the man in the closet

May 3, 2017
By , shawnee mission, KS

I got home from high school at around 3:15, a typical tuesday. I came home, got a snack, and got back in my car to drive to the families house that I was babysitting for. I babysit for them once or twice a month, so this was nothing new. I arrived at the house at 4 o’clock, the kids were waiting for me at the door. The house was massive, two stories with a pool in the back, big marble countertops and clean white cabinets. It was the type of house that you are almost afraid to touch something because it could break. The kids gave me a hug when I walked in and began to tell me about what we were going to do tonight. The parents left for their dinner meeting and we began to play hide and seek, this was the kids favorite game. After playing for about an hour I made the kids dinner in the white modern kitchen. Jack, the boy, was 11 so he ate whatever, but Ella, the girl, was a little bit more picky. I proceeded to make dinner as they bombarded me with questions. Ella asked, “what is for dinner” and I told her, “frozen pizza”. She screamed with delight because pizza was her favorite food. The kids ate the pizza and when they were finished I cleaned the kitchen very carefully making sure nothing was left, while they watched TV.

While I was cleaning the kitchen I thought I heard a sound upstairs. I tried to not think about it trying not to get myself scared in a house like this. I joined the kids and watched TV but I couldn't get over the noise upstairs. We watched TV for another twenty minutes or so until I heard the noise again. I got as much courage as I could and headed towards the stairs. I walked up the long curved stairs and slowly walked down the hallway. I checked the rooms as I got walked past them, everything seemed fine, until I got to Ella’s room. Her window was open, which was odd because it was cold outside. After standing at the doorway for a minute or so thinking, I started walking to the window to shut it when I realized that there was muddy footprints leading to the closet. I immediately ran back down the hallway and flew down the stairs. I got the kids and took them to hide in bathroom and locked the door.

Whoever was upstairs realized that I knew they were there and walked down the hallway and down the stairs. I could hear the person thumping his shoes on the clean hardwood floors until he reached the carpet on the stairs. He then walked down the stairs and headed into the master bedroom, thankfully heading the opposite direction that we were in. I whispered to the scared kids that they had to stay quiet and that it was all going to be okay, even though I really didn't know if we would make it out of today. We sat in silence for what seemed like hours waiting for a sound of footsteps. I tried to think of a plan in my head of how to get the kids out of the house. Where was the nearest exit? Where was he? How fast can we get to the door? Where is my phone? I need to call 911 I thought. I checked my jacket pockets and pants pockets but it was not there. Then I checked the ground to make sure I didn't drop in on the floor. I couldn’t find it, this couldn't be happening I thought to myself. This has to be the worst day of my life.

All of the sudden I could hear his footsteps again, I was scared. So scared. He was heading towards us, closer and closer, until he stopped. I tried to imagine where he was in the house, but I was having a hard time. The footsteps continued and he was coming nearer and nearer until his hand reached for the bathroom door and tried to open it, but I had locked it. He laughed and walked away from the door, he then tried to kick the door open. It wouldn't budge. He grunted with annoyment and walked his way out the front door back to wherever he had his stuff. I talked to the kids to try to come up with a plan to escape.

First I had to find my phone to call 911, then we had to get out of the house. I asked the kids which door was the closest to get out of. They replied and said the garage door. We all slowly crept up and inched our way closer to the bathroom door. I unlocked it and slowly opened it. I looked out the front window and saw the man sitting in his car. We had some time I thought, we could make it. I glanced around the house and saw my phone on the kitchen counter. I told the kids to run to the garage door and wait in the garage for me where my car was. I grabbed my phone and ran to meet them. We got in the car and opened the garage door. I drove as fast as I could and had Jack call 911 on my phone.

As we rounded the corner out of the driveway, the man jumped out of his car and ran in front of mine. I stopped as fast as I could trying not to hit him and drove as fast as I could through the yard to get to the street. As I drove away I saw the man get in his car and drive the opposite way from me. I breathed a sigh of relief and continued to drive to my house.

We arrived at my house and ran inside. I told my parents what happened and we called 911 again to tell them we were okay and what our new location was so they could get the details of the man. I then called the parents of the children and told them everything and that we were okay. They thanked me for keeping their children safe and that they would get the windows new locks! I was relieved to hear that the family was okay. I went to put my phone down when I got a call from an unknown number, I answered, wondering who it could be. The man on the phone said, “you’re lucky you got away, i’m coming back for you”. I recognized the tone of the voice from the man kicking the bathroom door. My room suddenly felt cold as I realized this day would not end so happily after all.

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