This past Friday was my 23rd birthday. If I had to sum it up in just a few words, I’d say it was unconventional, fun, laid-back, painful, but pretty much perfect.
First off, why was it unconventional? Partly because I haven’t even celebrated with my family yet. As per usual, birthday parties in the Zeig family don’t happen on the actual day. That’s okay with me! My birthday actually began on Tuesday evening…
I stayed up pretty late that night because I knew Sean was working and wouldn’t call for our nightly talk until after 10:30. When he did, I was a <tiny> bit disappointed to hear his tired voice (yes, he has a particular tone which he uses to convey his utterly pathetic exhaustion. ha) tell me he was going to bed and would call me in the morning. When I hear that voice, I know his head has already hit the pillow and there is no hope in pulling him out of the depths of slumber. Okay. It wasn’t really a big deal, so I decided to go to bed, too. By "go to bed," I mean take out my contacts, turn off the lights, and lay in bed, squinting at Pinterest on my phone with my face an inch from the screen. It’s not one of my healthiest habits, but I’m hooked.
And then I heard the sliding glass door open in the basement.
Or so I thought, anyway: to be honest, my imagination was blazing thanks to an evening of Doctor Who and a candlelit brainstorming/writing session for my new novel. When I’m in this states, you’d think I was on LSD or something. Total literature geek.
But I was sure I’d heard that door. I froze, listening for more noises. And then I heard the dogs growling. It was very unusual, and there was no doubt that someone had entered the house. My heart was racing as I reviewed every possible scenario. What did this person want? Were they here to steal or to kill? Would they be armed? Should I step up and defend the house, or stay quiet and hope they just take the TV and go?
Let’s just say my reaction really wasn’t the smartest: I had my thumb hovering over Sean’s number as I listened. I mean, how was he going to help me from Illinois? Maybe I was just being morbid and hoping he’d at least hear my last words. I thought about calling him then, but didn’t want to draw the intruder’s attention to my room.
I was positively terrified. And then I heard footsteps. Solid, men’s footsteps, not my Grandma’s flip-flops. There was no doubt about it: they were headed for my room.