Thursday, September 20, 2012

the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Imagine you're getting ready for work. You went to bed later than you should have, so you throw on the comfiest work clothes you have in an attempt to convince yourself you're still in pajamas. You fix the pieces of hair that went berserk during the course of the night, smear just enough make-up on your face to cover the dark circles, and load your toothbrush with toothpaste. As you begin to brush your teeth, your half-awake eyes wander to the corners of the mirror, checking out the reflection of the room behind you.

In the left-hand corner of the mirror, you see your window, curtains open, blinds turned just enough to let the first bits of morning sun in. There's a silhouette of a man blocking the light.

That's basically one of my worst nightmares. It was also my Tuesday morning.

I snatch my phone off the counter and back into my closet, toothbrush still dangling from my mouth. I type 911 into the phone, but then it occurs to me that by the time anyone could arrive, this man would be long gone. My not-yet-fully-conscious mind trips over itself trying to decide if this is actually considered a 911-worthy call or if I need to find the police department's non-emergency number. I stood, paralyzed, in my closet for what I'm sure was less than a minute but felt like my whole lifetime, until I saw the man climb back through the bushes and walk away.

Now that time has passed and I've replayed the incident a thousand times in my head, I hate myself for what I didn't do. Why didn't I take a picture on my phone? Why didn't I call the police immediately? Why didn't I hire a trained assassin to protect my apartment? Instead, I gathered everything valuable in my apartment and moved to the kitchen, willing myself to leave for work. What if the man was waiting until I tried to leave, then he planned to grab me outside? I couldn't get myself to walk out the door, but my apartment no longer felt even a little safe. I stared out the peephole, letting my courage build; then I sprinted from my apartment to my car. I made it all the way to work before I started crying.

I went into the office before going to my classroom, and I relayed the story to two of my coworkers. They convinced me I needed to call 911. Before I knew it, there was a sub in my classroom and I was back at my apartment filing a report with the least empathetic police officer in the world. He told me that since I was fully clothed when I noticed the man, it wasn't a big deal. I wanted to punch him.

I can't even begin to explain how thankful I am for my friends, Lauren and Brad. I moved all my valuables (including myself) into their house while I try to figure out what to do. It will cost a crazy amount of money to break my lease, but I think this is a case where I have to cut my losses in favor of not having some creepy man watch me get ready for work. But if I break my lease, that still leaves me with the question of where to go.

I've kind of started to make friends, and there are a few girls that I may be able to share an apartment with. As much as I prefer living alone, I'd flat out feel safer with other people around. I also may be able to switch into another apartment in my complex, but I'm not sure whether moving a few buildings over will be any more comfortable than my current place. Whatever I decide, I'm certain of one thing: sometime in the next few weeks, I'll be moving. For the seventh time in twelve months. Why do I even bother unpacking at this point?


  1. Okay, that settles it. Im moving to California and training to become your own personal assassin.


    If you need anything, you know my whereabouts.

  2. Niece Nikki, this scares me for you. Run, do not walk, and get some mace. And a baseball bat. and a freakin' huge, loud dog. And a body guard. And a moat. I think that should take care of you.

    Please stay safe!
    Auntie Debbie