Last night after work, Sarah dropped me off at my house as usual, and as usual, I went straight to the kitchen because that's where we keep the food. Once I reached the back of the house, however, the thought of enjoying a tasty snack was abruptly driven from my mind.
The back door was open. As was the back window. The dogs? Nowhere to be found.
I felt the all-too-familiar sense of panic creeping up my arms and legs, but did I succumb to it? Did I allow the fear to take me over? Not this time.
"Time to Rambo up," I thought to myself. I used the fear as fuel to move my body at thrice my normal speed. Using kitchen towels, I strapped the contents of my knife block to my chest, including the scissors, 'cause let's be honest - when I'm backed into a corner, I like the satisfaction of knowing my weapon has both stabbing and severing capabilities.
I moved through the house like a prowler, crouching low and dropping into the occasional barrel roll whenever I heard something that startled me. Time lost all meaning; the only thing that mattered now was protecting my dwelling place.
Suddenly, I heard the metallic thud of a car door slamming; heavy footsteps coming toward the house; the screech of the screen door being wrenched open. It was time. A bloodthirsty scream tore up my throat as I ran toward the door, arms raised high over my head, paring knife clenched between my teeth, ready to silence this intruder forever - but something about the face stopped me in my tracks. Beyond the look of shock and horror, there was something I seemed to recognize; something almost...familiar. The brown of those squinty eyes...the unkempt neard...could this be a phantom from some past existence? From a time when there was more to life than mere survival?
And then all at once, everything came back to me in a rush of color and sound. The first time we kissed. Our wedding day. All those nights spent sitting on the cold, hard kitchen tile trying to force feed our dog hydrogen peroxide so he'd throw up whatever non-food items he'd eaten. Not only did I know this man; I loved him.
It hasn't been easy, but things are slowly starting to feel normal again. Sure, at times I'll relapse and start tearing into a steak before Gary's had a chance to cook it, but he just smiles, gently pats me on the head and removes the bloody hunk of meat from my hands, being careful not to get too close to my teeth so as not to lose another finger.
P.S. Little to none of this story is true. What actually happened was that I sat crying on the floor for about ten minutes before Gary got home with the dogs, whom he'd taken with him while he ran a short errand. He hugged me and apologized for having forgotten to close the back door while I sobbed and dripped snot all over the front of his t-shirt...but that just doesn't make for a very interesting read.