The Intruder

I awoke around 2 a.m., and I lay in my double bed in our rented spartan apartment and watched a light flickering in the hall outside our bedroom.

I studied the light and goosebumps crawled up my back when I determined that the source was not from headlights but from our balcony. I suspected that someone had climbed on our deck and was shining a light in our apartment.

I was wrong, he was inside.

I quietly whispered to my roommate in the next bed.

“Core, Core, wakeup.”

She rolled over and whispered, “What’s wrong?”

I said, “Look at that light in our hallway, I think that someone is on our balcony. Did we lock the door?”

We usually left the sliding glass door open and locked the screen because we felt safe on the second floor.

“No, I locked the screen,” said Core.

We quietly slipped out of our beds, and I stepped into the hall with Core behind me. My heart throbbed and I sucked in my breath muting a scream when a bright light suddenly stabbed my eyes, and I saw a large figure holding a flashlight. I reeled and we raced to the bedroom and slammed the door.

Suppose the intruder was the rapist who lurked in the canal’s tall grasses and attacked those two girls? Suppose he had a gun or knife?

Our phone was in the living room and cell phones were nonexistent. Our small-sliding-glass-bedroom window prevented escape, and our nearest neighbors had left town.

Our hands, arms, and voices shook and we chattered while we quickly dragged a large, brown dresser in front of our door. Then we flung open our closet and bureau drawers and fumbled through shirts, shorts, sundresses, and shoes searching for a weapon.

We finally spotted a tan and red wooden tennis racket leaning against the wall, and we found a thin brass table lamp and a spray deodorant can on the tall dresser. We planned to hammer him with the lamp and tennis racket and shoot deodorant in his eyes. It was a bad plan, but it was the best that we could concoct.

After about an hour, we slowly slid the dresser aside and cringed when we opened the brown paneled door, and it creaked. We waited, then Core ducked her head around the door frame and slinked into the hall.

She clutched the tennis racket in her right hand and cocked it over her head.  I inched behind with my right index finger on the deodorant trigger,  and I gripped the lamp in my left hand. Core flicked on the light.

Our hearts thudded, and sweat seeped like we had sprinted up a steep slope. Coffin-like silence surrounded us.

Next, we approached the bathroom. Core flicked on the light and we stared at the flowered shower curtain that covered the bath. We slowly entered and wrenched the curtain open and heard a metal screech, but we discovered an empty tub.

We approached the kitchen which opened to the living room. Core flicked on the light and we scurried to a drawer and grabbed long jagged-edged knives.

We looked towards the balcony, and the razor slashed screen and balcony door stood wide open. Where was he?

39 thoughts on “The Intruder

  1. Scary! I often do not like windows on ground floors in hotels and the like, for fear o someone with malicious intent standing outside. Hope you never found hi magain and coukd sleep soundly!

  2. How awful. We got robbed once while on holiday in Jamaica – someone snuck into our room (on the second floor) via the balcony while we were sleeping. Once we figured out what had happened we were mostly happy that we’d slept through it and all we’d lost was cash. I can’t imagine what might have happened if we’d woken up.

    1. I can’t imagine waking up and finding someone in my room, the hallway was bad enough. Thank goodness you only lost cash. I thought that Jamaica resorts were guarded and relatively safe.

      1. So did we. Granted – it was just one bad experience (and we were fine and the rest of the holiday was great) but it was funny how once we figured it out the resort didn’t seem to agree with our version of events and kept trying to suggest that perhaps we had just spent our missing money. I even took photos of the dirty footprints coming up the wall to our patio door. The “spidermanning” up the guy did must have actually been pretty impressive to behold (if it ever actually happened of course).

      2. It is not surprising that they tried to cover it up. You should write about it to warn other tourists, it sounds like a great story. In fact you just game me a great idea to write about my honeymoon in Barbados about 28 years when we had some interesting experiences. Thanks!

      3. Maybe I will write about it – I still remember getting frustrated by the very circular conversation with the resort and cop (who they finally called).

        And happy to give you a post idea! Have to admit – this is the first time I’m trying Yeah Write and reading everyone else’s posts has given me a few ideas of my own too …

  3. So scary! Did he take anything? I am going to go doublecheck that my balcony door is locked right now after reading this. You are brave for poking your head out to check – when I hear noises I am paralyzed with fear.

  4. Yikes! I remember as a kid, my stepmom and I coming home to find the side door ajar. For some reason she decided it was a good idea to search the house herself (rather than calling the police). She gave me her cell phone and told me to call the police if she wasn’t back in five minutes. It all worked out, but had it not I think the intruder would’ve been the unlucky one – she had armed herself with a five-iron.

  5. Oh my god. That is so scary!! I guess you learned a valuable lesson about locking your doors that night, at least! Good thing nobody got hurt.

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