Man of the House

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Growing up, watching the news with my mother was a nightly occurrence. The only stories I ever remembered hearing were about bad things happening; rapes, holdups, and break-ins topped the list. I was absolutely terrified that my house would get broken into. It’s a quaint little home and even though I completely and utterly loathe it now, when I was little, I thought it was just perfect. I thought that my house would be a gem for any psychopath who needed to ruin peoples’ lives.

I was worried. I was sure that on any random night, my house could become suspect to a terrible crime. I thought for a long time about things that I could do to help protect that ugly little abode. I realized that no one in my family would be able to save me. Since my dad’s snoring was so loud, he wouldn’t be able to hear someone creeping about our house. My mom was in the same situation since she shared a room with my dad. I was sure my sister would sleep right through it as she did her alarm clock every morning. I was stumped until one Saturday morning a few weeks later. I was busy warming the bench for my baseball team when an idea hit me. Literally.

Travis, the coach’s son, thought that he was the best on the team. (He was. I just despised how cocky he was.) One could say that I was going through a porky phase of my life, wore large round glasses, had a buzz cut, and that I was terrible at sports and all of that is true, especially the last part, but it didn’t bother me that I wasn’t athletic. I was perfectly happy being the last batter every single game and striking out every single time. Travis thought he could boss me around and give me a hard time since I was the benchwarmer and he was one whole year older. Being the easygoing kid I was, I didn’t mind it. I just pretended to listen to everything he said, shook my head when I felt it was necessary, and kept quiet. At this Saturday morning game, I was especially spacey, so when the coach told me I was in the hole, I didn’t do anything. When he told me I was on deck, I didn’t move. When he shouted that I was supposed to be at the plate, I remained seated. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful, I just had a lot on my mind; after all, I was five years old! Anyway, Travis decided that he would swing his bat at me to get my attention. He ended up hurting my leg, but after shedding a few tears, I realized I was really happy. I finally knew how I could help protect my house from intruders!

That night, I made a stop in the garage before brushing my teeth and getting in my jammies. I picked up my Louisville Slugger and headed to bed without anyone noticing my being gone for a few minutes. I hid the bat under my bed. My dad tucked me in that night and read me a story, as per the usual, but as soon as he left, I got out of bed and got my bat. I was determined to stay up all night long. I had to be the man of the house…at age five.

Back then, in my book, “all night long” meant until about 11:30. Maybe I’d stay up until midnight if I was hopped up on Juicy Juice and a Hershey’s bar. During the few hours I managed to stay awake though, I was able to plan out what I’d do if someone broke in. I’d jump out of bed, but remain silent (that was important) and would sneak up behind them. If it were a man, it’d be especially easy. I knew right where to hit him. If it were a lady…well…it’d be a man.

I remember one night when I thought that there was someone in the hallway right outside my room. The floors were creaking more than they usually did and I was confused. Everything that I had taught myself about self-defense was useless by this point. I decided that I would try locking my already closed door. I thought, since I couldn’t see out my door, the person wouldn’t be able to see me. All was well! I put one foot down on my floor, forgetting that it too made odd noises, and heard a thunderous creak.

I froze. I stood still for what seemed like forever, thinking I would hear the person in the hall moving. I didn’t hear anything though. I convinced myself that they too were standing still, waiting to see what I’d be doing. I thought that now I’d most definitely be able to scare them off and have some good batting practice. I want to say that I hoped they were still there so I’d be able to bash their brains out, but that’d be false. I was hoping, praying that there would be no one there because they mysteriously vanished. But as I took another step towards my door to see if that was the case, the noises started again. Naturally, the five-year-old me started screaming and running around in a state of panic. To my surprise, my dad woke up and came running towards my room to see what was wrong. I explained that there was someone in the hallway and that I tried protecting the family by sleeping with a baseball bat.

He laughed uncontrollably.

I cried.





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