Her phone rang.
She smiled. It was her husband.
"I'm not gonna answer that," she thought. "I know he's just calling to tell me to hurry up." She grabbed a sweatshirt and quickly pulled it over her head. It didn't match her sweatpants or flip flops, but who cared, she was only running out for a second.
Her husband was headed to work and she was parked behind him. Every once in awhile one of them would leave before the other and a car would have to be moved. She grabbed her keys off the dresser and headed for the back door. Should I shut it, she wondered. Nah, I'll be right back, she thought.
It was still raining outside. The sky was cloudy and even darker than usual for this time of the morning. She ducked her head as if to brace herself for the cold, rainy, Fall weather, and hurried outside. She smiled and waved good-bye to her husband as she ran past his truck and jumped into her car. In just a minute, she had backed out and pulled back into the drive. She wished she didn't have to go to work herself in just an hour or so. She'd rather stay in on such a dreary day. . maybe clean the house.
She loved the house. A couple of rooms had been newly re-modeled and she had decorated well. It felt warm and cozy inside, and it had character. But, she knew they wouldn't live there forever. It was in what she called a "pocketed" area. Most of the homes were built in the 30s or 40s, many of them with big screened-in front porches. The homes near hers were well-kept up, but home maintenance could vary from block to block, as could the type of neighbors. The streets were not well-lit, either. Overall, she had never felt completely safe there.
As she ran around the back of the house and opened the screen door, she immediately noticed muddy shoeprints going up the two steps into the kitchen. She froze. Immediately she thought of her husband. She had just washed the floors last night. Could he have somehow come back inside? But she had seen him drive away. Plus, he knew better than to track mud in the house. This didn't make sense. Her heart began to beat faster. She slowly walked up the stairs and through the kitchen looking to see where the footprints led. Her chest tightened as they went into the main room, turned into the hallway and went straight into the spare room. As she stood in the main room, peeking into the spare, she saw the closet door . . cracked. And she knew. There was a stranger in her house.
A chill went up her spine as she fought back tears. She felt panicked. Her mind began to race. She had to call her husband. She still wanted desperately to believe he'd tracked the mud in, he'd gone to get something from the closet, and she was alone in the house. But her phone was down the hall in their bedroom. Should she run out without it? Did she dare to run down the hall and back and risk facing the intruder? She did.
She bolted down the hall, grabbed her phone from her dresser, and ran as fast as she could to the back door. Her husband was already on the other end.
"Did you come back in the house and get something from the spare bedroom closet?"
Her voice was shaking. "Did you come back into the house and get something from the spare room closet?"
"-There's someone in the house." And in an instant, she was back in her car and pulling out of the drive. She sped off and headed straight for her brother and sister-in-law's house. Tears began streaming down her face the moment she stepped inside.
Within the next hour, the police were at her home searching the premises, looking for evidence, checking for fingerprints. Since she'd left, the footprints had gone down the hall, entered her bedroom, turned around (apparently after not finding anything of interest), and disappeared. The police called the incident a burglary, though nothing appeared missing.
She and her husband spent the day crying, so happy they, especially she, was safe. What if it hadn't rained? What if the intruder hadn't tracked mud into the house? They prayed together and thanked God for protecting her.
Her husband removed his Smith & Wesson from its case and decided to carry it with him for an indefinite period of time. That afternoon, they drove to the humane society and picked out a 6-month old bloodhound and called to arrange for a security system to be installed in their home. Their lives really will never quite be the same again. They will always be more aware of their surroundings. She will never walk to her car in the dark alone. They will always think someone could be watching.
I'm so thankful that my friend is safe. I know the Lord protected her and I am grateful! We walked around in her backyard today and there were no muddy areas. Praise God that his shoes were somehow muddy! It was just creepy to think some guy was back there watching in the dark, in the rain, inside their fence. To think he may have planned it. He may have known their schedule. It's really a wake-up call. I know I need to be more cautious even though I live in a safe, nice neighborhood.
Just thought I would write out my friend's story and tell you all to be cautious and never think it couldn't happen to you.