For three days and two nights, I had the house to myself.
Fifteen years ago, I would have spent months planning what to do for those precious 72 hours. It would be glorious. I wouldn’t need two dinner options to please everyone. I would go to sleep in my bed and wake up in my bed. I would get the bed all to myself. Best of all, the house would stay clean.
But “today me” wasn’t nearly as excited as “15-years-ago me” about this prospect. In fact, “2008 Becky” would slap “2023 Becky” for writing this next sentence. I’m a little … scared.
Jay was out of town on a work trip. And this trip would leave me alone at home for the first time since our nest emptied. Elphaba and Shep were my only charges. Suddenly, our home in the country, tucked away and sitting off the road, appeared vulnerable to what I feared most as a child … monsters. I thought for sure if those monsters existed, they would take me out well before the age of 49. Side note ... I also thought quicksand would play a significant role in my demise.
The day he left, I kept myself busy at work. To kill more time, I decided to take an evening yoga class. After class, I picked up takeout and then headed home.
Thankfully, my little brother called, so I kept him on the line while I opened the door and walked around to check and make sure the coast was clear of anything monster-looking. Just in case an intruder was lurking behind a door, in a closet, or under the bed, I said things to Tony really loud, like, “No, I’m afraid I won’t be at the family barbeque this weekend. I’m teaching that tactical training class and then cleaning my guns. No, not the small guns, Tony. I use those every day. The big guns. The ones with the pointy bullets.”
I did my best with my limited knowledge of firearms. Tony told me that if anything, my words informed my imagined assassin that I do not clean or use guns and that I don’t know the proper names for bullets. So, he or she wouldn’t have to worry about a John-Wick-like encounter. I might as well have a bullseye.
That night I enjoyed my takeout while rewatching “Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.” I tried to watch “Taken” for tips (just in case), but it only made my anxiety worse. Before bed, I ensured all doors were locked and set the alarm. I added a reminder on my phone to turn off the alarm before leaving in the morning. Since Jay is the first out in the morning, he usually takes care of the alarm.
The next day, I poured a cup of coffee and then headed to work. The coffee was gross. I never get the measurements right. Coffee is also Jay’s job.
The second night was more successful than the first. The only tweak I made was leaving the outside lights on. My thinking was it looked so dark that an assassin/monster/whatever would know I was home alone and have no problem casually entering the house to “assassin me.” Outside lights make it look like there’s a party with a lot of people inside cleaning guns.
Jay came home the following evening. All was back to normal. I made it. I missed the big guy. He’s the person with whom I’ve shared the highest highs and lowest lows of life, and after nearly 25 years of marriage, I still enjoy his company. Even if we aren’t in the same room, I like knowing he’s here. While we are undoubtedly self-sufficient, we are better together.
His next trip will be easier for me … because I am an adult. And next time, I’ll have a Keurig.
Have comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Telling Tales is written by Wilson County’s Becky Andrews and Angel Kane.
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