For a long time now, I have been afraid of the dark. Not necessarily just the dark, but being alone in the dark. My imagination allows me to hear noises that don't exist, see things that aren't there, and dream up elaborate and often horrifying scenarios whenever my husband is gone for the night, I have to walk from my house to the car at 4:00 am when catching the red-eye, or when I'm taking our puppy out to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Our neighborhood has been extremely safe, but that doesn't stop my mind from churning.
Recently, we have heard reports of break-ins in our neighborhood that involve someone knocking on the front door, and then, if no one answers, going around to the back and breaking in. These reports do not do anything to allay my overactive fears.
Last week on two separate occasions, I saw a lone person walking down my street. One time was at 11:30 pm and the other was at 3:00 am. This person didn't acknowledge me, wave, smile, or anything even though our neighborhood is very friendly. I didn't recognize this person, but that doesn't mean I didn't know them because I didn't have my contacts in so can't even identify for certain if the person was male or female. Still, looking up at 3:00 am to see someone walking down the street while I stood there barefoot in my yard was a little unnerving and creepy, even if it was just a neighbor out for a (middle of the night?) stroll.
Sunday morning I heard the brief cadence of a police siren. I looked out of the window to see two police officers putting handcuffs on a man. I yelled to John that someone was being arrested in front of the neighbor's house. That was a mistake, because here come the boys all excited and curious.
So, as I stood staring out the window and telling my boys not to stare, I wondered if this was the person I had seen walking down the street at night. Unlikely, but my imagination urged it to be true. And then came the scenarios of how close I came to being a statistic while out walking my dog.
The boys, naturally, were curious as to why the man was being arrested. "Maybe he tried to close a garage door on somebody," said Luke.
I'm not sure what that means, but in Luke's world if you do that you get arrested.
I was very tempted to use this situation to my advantage, and tell the boys he was being arrested for unbuckling his seat belt in the car or not behaving at the store or being mean to his brother. But the white lies would have been wasted as there is not a slim chance that the boys would have believed me.
John told them, "There have been some robberies in the neighborhood. Maybe they think it was him."
To this Jack responded, "I don't think so. Robbers usually are running around."
The officers took the man away, and we were left to our hypotheses. Maybe we'll find out why this man was arrested. I hope it has nothing to do with the person I saw walking down the street. Otherwise, I may be forced to admit that my imagination may be fueled less by conjecture and more by reality. Then how will my mind explain away the bumps in the night?
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