Sunday, January 20, 2008

Eight shots in the night

I was sleeping soundly last night when shortly after midnight, I was awakened abruptly by the sounds of BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM (pause), BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. I know how many "booms" there were because even though not fully awake, I recognize the sound of a gunshot and I replayed the sounds in my mind and counted that there were eight shots fired. I guess I count in case I am ever asked. (After serving on a jury last year, I noticed details like that are important.)

The shots were so loud because the action was taking place at the apartments right behind our house (the same apartments pizza places do not deliver to after dark). I did not move. Our bed is positioned between two windows, so to move would be putting myself at risk. After a minute, my husband came into our room (he had been on the computer in the kitchen, right in front of a window). He said when he heard the shots, he hit the floor (that should tell you how loud they were).

He left our room and I continued to lay there listening for police sirens. Oddly enough, no sirens ever sounded. I'd say within about four minutes of the shots, I heard a bull horn and a voice saying, "Put your hands out the window and surrender your weapon." They must not have complied because bullhorn man repeated what he had said a second time.

Evidently, my husband slipped outside at some point to peer through our fence and see what was going on. He said there were about four police cars outside surrounding a vehicle. They had two people out of the car and up against it with their hands on the vehicle and they were getting patted down. I don't know what (or who) they had been shooting at, but I suppose more info will be on the news today.

After that, I really had a hard time going back to sleep, but not because that was unusual for our neighborhood. For a while, we were hearing shots weekly and the police helicopter flying overhead was only remarkable on the weeks we didn't see it. They did get security at the apartments behind us within the last four months (we know because it was in the news) and that has cut down on the problems dramatically.

They say the safest place to be is in the will of God and I do believe it. I love my little house and my big yard (my yard is so big we could fit another of our house in it). But I don't go out much after dark and I do pray for safety and protection over us coming and going. That's really the only way I can leave my house is by leaving everything in God's hands.

As to why I couldn't get back to sleep, I think it was a combination of things--adrenalin, trying to remember the details so I could blog about them today, and maybe, not quite being able to shake the feeling that for those three seconds, I didn't feel safe.

But today (after seeing there are no bullet holes in my fence and no crime scene tape anywhere), it just seems like a bad dream. The light chases the dark away (in more ways than one), and I'll go get my shower because I really need one as much as I need to do the praying while I'm in it. I skipped yesterday (What??? It was a Saturday.) and I definitely feel the need of both today.

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