Caitlin, The Burglar And The Suitcase...

I have never been able to figure out why Caitlin is so afraid...of EVERYTHING (or as she puts it "afraid of the world"). Perhaps girls are just more easily frightened than boys or maybe the boys scared her when they were all younger...who knows? Whatever the case may be, this kid is scared of her shadow.

Everyone who knows Caitlin, knows that she is so skiddish that she makes someone either come stand at the door when she walks out to her car at night or actually walk WITH HER. I suppose her fear is a little difficult for me to understand, because I was a "Latch Key Kid", even before there was a name for it. I would get off of the bus in the afternoons and walk up my long, gravel driveway, remove my house key from its hiding place and go inside and get started on my homework until my mother got home from work. This was no big deal for me. Perhaps there was just not as much crime or coverage of it back then; I never thought that anything bad could happen to me. In any case, Caitlin does not like to be "home alone" ever. She says that, someone might "get her"...whatever that means. One must remember now, that this girl is about to turn 21 years old in December. However, we all do continue to humor her, while she takes this matter quite seriously. That is why I am very surprised that she shared the following incident with me. Try as I might...I could NOT stop myself from laughing.

A couple of months ago, we were up and getting ready for church. Robby and I were about to leave and Caitlin would be following a little later. Still getting dressed in her room, I informed her of that and she replied, "Lock the door when you leave!"...I said, "OK" (as if I didn't already know to do this). We have always had an alarm system in our home, but only set it before going to bed at night; simply locking the door during the day usually will suffice. Everyone, including David and Codi who were visiting for the weekend, met at church. After the service was over, we all dined out for lunch and eventually made it back home. As usual, I went over to the phone to check the Caller ID to see if I had missed any calls or had any messages. Upon doing this, I noticed that the security company had called; this alarmed me. They only call if there is an alarm that goes off and I knew that the security alarm had not been set. I panicked, thinking that maybe the fire alarm had been triggered. That's when I went in search of Caitlin to see if she had been home when the call had come through. Indeed, she had been.

Upon inquiring about the security company call, Caitlin got this wide-eyed look that told me something was DEFINITELY up. It seems that after Robby and I had left (and locked the door), she had decided to also set the alarm. After doing so, she went back to her bedroom to continue getting dressed for church. While doing so...the alarm went off; someone MUST be in the house, she thought! Panic set in and she began to quickly assess the situation regarding what she should do. Where could she hide from the intruder? In the closet? Under the bed? NO!...these were places EVERY burglar would think to look first. She considered jumping out of her bedroom window, but couldn't figure out how to open the new interior shutters that I had recently installed. She heard the telephone ringing (the security company), but could not get to it, because she would have to leave the safety of her room. She considered calling 911 from her cell phone, but our service is terrible here and she could not get a signal. There was no escape...she was destined to be discovered! Worried and becoming increasingly frustrated that her time was running short before the intruder discovered her, she glanced around her room and spotted her salvation...a suitcase! She had recently returned from a trip and had not yet returned her suitcase to the attic. Thankfully, she was small enough to fit into it and REALLY...a burglar would NEVER think to look there (Heck! WHO WOULD?). She could hear footsteps coming toward her room and just as she was about to climb into the suitcase, she heard a knock on her door and her name being called. Scared witless, she realized that she recognized that voice...it was David! Jerking her bedroom door open, she lit into him!

David was as amazed at her reaction as I was by the tale, itself. He explained that he had only stopped by to pick up a few items that he didn't want to forget, before heading to church. Of course, she was relieved that it HADN'T been a burglar intent on "getting her". However, it HAD been a very close call...if only in her mind!

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