"Is everything alright, Melissa?" the fearful urgency in the distant call cut through the sleep-fog to the depths of my brain. My eyes popped open by their own volition and immediately sought the alarm clock. Large red digits burned into the darkness - 5:46 AM. My brain slowly attempted to process the origin of the urgent call.

A female voice. Kimmie's? I continued listening. But Kimmie doesn't call me Melissa. Silence. It must have been a dream.

I easily returned to my lovely sleep.

This time, low-pitched, quiet voices disturbed my sleep. With eyes still closed, I decided it must be Kimmie and Liberty in the living room. They are both horribly early risers. I drifted into dreamland once again, but a thought niggled at my mind. Those were adult voices. Some women, and at least one man. Sleep slowly drifted away.

Kimmie must have the radio on, I decided, and comfortably zoned out again.

"When I saw your front door standing wide open like that, I pretty much freaked out. I knew I had to come over here! I'm glad everything is okay. Have a good day." Once again, the same distinctive female voice cut through to my brain, and this time, after a few seconds (or minutes?) my mind reported to me that the voice belonged to my neighbor, Angie.

With that mystery solved, I dozed off once again...then violently jerked awake! Wait a minute! Why was Angie over here, and why was she talking about my front door being open?

I forced my body out of bed and pushed my arms into the sleeves of my thick navy bathrobe. Hastily double-knotting the belt around my waist, I pushed open my bedroom door and stepped into the dark living room. My skin instantly registered the unusual chill in the room. I looked around, expecting to see Kimmie or Liberty somewhere, but the entire house was dark and still. From down the hall I could hear Kimmie's shower, and a light shown under her bathroom door. Remembering my neighbor's claim that our front door had been standing open and noting the coldness of the living room, I decided to check on Liberty and Mercy. They both slept peacefully, apparently unaware of the recent neighborly visit.

My curiosity somewhat appeased, I returned to my own room, happy at the prospect of climbing back under the covers. But once back in my bed, my brain finally woke up. If our door was standing open, why? Who opened it? I thought back to the previous night. At midnight, I had been up feeding Mercy, and the door had been closed and even locked at that point. Was it locked? I couldn't remember that for sure. I do know that it was closed at that time. I thought through some options.

1. Jeremy came home after midnight. He rarely uses the front door since he parks in our attached garage, but it could have been Jeremy.

2. Kimmie may have chosen to take an early morning walk and forgot to shut the door on her way back in.

3. Liberty may have finally learned how to open doors. (A frightening thought!)

The more I pondered, the more I wondered. I watched my sleeping husband while I wondered. Finally, the suspense wore me down. I woke him up. "Did you use the front door at all last night?"

He hadn't.

We discussed the possibilities, and Jeremy came up with two more that I had not considered.

4. The door may have looked closed at midnight, but not have been completely latched so the wind could have blown it open.

5. Someone not belonging in our house may have entered.

"Oh," I said while his words sunk into my mind.

I continued looking at his face.

Wordlessly, we climbed out of bed and donned our matching bathrobes, belting them at the waist. Together, we exited into the cold, dark living room and looked into the shadows with newly aware eyes. The bathroom door creaked and Kimmie stepped out into the hall illuminated only by the light spilling from the doorway behind her.

"Kimmie," I called quietly, "did I hear Angie's voice earlier?"

"Yes!" Kimmie excitedly called back. She walked towards us, describing her startling morning. The doorbell had rung twice, but she had remained in bed, assuming Jeremy or I would answer it. (She greatly underestimates our sleeping abilities!) When she heard Angie call, "Is everything alright, Melissa?" she rushed to the living room and found Angie from across the street and Denny from next door framed in the open doorway, concern etched on their faces. Angie told how her husband had called her cell phone after pulling out of their driveway on his way to work and informed her that our front door was standing wide open. Angie went to our next door neighbor's house to recruit strong-man Denny to help her investigate, while Denny's wife Kelly watched both families' children and prepared to call for help in the case of an emergency. Kimmie immediately checked on our two little girls and reported their safety to our neighbors, then she knocked on our bedroom door to see how we were doing. Apparently, our loud snores reassured her that we were breathing at least. The neighbor's left; Kimmie headed for the shower, and I slowly woke up.

(Did I ever tell you about the time when I slept through three consecutive fire excavations of the apartment building where I used to live? Well, that's a story for another day!)

At the close of Kimmie's tale, Jeremy decided to see for himself if his daughters were okay. Liberty had buried herself under a mound of blankets, and we both experienced a moment of panic before we realized where she was.

We soberly returned to the living room, where Jeremy decided we should verify the emptiness of the basement. I stood quietly looking at him before turning to retrieve a saucepan from the kitchen. I handed Kimmie my cell phone and half-jokingly told her to call 911 and get the girls out of the house if we didn't return or if she heard anything strange once we got down to the basement. She took the phone and began dialing immediately. "Don't call now!" I exclaimed.

"I'm not. I'm just getting ready in case," she responded.

I followed Jeremy down the stairs with my saucepan poised overhead, ready to strike. We split up at the bottom, Jeremy investigated the left half while I searched the right. I finished first and turned to watch Jeremy complete his rounds.

Suddenly, the scene struck me as funny: the two of us in our matching robes, flushing out an imaginary intruder in the basement. Me with my shiny saucepan, and Jeremy who had not thought to grab his light saber, but who no doubt would have been brandishing it vigorously if he had thought of it, and Kimmie upstairs with her thumb hovering over the call button. That last thought shushed me quickly because I hoped my laughter had not given Kimmie cause to panic and call 911. "We're fine, Kimmie," I called up the stairs. "There's no one down here."

Jeremy and I climbed back up to the first floor. "Check the garage and the refrigerator," Jeremy mumbled as he ambled towards our bedroom.

"What?" I questioned.

"The cars and food," he explained. I checked the garage first. Both cars sat quietly, waiting for their call to service; no thief had disturbed their slumber. As I opened the refrigerator, I tried to remember exactly how the inside had looked the night before. A twinge of disappointment showed itself when I realized that we had not provided emergency food and shelter for some poor soul in the middle of the night.

It remains a mystery. Can Liberty open doors? Does someone in our family sleepwalk? Did we have an unknown visitor in the middle of the night?

Hey, some have entertained angels unaware. Wouldn't that be cool?
Labels: | edit post
2 Responses
  1. Cora Says:

    Glad you all are safe...what a mystery.

  2. DeAnn Says:

    I second the 'glad you are safe'. Sounds like it's time to get a chain for your front door. That's what we did when Ian started learning how to open the front door (we were townhouse apartments by a busy road, so keeping him in was super important). Just make sure Jeremy comes in through the garage. I can't even count how many time Colin tried to come in the front door with the chain latched! Talk about a bad sound!
    Not to scare you or anything, but out here I remember a news story about a little 2 yr. old boy (Ian was 3 or 4 when this happened, so it really caught my attention) anyway, the little boy had learned to open the doors and he liked to do that at night. So the family bought a chain for the door, but they hadn't put it up yet. He opened the door one night and disappeared. They later found him in the river near his house. So PLEASE...get a chain for your front door and keep those cute babies inside!!

Post a Comment