11:15 pm. I have the lights dimmed and sit comfortably upon a couch that's battered and broken and longing for the junkyard. I should have gone to bed, should be wrapped within a comforter thats warm and inviting and instead I watch "Fact or Faked Paranormal Files". I'm not sure what possessed me to watch such a show during my husbands night shift. I know myself better than this and could predict a sleepless night ahead of me; the dark blanketing my mind with it's oppresive presence, every creek and moan a threat that tip toes in the gloom. Despite the prediction of a long a weary night I was focused and amused, entertained by the possibilites of ghosts, ghouls, and Alien visitors. With the ringing of the phone my focus shifted quickly from the horror of the paranormal to the horror of reality. I swallowed hard. I have three children under the age of four; the phone never rings past 9 o clock. I knew immediately something was wrong.
I stood in my kitchen paralyzed, phone within my hand, the call display revealing my husbands cell phone. Would I answer and find his voice or a strangers? Being a wife of a police officer I know too well the consequence of the job. The sleepless nights and worried mornings, the possibility that at anytime during a given shift I could get that call; the one in which death whispers through the line, wicked and hoarse, a chuckle beneath it's strained intonation.
I prayed it would be his voice on the other end of the phone, his voice describing some awful event, his voice murmuring that he was okay. His voice because anything else would spell out some nightmare I would never be ready to live.
I answered on the fourth ring and his voice answered back. It was trembling and incredulous -my relief was shortlived and promptly obliterated as he described a horror I am still trying to process.
A close friend went through a violent and wicked hell. A nightly visitor, an unexpected attack, a brutal crime worthy of local news headlines.
I lay awake in bed staring into the pitch of night - the fear of the paranormal slinking away sheepish and ashamed - I pray silently to a God I'm not sure even exists for how can something like this happen? How can the oppressive pitch of night - that suffocating dark - birth something more than imagination? How is it that a true and deadly threat tiptoes in the gloom, fierce and unforgiving, clammering eagerly for disaster - for tears?
There are never any answers for the evil that skulks cowardly through so many lives. Nothing that satisifies...
Sometimes...I really hate this world.