I was 12 when I was robbed. I was home alone with my little brother. In movies, they usually say it was a dark and rainy night. It wasn’t. It was 11 o’clock on a sunny Sunday morning. My mom was at the gym and my dad was on a bike ride.
I was up in my room when the doorbell rang. Our doorbell trills, it’s loud. There was no way to just ignore it. I went downstairs to check the window, to see if I knew the person at the door. I checked, but I didn’t. I went back into the living room, about to go upstairs when I heard a tinkling of glass. My brother had come downstairs so I whispered to him, “He’s breaking in,”
It wasn’t that I had to whisper, it was more like I had lost the ability to speak louder. We ran upstairs to the first room on the landing, my own. I had a phone, and I was using it to frantically dial numbers. My mom’s cell, I got voicemail. My dad’s cell, voicemail. And at last, 911, but by that time I heard heavy footsteps coming from downstairs. I hung up the phone.
I was in denial, I thought that maybe my dad had sent someone to check on us. It was naïve, but I was desperate. I didn’t want this to be happening. My brother had stolen the only hiding spot that was protected by the door. My breathing became faster and faster. Finding no better hiding spot, I just stood behind the door waiting for him to come in. Once he was on the landing he choose a different tactic than my brother and I, starting with my younger brother’s room first. When he moved on to my room, reality crashed on me.
The denial ended. This was really happening and I needed to deal with it. I opened the door and started screaming words I can’t remember. He rushed to get out of the house (he didn’t know that anyone was in there) and I chased after him to make sure he actually left. I remember leaping over shattered glass, then running down the stairs two steps at a time. After that he leaped on a bike and I suddenly became aware of what I was saying. I was calling for help. The neighbors called the police and they arrived an hour later when there was no chance of catching him.
Two years ago, I believed that this experience didn’t change me. Now I’m not so sure. I think I’ve matured from it, I’ve taken things more seriously. The police never found the robber, or the minimal amount of stuff he stole, but it raised my awareness. That things like this do happen, and not just to other people. It didn’t begin like in the movies, but it ended like it. The happy sort of ending where that family feels lucky that everyone is okay and healthy. There is fear hanging over the household, but not as much as the relief. The relief, and the awareness. Two things that benefited me from this experience, even when I didn’t think it would. At the end, the whole family is together feeling lucky.
7 years ago