I heard someone come in the door but I didn’t hear the normal rustling of keys that comes with Keith when he gets home. Then there was eerie silence. I had taken Wolfgang, our hyperactive dog, to daycare so that I could get some work done. I was regretting that decision.
I walked over to the office door and listened then decided to deploy a tactic that I’d practiced several times, “Hey, babe. I’m upstairs. I just finished cleaning my gun, come on up,” I yelled. Still nothing.
“I wish I really had a gun,” I whispered, slowly closing the office door.
I got my cell phone to call 911 but hesitated. I didn’t know if it was an emergency, it could be Keith down there. He could have lost the angel attached to his keychain that made his arrival obvious. I could potentially be putting my husband in danger by labeling him a burglar and calling the police. I texted Keith instead.
“Wher R U?” I waited.
The notification alert startled me.
“@ da gym, Y?”
“I think someone is in the house,” I whispered into the voice texter.
It ended up reading; “I think sometimes I want a mouse”.
“What? LOL, a mouse??!!”
I stopped responding, there was no time to explain.
I found my neighbor’s number in my contact list, he would be home, I thought.
“He probably saw the thief coming in, with his nosy butt. Although nosy would be helpful right now,” I said.
“Hello,” he answered.
“Jerry, I think someone is in my house.”
“Yeah, there is,” he was oddly matter of fact.
“Oh my, God, gotta go, calling the police!” I ended the call and started to dial 911 when I heard a bellowing voice calling my name.
“Noel, don’t call the police, I’m in the house!”
I sat still, crouched in the corner between the wall and the bookshelf.
“I came to let the dog out, remember? You said you and Keith would be late getting home.”
I heard his boots clopping up the hardwood stairs and then realized that I couldn’t let him come into the office, my stuff was sitting out and I did not want him to see it. I didn’t want anyone to see it or know about my secret.
I struggled to get up, wedged in my spot. I grunted and groaned until I was able to wiggle out. I kicked the bookshelf in anger. I scurried over to the desk drawer; the one I kept locked at all times. I almost had all of the stuff packed away when he opened the door.
“I forgot to tell you that I didn’t have to work late so I’m just here doing stuff on the computer. Research. I’m doing a little research stuff,” I said with my back to him.
“Okay…” he knew I was lying, “What is that?”
“In your hand.”
“Oh, something Keith left sitting around. He gets on my last nerve,” I pushed the discs into the drawer.
“Is that a Chris Brown CD?”
He came closer and stuck his hand into the pile and pulled them out one by one, “Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Lil Wayne…what are you doing with this crap!” He held them above his head so that I could not snatch them from him. He was too tall so I gave up.
“I like it, okay? I love it! I like listening to music with mindless lyrics and nice beats. I only pretend to like that damned Jazz that you and Keith love. Sometimes I want to hear a dude call a girl a bitch and not feel bad about it because you know what? Sometimes we are bitches! I want to…I want to say the N word without feeling guilty that I’m freaking contributing to the degradation of my own race! And by the way, I like to do the dance moves too. From the videos? Yeah, I know all the steps to Loyal and I don’t care who knows. Now get out!”
I turned away from him and pulled the CDs out of the drawer, neatly stacking them on top of the desk. There were no more secrets to hide. I felt free.
by m. e. nash