The Violation

Yesterday started like any other day.  It was a bit overcast, and we had been up late so we were feeling lazy.  The newest farmer’s market opened at noon, so the plan was to go there and see what we could see, then come home, have lunch and nap.

We left around noon, just as the rain started (of course).  Went to the farmers market anyway, only to find them lacking in the things I wanted, mainly bananas.  I still managed to spend about $15, but got precious little except soaked jeans and a soaked toddler.  I decided to hit the grocery store before heading home.

Coming down the street I could see our driveway through the hedges in the empty lot to the west of our house.  There was a dark vehicle in the driveway.  I was confused.  I wasn’t expecting anyone.  I was still heading toward the house, but I slowed way down, my brain trying to figure out what was going on.

As I neared the driveway I caught sight of someone sitting in the vehicle, which was backed in to the driveway, at the top near the garage door.  He caught sight of me, as well, and pulled out of the driveway in a hurry, turning right in front of me and hurrying off.  Still not understanding, I made metal note of the license number and some characteristics of the vehicle.

I pulled into the driveway and looked at the door.  Open, but not all the way.  I could see the locks and latches disengaged.  I had locked that, hadn’t I?

Things suddenly started to make sense.  I ran to the door, car still running with daughter inside.  Opened the door and looked in: things missing, furniture overturned.  I ran back to the car to get my phone, trying to dial 911 with shaking fingers.  A veritable army of officers showed up 5 or so minutes later, though it felt like a lifetime.

He broke in through our bedroom window and went out the front door, scooping up small electronic gadgets, probably coming back for our TV, though he may have taken that first.  The TV, a laptop, two Kindles, my husband’s high school diploma (???), the DVR, a DVD player, some sundry other items including a wallet with no debit or credit cards in it, just my drivers license.  The screen to the window was mangled almost beyond recognition, and we’re still finding glass everywhere.

As I lay in bed last night, long after the glazier had left and my husband’s team won the national championship, I wondered where this man had been.  He had dumped out my husband’s top dresser drawer, and chose the top drawer of my dresser closest to the bedside: dumped and strewn.  A small keepsake box on my dresser was emptied of its contents, high school keepsakes scattered everywhere, my National Honor Society ropes in a tangled heap.  I tried to imagine him moving through our bedroom.

I think about all of the stupid things we’ve been putting off: switching the renters insurance over (not done, so no coverage, I’m sure), getting the security monitoring to the house started (though we just talked about this a month ago) and keeping track of serial numbers (something I’ve never done).

I remember initially talking to the police officers, then calling my husband.  As he answered and I told him what had happened I felt guilty, like this was somehow my fault.  He doesn’t feel that way and seems surprised that I do.

I also keep wondering what if.  What if I’d decided to come home earlier?  What if instinct had kicked in and I’d tried to block him in to keep him from leaving?  What if I’d confronted him?  Things could have gone so differently.

The stuff may be gone but we’re fine and I’m happy with the way things turned out.  I don’t hold my breath to get our stuff back, but you never know.


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