I’m jostled from my sleep by the sound of papers being thrown and objects being knocked asunder in the office. I’m half asleep still so it takes me a moment to sit up in bed. I look at my nightstand to the left of me and notice my alarm clock says it’s 2:34am. Why the heck was dad making so much noise so early in the morning?
I remove my covers and stand up, rubbing my eyes and yawning. I waddle out of my room and down the hall, extremely groggy. The door is ajar and the light is off. Weird. If dad’s working in there, why would he have the light off? I make it to the door and I push it open and walk into the room, still rubbing my eyes of sleep.
“Dad what’re you – “ I didn’t get a chance to finish my thought. I had walked a foot into the room and the person standing a few feet away from me is definitely not my dad, it is someone dressed all in black, I couldn’t even determine the gender of the individual. As I began to speak, the person turned and had a pistol aimed at my face. We stand in awkward silence for a few seconds before I decide to break it. “He’s…not home right now…”
“…” The black figure doesn’t respond.
“You…you can take whatever you want. Just take it and go…” I was fully aware and alert now, but it is too dark for me to see the eyes of my assailant in front of me. There must have been some decision making going on inside their head, though. I tried to take a step forward to see if I could reach the gun and get it away from the trespasser, but they brought their hand back and slammed the butt of the gun into my forehead before I had a chance to react. I fell, lifeless, to the floor and blacked out.
I don’t know how long I lay their unconscious, but I do remember waking up with a blurry figure kneeling over me and my head throbbing. I couldn’t hear what the guy was saying, but it looked like he was yelling at me. As my eye sight slowly returns, so does my hearing. I can vaguely hear what the black police officer is saying to me. He just keeps repeating “Miss, can you hear me?” over and over. I moan and as I lift my right hand to my forehead, trying to nod but the pain just gets worse so I roll over onto my left side, both hands on my head now, and I pull my knees into my chest. I can hear the cop continue to speak to me but he keeps his distance, not wanting to get too close.
“Miss, can you hear me? Are you alright?”
“Ugh…no I’m not alright…” I pull my hands away from my forehead and see blood covering them. I freeze, staring at my hands. I’m bleeding? I’m pretty sure I slipped into shock at this point because I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t notice anything going on around me, and the throbbing was reduced to a dull ache. All I can see is the dark red on my hands, and everything else is in shades of gray. I wasn’t even aware when the police officer lifted me up onto my feet and helped walk me out of the room, down the stairs, and out of the front door where two cop cars were parked; one on the street and one in the driveway with their lights flashing.
The police officer sat me down on a chair swing that we had out in our front yard and kept trying to talk to me as I’m still focused on the red covering my hands. In a daze, something across the street catches my gaze. I can’t see clearly yet, I think I started crying in my shock, but I think I see a boy, holding the collar of a black lab looking over at me from across the street. I can’t see the expression on his face, nor do I comprehend who it is.
Suddenly I can hear everything around me. I’m hyper aware of every movement and sound in the yard and within the house. The police officer is standing close to me, somewhat to my left as if he can block the other officers going into the house and examining the “crime scene” inside. He’s asking me if I know if anything was taken and if I know who broke into the house and injured me. I look up at him with wide eyes, trying to block out how loud the barking is across the street, and how bright the lights on the police cars are. I focus on his face and squint up at him a little, trying to make it all go away. I manage to whisper a soft “I…don’t know…” in response to his questions. I can see him give me a smile which says he feels sorry for me; he looked a little uncomfortable having to comfort a child after a traumatic experience. He must not have kids of his own.
I’m vaguely aware of an ambulance pulling up to the curb behind the police car; two EMT’s run up to me and start examining my forehead. My gaze falls back to me hands, and then out to the street as they work to clean up and bandage my head, looking at nothing and my thoughts a thousand miles away.
The rest of the night floats by around me but I’m just an observer. I’m not involved in the events going on, not even the patching of my face. Dad comes home while three cops are still examining the house, and the one cop standing next to me to make sure I don’t run away or something. I can’t read his mind so I don’t know for sure why but it makes sense. I guess since I’m underage I need supervision.
He parks in the drive way next to the police car and kills the engine before rushing over to me. He looked like he was freaking out and kept looking up at my head and down at my hands where all the blood was. I couldn’t tell if blood was still gushing or if it had dried against my forehead, face, and hands. Dad’s face was super pale still looking at me but talking, almost yelling at the police officer trying to find out what happened and who called them. I must look pretty terrible though, he looks like he has seen a ghost. I’m not being rushed to the hospital though, so I guess I’m okay.
I can hear my dad and the cop, but it’s faint compared to everything else going on around me. The cop introduces himself as Officer Thomas Randall. He tells my dad that the kid across the street saw someone sneak into the house, so he called 911. According to the witness, it wasn’t forced entry, it looked like the individual had a key of some sort and was dressed in an all-black outfit, including ski mask. He explains that is when he showed up on the scene, approximately 10 minutes later, and noticed the front door ajar. They searched the house and found me laying in the upstairs office floor, bleeding heavily and unconscious. He then called back up and stayed there, kneeling next to me, for 15 minutes before I finally woke up and he helped me downstairs, letting the backup search the house while he stayed at my side. He called for a medical team just after he set me down on the chair swing. I hadn’t even noticed him talking at the time.
Dad asks him if I’m going to be okay and Officer Randall nods, and says that he needs dad to look through the house and make a list of anything that may have been stolen by the intruder. Dad looks at me then, still pale, not wanting to leave me but sees the officer has done well protecting me and nods. He lowers his head, his right hand trying to rub out the tension in his jaw, as he reluctantly turns and walks into the house to inspect the damage. I can only imagine how he’s going to react when he sees my blood staining the carpet in his office, but I’m still in shock. I can’t feel anything, not even the poking and prodding being done to my forehead and hands as the medics attempt to wipe the blood from them.
Dad returns informing Officer Randall that it looked like nothing had been taken, and asked him if he could take me inside to rest yet. He nods and shakes dad’s hand, apologizing for the tragedy, but also letting him know that he will have a team come out late tomorrow afternoon to take a statement from me. The shock must be wearing off, because I can almost hear them clearly now. Dad thanks him and turns to the EMT’s. The officer goes to his vehicles and motions to his colleagues they are done here.
“How is she?” He asks the tall, blond haired woman standing closest to him.
“She has a concussion and has lost a lot of blood, but she will be okay.” She responds calmly. She has an air of experience to her, and she speaks to dad as if she’s talking to a friend about her day. “She needs to be watched the next 24 hours in case complications arise, and she needs a lot of bed rest if she’s going to have the strength for school. Make sure that you redress her forehead every four hours or so. She’s going to be just fine.” She smiles down at me.
“Okay, thank you very much for your help.” Dad says in a gruff, gravelly voice I don’t recognize. The two EMT’s nod, and return to their ambulance. I watched them disappear down the street. Dad places my left arm across his shoulders and behind his head, and lifts me up onto my feet to help me walk back into the house. My vision is still slightly blurry, probably from the crying I didn’t realize I was doing, but I look to see if the boy is still watching across the street. My mind couldn’t yet comprehend who it was looking at me before, but whoever it was, is no longer sitting with his dog watching the spectacle.
I lower my gaze to the ground to make sure I don’t trip over myself. My gait is labored and my limbs feel heavy, making it difficult to stay vertical on my own. Dad takes special care and is slow so I don’t have to use more effort than necessary. Once inside, he lays me down on the couch, and then goes upstairs and into my room for a blanket and pillow. Returning, he carefully lifts my head up placing the pillow underneath, and covers me with my favorite blanket. He walks into the kitchen and places something on the stove, I’m assuming his teapot so he can stay up and make sure I’m okay through the night.