Just Like a Movie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

August 3, 2011
One morning four years ago my mother came into my room to wake me for school. She asked if I had opened a door that was ajar. I was really tired, and had no idea what she was talking about. Suddenly I heard my father’s voice. It felt like slow motion and seemed like I was in a movie when he said, “We have a home invasion.” It didn’t register, but then I saw an unfamiliar man holding a gun to my brother’s head. I felt sick. The man must have been six feet tall, and looked very strong. He wore a red bandana around his face, and plastic gloves.

Before I knew it, he threw my brother out of the way and pointed the gun at me. He demanded, with anger in his voice, that I come to him. I did what he said. He put his left arm around my neck and pressed the gun against my right temple. I felt the coldness of the metal against my head and, from his trembling, his apprehension.

Looking into my mother’s eyes and seeing her fear, I knew she was no longer in control of my life, or her own. He told us if we did not give him our money and jewelry he would shoot me. I had $300 in my wallet from my Bar Mitzvah. Without hesitation, I gave it to him. Time slowed. I didn’t want to know this was reality. I waited to wake up. We watched him trash our house looking for more jewelry and money. He took some valuable items that had always been in our family.

My mom was begging him not to hurt us. He told her to cooperate and nothing would happen. The next words I heard were about at me: “You have a nice boy here. You wouldn’t want anything to happen to him, would you?” This frightened my parents, as well as me. My brother must have been scared. He started to quicken his pace. The man angrily commanded he slow down. Every time he yelled, the gun pushed harder against my temple. It started to hurt, but I was not worried about the pain. I was worrying he might pull the trigger. Is this the end of life, here and now? This thought traveled through my mind and pierced my soul. My main question was, “Why?” I thought I would be hysterical and crying, but for some reason I was the calmest person there. I did not say a word the whole time he had the gun on me. I just did what he said, knowing I had no power. I prayed to God, begging for our lives.

When my dog began walking around, the man got scared. He pointed the gun at him and told my mother to put him in a different room, or he would shoot him. As my mother obeyed his orders, the man brought us to the garage and opened the trunk of our car, making us get in. It was tremendously cramped with four of us in there. He told us if we got out, he would shoot us. My mother kept asking if I was okay. It felt like forever as we laid there, wondering what would happen next. All of a sudden I heard a car pull up. Someone honked the horn, and I realized it was my school carpool. I hoped they would just drive away and not tell their kid to knock on the door. Finally, I heard the car leave. A few minutes later the man came back and told my brother to get out of the car.

The trunk was less cramped. I started to shiver, not from cold, but fear and worry. I heard the phone ring, but then that stopped. My father and I couldn’t take it any longer. We had to escape. My father opened the trunk and told me to run to our neighbor’s. I ran as fast as I could, not noticing my dad’s car was missing from the driveway. I banged furiously on the door, yelling for mercy. At last a man opened the door. I couldn’t talk straight, but he eventually understood and called 911.

My mother ran to me and her face told me something was terribly wrong. Tears were running down her face as she yelled and screamed. I will never forget that moment. She grabbed the phone from the neighbor and yelled at the operator, “He took my son. He took my son.” My stomach dropped.

Five minutes later three police cars surrounded the house. It felt like a movie, and my mind was trying to find the director, but this was real. The detective took pictures of the mess while the police talked to my parents and dusted the house for fingerprints. Everything seemed to surround me. My friends were at school smiling and laughing, with no idea what I was going through. Finally my parents checked the answering machine, and found a message from my brother. The man had dropped him off downtown. The police picked him up, and our family was reunited.

Returning to my room that night was difficult. The fear came back; my hands shook furiously. This is where it all started. I looked through my possessions to see what he had taken. Suddenly I came across a silver necklace my friend gave me for my Bar Mitzvah. Hanging from the necklace is an ancient symbol to protect and bring good luck. It came from the great land of Israel. At first I didn’t know how this Mezuzah brought good luck, but after thinking, I realize it brought me the best luck anyone could ask for. It protected me. It also gave me a memory to help me be more aware of my existence. After this horrible experience, I see how much I have in life. I appreciate everything, especially my family, friends and memories. Life flies by; no one knows when it will end.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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hiddenangelz211 said...
Jan. 6, 2012 at 10:20 am
OMG! That is so scary! Last year, my house was broken into , but nobody was home when it happened. I remember not being able to go anywhere in my house without thinking "somebody was here, someone I don't know was in here." It took me almost 4 months to finally sleep with my door closed again! I can't imagine the terror of not knowing where my brother was! I hope you overcome your fears and I hope they catch the man who robbed you!
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