It was exactly 11:28 at night when I looked at the clock. My parents were both asleep, and I had
just finished studying for a History test. I searched my closet for something to wear to school the next day.
When I nearly fell asleep on a pile of clothes, I decided that this would be a task better accomplished
the next morning. I stumbled to the bathroom with self-pity, and vindictively hoped that my history
teacher was suffering as much as I was. After groping around in the dark for the light switch, I began to
brush my teeth, keeping the water pressure of my sink as quiet as possible not to wake my parents. Finally,
after turning on the security system, I got to bed, and began to imagine the dreadful grade I would receive
on the next dayís exam.
Suddenly, I heard a noise. I remained silent and held my breath for a few seconds listening for
any other sounds. However, I did not hear anything other than the leaves rustling outside my window, so I
decided that the noise was coming from the icemaker downstairs, and tried to fall asleep. All of a sudden, I
heard another noise. "How much ice does that thing make?" I wondered.
For the next five minutes I lay still, waiting for any other suspicious signs of an intruder, and even
though I got them, I continuously blamed the icemaker. I had good reason to assume that there was nobody
downstairs, because we had a security system installed that included a motion detector. Nevertheless, my
mind turned traitor to my logic, and I began to imagine all of the possibilities of the near future. Many
nights of my fifteen years of life were spent in such fear; but equally many nights my imagination was
stopped short when I fell asleep. However, that possibility was eliminated tonight. I would not be able to
fall asleep even if I were on medication.
By now, I was sure that there was somebody downstairs. My logic was satisfied with the fact that
our motion detector was heat-sensor activated, and I began to pray that this unwelcome guestís temperature
would rise. The next ten minutes seemed like an eternity. My mind started to wander into a mental
asylum, and I began to picture headless chickens chasing apples with guns under their wings. Then, I
somewhat regained my sanity and remembered "Home Alone." I wondered if criminals were as stupid in
real life as they were on television, but I realized that even if their career paths were not wisely chosen,
their position required some skill.
The way I felt that night was surprisingly similar to the feeling I got when I thought that a spider
was sharing my pillow; but the thought that a burglar was a bit more dangerous than a bug, magnified that
feeling fifty times. I shut my eyes, hoping that this would all go away, but the tighter I shut them, the
closer the intruder got. I heard him climb up the stairs slowly and quietly. Suddenly, I realized that if he
was making an effort to be quiet, then he thought that I was still asleep, and maybe would steal around me.
Even though I was in a fidgety state, I was saving up all my twitches for one big turn, in order to assure the
villain of my sleep.
Now that I was somewhat comforted, I started to imagine the criminal tripping over my shoes, and
falling with a loud bang. What excuse would I have then for remaining asleep? Then, I remembered my
parents, and realized that they were actually sleeping. I feared that if they were to wake up, they would be
too dazed to understand their situation, and alert the prowler. My mind was so concentrated on such ideas,
that I hadnít realized that the robber was in the hall. He crept into my room, and began to look through my
desk. I could not believe that this was really happening.
My fear was not as well-hidden as I thought, and out of nowhere, I gasped. I had not realized that
I stopped breathing. I quickly decided that this was the time for me to make that big turn, and I covered up
my mistake by pretending that I was having a bad dream. The robber stopped and stood still for a minute,
until he was assured that I would not awaken.
I soon stopped acting, and lay still facing the wall. He could not see my face, and I foolishly
decided to open my eyes. As I was opening them, I noticed my mistake. In the silence, everything was
audible, especially to an ear as attentive as a thiefís. He had heard my eyelashes brush against the pillow,
and in an instant, he had his hand over my mouth. I was waiting for my whole life to flash before my eyes,
but I was too scared, to picture anything. Suddenly, I heard a loud boom, and I was sure I was dead. That
was the only reason I could think of for his letting go of me. Then I saw that he not only let go, but he was
on the floor holding onto his leg. I looked around the room, more confused than ever, and saw my dad
standing in the doorway holding the gun that the intruder dropped in the hall. All of a sudden, I heard my
alarm clock, and after turning it off, I looked back at the doorway. My dad was still standing there, but he
was not holding a gun; he was holding a shoe. The same one that I had been looking for the night before.
"Here," he said, "it was under my bed."