Friday, September 3, 2010

Scary? You Tell Me

This happened just yesterday, while no one was home but me...

The dye had been on my hair for nearly thirty minutes. Time to hop in the shower, time to rinse. I hope it's dark enough, I thought. I hope it's not too dark, I thought next.

As I pushed my head under the faucet, darkness splattered around me.

Lather lather.

Was pulled from that moment of concentration by KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Someone at the door.

I turned off my bathroom's light/fan combo, so loud that thing is, and the shower, too. Listened. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK came again.

Over the thudthud of my heart, I heard the front door swing open. "Hello!" called a male voice.

My whole chest was beating then, because this just doesn't happen every day. I listened harder, heard the door close. No footsteps. No, nothing.

I had a suspicion, though. And after a few quiet, uneventful moments...

Like a dumb teenager from a horror movie, I flipped on the light. Turned the water back on, cranked it wide. Yeah, yeah, call me vain (stupid, even), but my hair had to be rinsed. And I wasn't going to go investigate. Duh.

THUMP

Light/fan off. Water off.

THUMP

I know what that is.

I won't lie. I hesitated. But I told myself to be calm and--while listening for anyone or anything on the staircase, because my hunch could be wrong--finished my shower.

THUMP

And when I was done I listened again. Wrapped myself in a towel, tiptoed to my balcony to look down on the living room, and the front door. There was my proof.

Nine cases of postal shipping supplies my husband ordered, delivered courtesy USPS. The intruder had been our mailman, threatening as a puny grandpa, who'd thought to put everything indoors, away from the rain.

Kind of a nice consideration, actually.

Next time I lock the doors.

What would you have done?

ETA: I feel like I should add: We live in a small, private community, where everyone's friendly, and we've seen no crime in the 4.5 years we've been here. Changes the factors just a bit, I think.

42 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh Janna! I'd have had a heart attack in the shower right there and then!!!! Oh that is my worst night mare!!!

I am glad this story had a good ending :)

Mandy said...

I always lock the door when I'm in the shower on my own. I'm actually terrified that something similar would happen to me!

Lucky that your postman is friendly!

Stina Rose said...

I'd have been completely freaked out! I live in a nice little community, but I never leave the door unlocked when I'm showering. Yikes!

I bet you don't forget this one for a long time. :)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Pulled out the guns. :D Completely kidding. Must share a similar freak out story. Went walking. Safe community. Guy pulls his bike next to me. Gets off. GETS OFF. "Can I pet your dog."

Chills. Something's not right. Sky getting dark.

God gives me words. "She might not be friendly." Say this as my eleven-year-old dog lopes around with a goofy smile, smelling for dog pee. My dog = friendliest dog in the world.

But it worked. Man got back on his bike and rode away. Slowly, but at least he left.

Thanks, God.

Next time I'll bring the guns.
~ Wendy

Jill said...

I can't believe you finished your shower! I would have gotten my gun out, and no, I'm not kidding. If I didn't, then when I was telling my husband about it later, he would have wanted to know why I didn't get my gun out.

Always. Lock. The. Door.

Terri Tiffany said...

I always lock my doors! I don't even answer the doorbell if I am home alone. We live in an area where no one is around much and I don't take chances. I would have been scared to death! But I also keep Mace in my bedroom:) Don't ask if I know how to use it:)) LOL

Mary said...

You're testing a book scene, right? If not, shame on you for a) showering with the door unlocked; b) making me bite my tongue.

Diane said...

Momma always told me to lock the doors! We don't live in a crime area either, but you just never know nowadays. People are going crazy! :O)

Janna Qualman said...

I am officially chagrined. Especially after sharing the details online!

Indigo said...

Would you believe this is my life on a daily rollercoaster. The thing is the noises aren't real. I suffer from Auditory Hallucinations. Quite common in late deafened individuals. I'm never sure if a thump, which I can detect on a sensory level is real, or something I imagine I heard.

So always and foremost, locks are engaged. Besides anyone coming through my door would have to deal with the 65lb wonder dog. She's protective as a mother grizzly.

Not sure if I would have kept showering though. Scary Janna.

Then again I refused to get up and check and see exactly what crawled over me in the middle of the night. (Hugs)Indigo

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I held my breath through the whole post thinking I might be in a scene from Psycho! So happy to know you're okay. PLEASE lock your doors, windows, bathroom door...next time!

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

Yep, scary. And you went back to rinse out your hair.

Janna Qualman said...

Yeah, Holly? When you put it like that...

*hangs head*

Kim said...

I love this post. It made me smile. Do you write mystery? If not you should. :)

Mason Canyon said...

You are so much braver than I am. I lock the doors and then re-check several times especially if I'm going to take a shower. Glad it had a happy ending.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Amy Mullis said...

Whew! I was thinking of Psycho, too, but at least you'd have had good hair at the end!

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Definitely scary. But I'd have rinsed, too. Nothing like soap-blindness to give an assailant the upper hand! (And lock the door before the next shower, lol).

Duane Scott said...

Not scary. It's just the mailman. :) Relax...

I'll be the first one murdered in my house tho. I never lock anything.

Jennifer said...

*Waiting for the picture with the new hair color.*

Glad it wasn't a boogie man! :)

Beth said...

Our front door is locked ALL the time. Period. And I have a big, loud, protective dog. And a gun.

Why? Well...

How many headlines have begun..."a safe, friendly, tight-knit community"....and end with..."never expected this kind of horrendous tragedy"

I watch too much TV.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Janna, that sounds like something straight out of a horror movie. With my writer's imagination, I'd be a basket case.

I remember growing up and my mother leaving the door open during the day. I'm not sure exactly when that changed, but everything gets locked now.

Blessings,
Susan :)

P.S. How did your hair turn out?

Sharla said...

Lord, girl, my hubby would have raked me over the coals for NOT pulling out a gun! LOL! But this is South Texas.

If it were me alone, I would not have gotten back in the shower (that cracks me up that you did!), I would have locked the bathroom door and grabbed a can of hairspray to have at the ready to blind him with if he broke in that door.

Kathryn Magendie said...

If I were still living in Baton Rouge, everything would have been locked tight and I'd have heard someone - I'd have been terrorized. Crime there was, still is, bad.

But here? First, Big Dog would NOT let anyone inside *laugh* but, I always lock doors when I shower when I'm alone - it's just that vulnerable feeling - and the movie Psycho *laugh*

Janna Qualman said...

Notice a difference in the one guy's comment? ;) Dwayne, that's the way my husband is. Must be a guy thing!

Nikole Hahn said...

Turned off the water. Get a robe. Grab the gun. Grab the cell phone. Yell loudly to find out who it is.

If UPS, but too vain to walk out there, will wait until I hear him leave and then walk into the livingroom with gun in hand and cell phone ready to dial 911.

Considerate, but probaly not a good thing for a UPS man to do especially if they don't know the household. He probaly knew you. And you him. That's why he felt so comfortable.

I always lock my doors and windows when I take a shower and no one else is home. Our neighborhood is not a bad neighborhood, but it does have a couple shady characters down the street. Plus, the wind blows and if the front door isn't locked it blows open.

Nikole Hahn said...

@Beth No, that's reality. Do you read the Armed Citizen in the NRA publications? There are many, many headlines of break ins where an armed homeowner's life and/or property was saved. I wish the media would print THAT! :o)

But no, the media would prefer to print quotes from the neighbors after a gruesome home murder, "But he was such a NICE guy."

Nikole Hahn said...

@duane Scott And you just announced that on a public blog where every pediphile and wierdo read...ROFL.

Janna Qualman said...

I'm sorry, Duane! I spelled your name like my brother's, though I meant not to. :/

thedomesticfringe said...

At first I thought this was just a piece of creative writing. I kept thinking, Holy Cow, is this really happening to her?!

Once when I lived in Maine, I forgot to lock my door when I went out. I came home to find a UPS package sitting on my kitchen table. The UPS man came in, walked through the house to the back, and left my package on the table. Who knows, maybe he got himself a coke! I was a little weirded out.

-FringeGirl

thedomesticfringe said...

You know, the thing is, there's never a good time to take a shower. Someone always either wants you or they want to use the bathroom. At least that's how it is in my house.

Ok, enough blabbing from me today. Hope you have a splendid weekend without surprise visitors.
-FringeGirl (again)

Kristen Painter said...

As a licensed gun owner, I probably would have scared the daylights out of that guy.

Patti Lacy said...

Janna, in Normal, we have the same kinda attitude as you do.

Glad things were okay!

Patti

Karen Lange said...

Not sure what I would have done! But I would mentally note to lock the doors from then on:) Glad all is well!
Happy weekend,
Karen

Linda Hoye said...

I can't imagine how you must have felt!. Glad it all turned out to be okay, and by the way you told the story so well!

Nadine said...

Scary stuff!! I always lock the doors when I take a shower if I'm home alone but I'm sure there's a time or two that I've forgotten. Eek!

Analisa said...

First I am amazed that so many folks say oh I lock the door when I shower. I keep my door locked 24/7.
I would have freaked!! Jumped out of the shower for a mad dash for a weapon for self defense, dripping dye all over the floor no doubt. Shouted I have a gun or I am calling the police. Because walking into someones house without permission is just not done in this city girls life. Glad it was just the mailman. Oh and lock your door, period.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh.My.Goodnes. I always lock the door, Janna, even though we live in a very safe, rural area. I lived most of my life in a big city, so locking is a habit with me.

But if that happened to me when I was home alone? I'd lock myself in the bedroom and call 911, then pray like Jonah.

How did your hair turn out?

Deb Shucka said...

I love how you turned an innocent story into a breath-stopping thriller, and I love your priorities. How'd the hair turn out?

Janna Qualman said...

The hair turned out great! :)

Angie said...

When I was thirteen, I was babysitting my little sister one evening when a man knocked on the door. Since a) we lived way out in the country and b) it was almost 7:30 at night, I was a bit suspicious. I cracked the interior door and made him talk through the screen door. He asked if my parents were home. I told him they were sleeping. He asked if I could "just wake them up a minute" so he could talk to them. I said no. He said he was selling pictures of people's farms that he'd taken from his small airplane. I knew this was a real thing, but I also knew most salesmen know better than to show up at someone's house at 7:30 at night trying to sell the things. I told him I'd pass the information along to my parents, but that I wasn't going to wake them up. He tried to open the screen door, which was latched with a fairly flimsy hook-and-loop lock. I was about to slam the inner door in his face, lock it, and call the cops...when our large Doberman, Bear, came loping around the corner.

Bear was an extremely friendly dog. He would "smile" at people, which most everyone took to be snarling. Visitors would refuse to get out of their cars when Bear smiled at them.

He smiled at the salesman. The salesman's eyes bugged out - first time I've seen that actually happen ;) - and he asked me, "Does your dog bite?"

I smiled sweetly at him and said, "Only if we tell him to."

He wished me a good evening and made a hasty retreat. I don't know if he was really selling pictures, but we never heard from him again.

I really, really miss that dog.

septembermom said...

I would have freaked out. My mind would have been racing along with my pulse!

cosmoscami said...

I still would have reacted the same way.