Today’s DP Challenge~ Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?
Many moons ago, when my kids were still home and rather smallish, I was taking a walk around the block with my two youngest boys.
As we reached the alley, we stopped for a car coming through. As I saw the car pass by very slowly, I saw that a young girl was driving. A young man was in the back seat, right behind her, with a gun to her head.
I was paralyzed with fear for a second or two, knowing that the man in the car had seen me, and my children. I panicked for the girl driving, and also for the safety of my two small children with me.
I live in a decent older neighborhood, that’s sprinkled with quite a bit of rental property, since we are close to a college. I had never before or since seen something like this in my life. Let alone in my own back yard.
I tried to look cool, act like I hadn’t seen a thing.
I waited until we were out of view of the car, so the man in back wouldn’t see which yard I ducked into with my frightened children.
As soon as they were away, I ran with the kids as fast as I could down the alley and ducked into our yard from the back yard gate.
My heart was pounding.
I tried to remain calm enough to call the police, and not alarm my children anymore than they already were. I told them that everything was fine, and to go up to their playroom.
I’m sure I sounded like a blithering idiot on the phone with the police, trying to give information, all the while praying this man wouldn’t come looking for us.
A few hours passed, and the fear subsided, but I was still on my guard, afraid to leave the house, or let the kids out of my sight for even a fraction of a second.
I got a call from the police, they had found the car. It turns out it was a toy gun, and the whole thing was a prank. I was relieved of course, but I was pissed. Really pissed.
I had never really felt that I was in danger before, or that my children were at risk either.
I still live in that same house, and the neighborhood is much the same, but improving all the time. Many young families, some older couples, and still a sprinkling of college kids.
I walk my dog past that alley now, as my kids are all grown up and have moved away.
But I still think about that young man with a gun to that girl’s head every time I walk past the same spot. Hoping to never see anything like that again in my usually peaceful corner of the world.