I was awakened abruptly by the sound of the front door being closed forcefully. You have to slam my front door for it to close all the way. Someone had slammed it. Many times I’ve been awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of something that could have been a door, but this time, I knew. You know how they say when it happens, you’ll know? Well, this time I knew. My eyes had popped open as the sound of the door in the otherwise quiet house echoed in my head.
I jumped out of bed where I had been sleeping hard. I had been asleep for around forty minutes. I slung my headlamp over my shoulder because it was the first light I was able to find in the darkness. I also don’t want to be wearing a target around my forehead when I’m clearing the house. Then I grabbed my pistol and turned on my bedside lamp. As I’m standing there naked by the bed, my red-haired wife rolls over and says, “What’s going on?”
“It’s go-time, babe.”
I chambered a round. I rarely chamber a round when I’m clearing the house at night, because usually, I’m pretty sure I heard something that just sounded like it was in the house. I go back and forth on this with my military buddies who tell me you should always keep one chambered because it will save you precious seconds in the event of a contingency. But I favor safety over tactical preparedness in this situation, because I have curious kids.
Anyway, I knew this time I had heard the front door, and this time, I was probably going to draw down. Someone would probably end up getting shot. I took a deep breath and opened the bedroom door, starting down the hall. If someone was in the house, they knew I was coming. I didn’t announce myself vocally, but racking my slide had been more than enough to let someone know the temperature of the house.
When I got to the main entry hall, I heard a car speeding away heading east down the street. I glanced over at the front door to see if it was split, broken off the hinges, or unlocked. It was none of those. But the car was heading east. I live in a cul-de-sac, so that car would be turning around to exit the neighborhood. I deliberately left my headlamp on so someone could see their entry had been observed, and the car stopped directly in front of my house.
At this point, my tactical senses started giving way to cognitive thought, and I realized that whomever my target was had a key. And there was now a package inside the front door. Someone had opened the front door (with a key), set something inside, then closed (and locked) up, and driven away. It was a toy. A HALO 3 toy. Oh.
Wait. Today was my son’s birthday, right? And only one person outside the family has a key to the house. And that person texted me as I was going to bed, saying happy birthday to Bay. And that person’s Jeep Wrangler is now idling just off the sidewalk in front of my house. Oh. Okay. So I almost shot my friend.
“What’s up, Siege?”
Well, I didn’t almost shoot him. I almost engaged him tactically. Fortunately, he’s one of my military buddies (wait – all my friends are veterans…) so he knows my rules of engagement. That would explain why he got in and out before I was even able to get down my hallway. And he probably warned me he was coming, too. He’s a sharp guy – he knows how not to get shot.
I let him in and we stood there talking for a few minutes about the scenario, and how he had texted me telling me he was coming to make the delivery, and oh – did you not get my text? and so forth. I began to feel a little better about the situation. Until he says, “Okay, naked guy with a gun, go back to bed.”