Each night the woman sat at her second floor bedroom window. She loved staring out into the darkness. She always did this before going to bed. After a long day she would look down at the street, sky: everywhere, because at night it was different. During the day things were hectic and noisy. Nights were peaceful and serene. Her husband never chided his hard working and loving wife: whatever made her happy. He went to sleep.
One night as she visually scanned her neighbor’s front yard and all the perimeter bushes that divided their properties, like she usually did, she caught sight of an odd shadow out of the corner of her eye that caught her attention. Something wasn’t right. The shadow of a much larger bush that lay in silhouette from the streetlight out front appeared altered.
She leaned in, straining her eyes. Was something there? The shadow moved slightly. Was she imagining things? Should she tell someone? She sat very still in her darkened room and waited… It felt like forever, but was merely minutes. The shape appeared to be a crouching figure. Could it be? Better safe than sorry, she thought.
She woke up her husband. Slowly and still groggy from sleep, he finally came over and took a look at where she pointed. There was nothing there but a shadow. She retold her story. Her husband had never seen his wife so upset. She was convinced someone had been there and was concerned for the safety of their neighbor, who sometimes came home very late with merchandise from his store. Her husband told her, that if it would make her feel better, the next day he would go over to their neighbor’s house and repeat her story to him to see if he wanted to notify the police.
Another hectic day passed and the woman sat at her window in the dark staring out once again. She sat in relative silence for about an hour. Things were so peaceful and quiet she had almost forgotten what she had witnessed the night before. But then she stilled… She detected movment… That same odd shadow behind that same bush. There was definitely someone there, crouching. But then events unfolded in seconds before she could react. A familiar car drove up the street and turned into her neighbor’s driveway: her neighbor. She glanced back toward that bush. That crouching figure was stirring. Her eyes frantically veered back toward her neighbor’s car. He stepped out…
The figure leapt from the bushes. It was too late for the woman to scream to warn her neighbor. But then a policeman appeared and the assailant was pinned to the ground. Her neighbor was safe. When it was all over, her neighbor called her. He couldn’t thank her enough. That man behind the bush was carrying a large knife and could have killed him. That woman, my mother, loved sitting at her window staring out at the night…
That’s why Samantha Jamison, my protagonist, always warns, “Expect the unexpected.”
And I say, “Remember, everyday is a blessing. Never take it for granted.