At 1:40 in the morning on December 15th, an unwelcome guest came into our house. We were at home, asleep.
My husband (who could sleep through the Second Coming) woke up as he saw the man leaving our bedroom. He yelled after him. "What is it? You're scaring me," I said waking up. He didn't say anything. "Is there someone in our house?" I whispered. Almost imperceptibly, he nodded.
The next few minutes felt like hours. We waited and listened. All I could hear was our heartbeats and my husband's quickened breath.
Was the man armed? Had he taken anything? Was he going to come back into our bedroom? Was it someone we knew? I couldn't reach my phone to dial 911, I couldn't reach our gun, and I didn't want to get out of the bed. I couldn't have if I'd wanted to. My husband had thrown himself on top of me and held me with an iron grip... every muscle of his body tensed. I prayed the St. Michael the Archangel prayer, Memorares, and Acts of Contrition. I thought of my parents' prayers for us, how much I loved my husband, and yes... dear readers... I thought of how I was glad I'd put on clean underwear... for the coroner's sake.
After years of watching Perry Mason (where every minute is a crucial detail in the court case) I checked the time. 1:51am.
Finally the silence broke. The back door slid closed. Then, THUMP. Seconds later, THUMP.
Ever so slowly, my husband got out of bed, grabbed a piece of driftwood we keep (for decoration) and walked throughout the house to make sure a) the intruder had gone, and b) there was no one else.
The house was clear. Nothing appeared to be gone.
We called the police.
Minutes later the neighbors' Christmas lights were outshone by swirling blue and red. Loud shouting. Dogs barking. Screaming. Cursing. Barking. Screaming. Radio transmissions: "Suspect headed towards (such and such) Street." Yelling. Barking. An unholy shriek, and then a thud. "Suspect down."
The police were able to track him quite easily -- it had just snowed. He had been hiding in a nieghbor's yard. The K-9 unit helped sniff him out. He'd resisted arrest. He'd fled. He was drunk. They tracked him down and got him with a taser.
It wasn't until the next morning we'd discovered my laptop was missing. It had been right next to our bed; at the head. He was that close. That was probably the first "thump" -- him throwing it over a fence before jumping it himself.
The man is in jail now. No sign of my computer.
Other than a stolen laptop, a box of stolen Kleenex and a brown pile of DNA evidence in our yard (burglars are disgusting), everything appears to be fine.
My husband and I have tried to keep busy. We made 10 lbs. of bratwurst, 5 lbs. of Italian sausage, and 3 dozen tamales. Bratwurst: it's okay. Italian sausage: amazing. Tamales: perfection.
I'm going to make a chicken and sausage gumbo for tonight's dinner. And other than checking the locks on our house compulsively, we're doing all right. Though I haven't tired yet of asking...
"Did you lock the back door?"