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markdohle

A not so boring night

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A not so boring night

I was 12 or 13 and went for one of my jobs as a baby sitter in Gulick Heights, I would like to say it was a dark and stormy night, but actually it was a typically hot, but very calm evening as I went for this job. I forget the name of the family since it was 44 year ago and I only worked for them twice.

They lived in a four family apartment building, pretty much like most of the other buildings in my neighborhood. The only difference is that these apartments only had one bedroom, so they were mostly for those without children, or else had an infant that slept in the same room as the parents.

The evening started out ok, the infant was no trouble, I had to feed it when it cried and of course the inevitable cleaning and diaper change. I read, watched some TV, oh yes and raided the fridge a coupe of times, well perhaps three, cokes and potato chips, and they also left some fried chicken for me, with my name on it, my reputation preceded me I guess. Also the little baby was fun, it had gas a couple of times so I burped it, and then it cooed at me for about 30 minutes while I babbled at it, easy going baby, not always the case for those who did this kind of thing when young teenagers. I swear some infants have an unlimited supply of tears; they just keep flowing and flowing, sort of like the Eveready rabbit.

It was 3AM and they still had not returned, no problem, it was a Friday and the young parents often stayed out late at the NCO club that was on base. At that time I was in the kitchen cleaning up from the meal that I made (my third) when outside the kitchen window (the apartment was on the top floor), I heard some men talking in very low tones.

There was no wind so it was very quiet at that time. The carport was empty, only one apartment was lived in at that time, and since one light was on in the house, the bathroom, I thought perhaps the men thought the place was lived in, but no one was home. The low talking continued, urgent sounding, when suddenly I heard footsteps approaching the fire escape that goes directly from the ground to the kitchen were I was at.

Funny how loud your heart beat can become when you find yourself in that kind of a situation, BOOM BOOOM BOOOOM it went, my breathing became shallow, and I started to panic. Then I thought of the infant in the bedroom and suddenly it all went away and I thought I have to protect the baby, since I did not know what they would do if they entered. The kitchen was dark, there was only a small light over the sink, and so I turned the light off, moved over to the knife drawer and pulled out a very large butcher knife, and went over by the fire escape entrance and waited. My plan was, if one of them entered, I was going to simply kill him with the knife. At the time I was not surprised, it seemed the most natural thing to do since the baby in the bedroom was in need of my protection. As the climber got closer to the opening, the calmer I got, and waited. Just as the man was getting to the opening a car pulled into the carport. There was a sudden scramble as the men slide down and ran into the forest.

When the parents came in I told them about what happened, without bringing the knife into it. The father insisted on walking me to my house since he was worried about my safety.

After I got home, calmly got ready for bed, lay down and as soon as I feel asleep, had one of the worst nightmares I ever had. The knife played a big role in the dream. I woke up gasping and saying to myself, what the hell were you thinking (!) and then feel back to sleep and was ok.

To this day I wonder if it was simply my imagination, the whole event, perhaps I was a little nervous that night for some reason and just thought I heard the voices, the climbing up the ladder etc. I guess it is not important, what gets me is what I was willing to do to protect the child from harm imagined or not. I guess 12 year olds have a paternal side as well, or perhaps men and women are really warriors in disguise when it comes to protecting the helpless, no matter their age.

Edited by markdohle
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I have been there mark several times. Young people can be utterly amazing.

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I have been there mark several times. Young people can be utterly amazing.

Yeah, we never know do we, until something happens.

peace

mark

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You did what was right.who knows what would have happened if they did not come home at that time

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You did what was right.who knows what would have happened if they did not come home at that time

Yes, it was a good thing. I know I would have tried to protect the child.

Peace

mark

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