February 4, 2006, was a night like no other.
I hadn’t slept well for some reason and at 3:30 am, just as I was drifting back to sleep, the light in our bedroom went on.
A man was standing by our bed, glaring down at my husband and me!
He had a short haircut and a goatee like our son Tim, who lives in our basement apartment, but when I got my eyes to focus, it definitely was not Tim.
Barrel chested, the young man wore a black sweatshirt and two gold earrings.
“You’re sleeping in my bed!” Anger rose in his voice. “You’re living in my house! I’ve got papers to prove it.”
It was no dream. This was real.
“Who are you?” I asked, “What’s your name?”
“Ron,” he said.
I needed a phone but it was in the kitchen. My husband woke up momentarily but since he is handicapped from a stroke, he could do nothing to help. I had no way to contact my son in the basement.
So it was just Ron and I as the drama unfolded.
“Let’s go to the kitchen and talk about this,” I said, getting out of bed and heading for the hall. I could tell Ron had been drinking because I could smell alcohol, although his speech wasn’t slurred. Strangely enough, I was perfectly calm.
Still angry, Ron followed me to the kitchen.
“So this is your house?” I asked.
“Yes, I paid for it. But I suppose you need your sleep,” he responded.
“If it’s your house, would the police kick us out?” He agreed they would. “Shall I call them and see?”
This was the opportunity I was looking for.
“It’s 911,” said Ron. He quit his tirade about owning the house and relaxed. When I asked him how he had gotten here, he said that the cab had dropped him off at the front door of “his house” and he had just walked in. Then I remembered my husband had let in the cat before we went to bed and I hadn’t checked to see if he had relocked the door.
So I called 911. I calmly explained to the woman at the other end that I had a man in my kitchen who said he owned the house we were living in. She transferred me to the police department.
During our conversation the police dispatcher said, “You sound calm,” to which I agreed and said Ron wasn’t threatening me — he just wanted his house back. I was hoping she didn’t think I was too calm and dismiss this as a prank call.
Ron was completely cooperative, answering questions about himself for the police dispatcher on the other end of the line as I relayed the questions to him. He was 5’10”, 300 pounds (I think he was mistaken about that), 27 years old, dressed in a black shirt and sweatshirt. He then rolled up his sleeve to show me he had a tattoo. He also gave us his full name this time.
Shortly afterward, we heard the door open — it was still unlocked. Two police officers entered.
“Do you still think you own this house?” They asked Ron as he walked toward the door. At this point he had sobered up enough to agree that the house didn’t look anything like his and he gave them his address in the next subdivision.
“I’ve never seen this woman before in my life,” he said, referring to me. He apologized profusely for entering our house by mistake.
In thinking about the incident afterward, I reflected on the fact that I never felt terrified. Part of the reason was that I had been in difficult situations previously with irrational people and had talked my way through them. I knew what to do.
I said it was just Ron and me. That’s not really true. I think God had His angels encamped around me. And getting Ron to agree to my phoning the police? I don’t normally think that clearly in the middle of the night, especially in stressful situations.
I think God gave me the words to say.
Janet Seever email@example.com