A LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK
At some point after we had both fallen asleep, our phone rang. Steven picked it up, but it still wasn’t working and he couldn’t hear anyone, so he hung up. When it rang a second time, he answered and said, “Our phone isn’t working. I can’t hear you. If this is important, call my cell phone,” and recited the number. Because Steven’s father was ninety years old at the time, we always answered the phone when it rang in the middle of the night.
When his cell phone rang, I heard Steven say, “There isn’t anyone outside. I’m asleep. I’m going back to sleep. I am not going anywhere.”
“Who was that?” I asked.
“I don’t know, someone saying there were police outside.”
Oh, my god, this wasn’t good, I thought. “What are you talking about?” is what I actually said.
The cell phone rang again and Steven answered it a second time. “I have no idea what you are talking about,” he said. “I was a volunteer fireman. I’ll call you back.” This didn’t seem to be a coherent conversation. Between the wine, soaking in the tub, two Tylenol PM, and being asleep, I wasn’t sure Steven understood what was going on. I certainly didn’t.
“What’s happening?” I almost screamed in frustration.
“Nothing, hold on,” he said as he dialed. Then he said, “Is this the Comm center?” Steven had the Comm center phone number in his cell phone from when he was a volunteer fireman. He gave his name and address and said, “Someone called up here a few minutes ago.” Apparently that was the same operator to whom he was speaking.
“There was no gun,” I heard him say. It was then that I began to panic. “We had some neighbors over for dinner a few hours ago and they left. Nothing happened.”
At that point I got out of bed and put on sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and a pair of slippers. Steven had already walked to the windows in our bedroom, which overlooked the front of our house. He said, “I am looking out our windows right now and I can’t see anything. If there are police out there, tell them to turn their lights on.”
Oh, my god, what was going on? What has happened? Police at our house?
For some reason, I started down the stairs to the front door. When I reached the entranceway, I turned on the outside lights and walked outside into nothing. I couldn’t see anyone or anything, even with the lights on. Bella stopped at the middle landing on the stairs. She wasn’t brave enough to walk outside with me.
Suddenly, there was a swarm of police officers with rifles, shotguns, and handguns aimed at me. I saw one officer with a German Shepherd. It was surreal. This kind of thing didn’t happen to people like me. Nothing in my life had prepared me for this moment. It was like a very bad movie. One of the officers shouted, “Get over here. Get behind the car.” We had two 1999 Suburbans and a 2002 Suzuki, and they were all parked in the driveway. The officers must have been behind our cars when I came out of the house. I wouldn’t move. I actually don’t think I could have moved. Afterwards, when someone asked me why I didn’t do what the officers told me to do, I said the answer was simple—I knew exactly what was in the house. It was my husband of thirty-seven years. I wasn’t afraid of what was in the house. I was terrified of what was outside the house. I did not obey their commands.