It was Monday. A typical Monday. I woke in the same position I do every day, lying on my right side, facing the alarm clock. It read the exact same time it does everyday when I awake, 5:35 AM. Typical.
Typical, but not ordinary. Something clearly was off, different. I tuned in to the sounds around me, the ordinary morning sounds. The early traffic going by the house, the heat on in the baseboards, the cat sighing heaving as my slow movement disturbed his perfect slumber, curled around my feet at the bottom of my bed.
All very typical. All except for the fact that as I listened more acutely I heard water running in the bathroom down the hall.
Water should not be running.
I lived alone.
Not typical at all.
I froze and continued to listen, and as I listened I became more and more frightened. There was more than water running, there were footsteps coming down the hall towards my bedroom. Slow footsteps, trying to be quiet, but failing due to the creaks of the old wood floors.
My whole body was in full alarm mode. I began shaking, breathing rapidly, and felt my heart beating in my chest. I slowly started to reach for my cell, thinking I could call for help, but then realized with horror that I was helplessly frozen. I was so utterly terrified that I couldn’t move. I felt the tears fall down my face. The cat abruptly sat up, bolted off of the bed and slid under it to hide.
With sinking despair, I squeezed my eyes shut, clenched my jaw tight and waited for the door to swing open. I heard it hit the wall with a sudden force. The intruder wasn’t trying to be quiet any longer. The game was over and I had lost.
A sharp sudden pain struck my side. I couldn’t breathe. Darkness, deep and thick fell upon me, grabbed ahold and took me under. My last thought was for the cat.
I don’t know how much time had passed, but I was suddenly able to open my eyes. The first thing in my sight was my alarm clock. 7:05
I jumped upright and felt instant panic. I shook off the nightmare that had kept me in its grips well past my time to get up.
I was late for work.
It was Monday.