Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Intruder

Foreword: I wrote this months and months ago and must have forgotten to publish. Now I found it and wanted to share the story, 'cause it's a good one, and I was going to change the tenses to reflect a current viewpoint, but I like it fresh, like it really just happened. So just know that the story is not new, though I'm publishing it much later than it was written.

Ever since we got back from vacation, Ariana's sleep has been waaaay off. She had slept through the night a few times the week before we left, and other than that was down to just waking up once. It was glorious. But during vacation, and now being home, she's been waking up 4 times at night AND she's sick on top of that. We're basically back to the newborn stage, but with an 8-month-old. And I'm already cranky during the middle of the night (I'm really hoping that all the swears said while I'm half-asleep don't count against me at The Judgment), but when it's 4 times in the night?? It's unbearable. We're working her back down, but regression is just hard overall.

So my being cranky is compounded with an irrational mind that always imagines a stranger lurking at our windows, just waiting for the lights to turn off so they can break in and take things. I didn't previously have this fear; I have a gun, I know how to use it and am most certainly not afraid to if I feel I'm in danger. I'm not a bad shot, either. But Ariana's just tiny and can't defend herself at all, but for screaming. So I worry more about her, though her screams have the potential to wake up a village, so I can't be too concerned.

So one night, I went to Ariana's room to console her crying, trying to keep my cool since it was something like 3:30AM. Her room is right next to ours and behind the living room, and our rooms are sectioned off by a hallway to the living room/kitchen, the door of which I make sure is always closed at night. Well, I came back out from feeding her, and that door was open. I KNEW it was shut when I went into her room, so of course, I immediately freaked out. I ran into our bedroom - which surprised me because I was sure I had been paralyzed by fear - and woke up Chris to tell him that there was someone in the house. My worst nightmare! Coming true!! So he got up and walked toward the door (with no protection - what the heck?? Grab the gun!!), ever so cautiously, listening for signs of where the intruder was and how he could attack. I watched from the bed in fear, trying to figure out how we'd get out of this. Why wasn't I already calling the police??

Then I realized - we had forgotten to give Ariana her medicine in the evening before going to bed. So I said I would do it when she first woke up in the night. Suddenly, I vaguely remembered opening the hallway door, grabbing the syringe from the kitchen counter, and taking it in to Ariana's room - without closing the door behind me.

My heart calmed down, but only for a second, because I still had to tell Chris what an idiot his wife was.

"Chris. Chris. I opened the door. I just remembered. I got it to get Ariana's medicine."

You know how you get all worked up about something, and then it takes a while to calm down, and you're somewhat delirious because you're so happy the situation you feared didn't happen after all? Imagine that, but instead of deliriousness, imagine shame.



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