Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Most Terrifying Sound (aka Shopping for Pepper Spray)

I’ve had a very good life. Thinking back on it, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have actually been scared. There was the time I thought I had enough time to pass the truck in front of me before oncoming traffic would hit me. There wasn’t – resulting in me going off into the shoulder of oncoming traffic to avoid a collision. There was the time the scary words ‘worst case scenario – cancer’ came out of my doctors mouth which resulted in a strict diet of no red meat, fiber, lots of water, and Welches Grape Juice. (The Welches grape juice might not ‘technically’ have been on the doctors list, but the Redeemer food store was SUPER stingy with their sale of it and only gave it to people on special diets, so I exaggerated my new diet plan... just a tad...Welches Grape Juice is DELICIOUS.) There was the time in my 20s when I thought I was invincible and decided to travel Eastern Europe on my own and ended up sharing a sleeping car on a train with the most terrifyingly large Russian Mafia Man that movies or my imagination could not possibly have thought up.  I’ve had very few close encounters with actual fear. 

Until Thursday night. 

The day and evening were uneventful. I spent a nice evening with my boyfriend before saying goodbye at the scandalous hour of 10pm. (Hitting 30 last year really made me a party animal). I crawled into my warm bed content with life and fell into a satisfied sleep. 

Two hours later I woke up to banging on my door. This would not be too shocking in general, but only two people in this town know how to get to my house. My boyfriend and my neighbour/friend down the road. I am new to this town. I have a basement suite with an entrance around the back of the house and down a flight of stairs. It’s not the main entryway. Also, no one has lived upstairs in this house for the better part of two months.  Who could possibly be knocking at my door at such an unusual hour? 

My family can attest that when I am woken from a deep sleep I am very stupid. Things are blurry and don’t make sense. My first instinct was that my boyfriend had forgotten something and come back. I looked at my phone, 11:47pm. No way would he do that. He was sleeping in his own bed 15 minutes away, anything he forgot he would grab the next time I saw him. The knocking continued – as did the sound of someone jiggling the doorknob and pushing on the door. Then I knew something was up. If Arron needed into my apartment, he could have let himself in with the spare key he has. I still didn’t believe it wasn’t him so I peeked out the window to see if his car was outside. It wasn’t. However in the eerie glow of the streetlights and late night fog I saw a young man wandering around my property. The banging persisted as did the efforts of someone trying to get into my house. 

Cue the panic. 

I started to shake, crawled into a ball in the corner of my bed farthest away from any windows and hastily dialed 911 whispering to the operator that someone was trying to break into my house. She was very calm and helpful but those minutes of waiting for the police to arrive were some of the most breathless and terrifying I have ever experienced. After hanging up with the operator I didn’t move, and simply waited for the police. Silence. My heart pounding. Flashlights are being shone through my windows now. 

At this point it is by complete fluke that I did not wet my pants. The safest spot for me to hide from the prying flashlights is obviously under my covers. So I did that and re-dialed 911 to tell them that the intruder had flashlights and was more aggressively trying to get into my house. As I curled there under my blankets shaking like a leaf the operator assured me that the flashlights were the police officers who were now on scene. 

They stopped by my door to talk to me and even called me 10 minutes after they left to let me know that although they had not caught the perpetrator, they suspected that it was a drunk man who was simply trying to get into the house next door that his cousin’s had moved into that day. A house nearly identical to mine. 

And then I called my boyfriend and made him get out of bed and come to my house to protect me the rest of the night. Which he gladly did because he’s wonderful. 

And today I’m going pepper spray shopping.