When your bell rings at 4:40am during a rainy dark night you just know it could be nothing good. When it happened to us last night my husband quickly put a pair of pants on as I cautioned him, "Do not open that door!" I reached for the shotgun and lay it next to me as I loaded my .38. Through the closed door, no one would answer my husband's question, "Who's there?" I pushed aside my blinds in the bedroom and saw there was no vehicle in my driveway, or out on the street. It was pitch black and pouring out there, and there was no way I was letting my husband go to check it out. I've seen Clockwork Orange and enough crime movies to know that once that door is opened even a crack, it could be pushed in quickly and a home invasion is inevitable. Instead I called the police.
It was a weird night to begin with. I was having a hard time falling and staying asleep. I kept hearing strange noises. I might have been a little spooked from earlier in the day when my daughter and dog heard "someone" come out of the spare room in the basement and walk to the laundry room. When I went to check, after she had screamed, I found no one. Even the dog heard something because he was checking on it before I got down the stairs, and he never goes into the laundry room. "The house is settling," I said, but that wasn't good enough for the girl so she ran upstairs.
Sunday nights are always tough to fall asleep to begin with, stemming from my earliest school days and the dread of Monday's arrival. Even the Benadryl didn't work last night and all the bangs and pings didn't help. I'm sure most of it was due to the heavy rain but the imagination works overtime during a sleepless night. Finally I decided I would just put the tv on and found a comedy, Naked Gun 2 1/2. I set the timer so the tv would turn off when it ended. I hoped I would be asleep by then. It ended at 4:30am and I did drift off to sleep. It was ten minutes after it ended and the house became dark when the doorbell rang. I wondered if someone was watching and waiting for all of the lights to go out of the house before they struck. I was dreaming of kissing a baby's foot when I was awoken. I looked at the clock and knew I was only asleep ten minutes and marvelled how I had gotten into a dream so quickly.
When the bell first rang I thought maybe it really didn't, but my husband woke up and the dog gave a, low grrrrrr! My bell has the habit of sticking in the on position and when it does there's a low hum in the hallway. The hum was there. The police arrived within ten minutes when I saw a flashlight hit my blinds. My husband went out to meet him. The cop never asked my husband who he was or for identification. That really bothered me. How did the cop know that it was my husband who called for help? Maybe my husband was the perp, who was pretending he was the home's resident, meanwhile me and my family were inside tied up. The cop never came inside either. I thought that was a major error in police protocol.
I checked the bell and sure enough it was stuck so someone had physically pushed it in. I mentioned to the cop that lately the neighborhood has become a victim of graffiti, such as gang tags that are springing up in great numbers behind the McDonald's down the corner. I've tried calling the leasing agent of the strip mall to request they be painted over but they never return my call. It started as one tag a couple of months ago and now there are too many to count. I agree with ex-mayor of NYC Guiliani who believed if you let the little things go like graffiti, the criminals think the neighborhood doesn't care and is rife for a takeover, so it's important to stop the crime immediately, no matter how small it may be. This is something that our neighborhood watch really needs to address at our next meeting.
Anyway, luckily there was no bad outcome, but I wonder if we were being "tested" to see how we could react. Would we be stupid enough to open the door a smidge to see who was there? Naturally I had the talk again with the kids about not opening the door, and my husband had the talk with me again about not keeping my gun loaded. This was the first time I had to load it quickly, and I didn't panic at all, but maybe he's right.
Today's going to be a typical lousy Monday...
The Police are coming back...We found something...Someone did try to break into my house last night!