calm down.
The next day when Robert's wife Kathy found out about our midnight adventure she could not stop teasing the two of us about it! The next night when Robert came home from work he discovered his family had hung jeans from the ceiling of their entry with signs that read "Help us! Help us! Don't let the levi's kill the family!" HAPPY HALLOWEEN!