I was awoken in the middle of the night by a noise. It sounded like TheDog getting into something in a ceramic dish on the counter.
I sprung out of bed with the intention of scolding her. By the time I got to the door of my bedroom, and the squeaky floorboard, I realized TheDog was sound asleep on the floor at the foot of my bed.
My heart leapt into my throat.
I returned to my bedside table to grab my cell phone. Again crossing the squeaky floorboard. That's when I heard the flip-flap of the doggie door.
I stood there frozen. Listening.
Various thoughts swirled in my head. Could it have been a person? In my house? Or simply a raccoon? Perhaps a squirrel?
I talked myself into believing that it was only an animal. That would account for the ceramic bowl with food in it moving on the counter.
I crawled back into bed. Cell phone in hand. Too nervous to fall back asleep. After lying there for a while, I got up and got ready for work. For the most part forgetting about my 4am visitor.
I left my purse on the back of my seat at a restaurant for 5 minutes. I quickly returned to retrieve it. The very nice owner had found it and placed it behind the counter himself.
I quickly did an inventory when he returned it to me, and found there was cash missing. A bit of cash. I asked him if he had opened it for any reason, he and another customer assured me he had not.
I left annoyed. How could someone do that. Then lie about it. Particularly the owner of an establishment frequented by my coworkers and me. I realized, though, that there was nothing I could do.
I woke up early Saturday morning to work on a present for my sister's best friend for her shower that evening. A book of advice and wisdom for the soon-to-be-married couple.
I wanted it to be perfect. She grew up with us. Her mom died when we were in about junior high, and my mom was there for her. She's like another little sister to me.
In assembling the words of advice from their family and friends, I realized I'd forgotten to scan in their newspaper announcement. And I couldn't use the clipping, I needed to return it. I decided I could quickly take a photo of it, then print it. I went to grab my camera.
It wasn't where I was certain I had left it.
I looked everywhere, even places I would never put it. That's when I got a sick feeling in my stomach. I took a quick inventory of everything. Nothing else appeared to be missing.
I thought back to when I was last certain the camera was there. Monday morning. When I took the card out to upload Father's Day pictures.
To when I was certain it wasn't. Wednesday evening. When I tidied up for Girls' Night.
How unobservant could I be? My camera. The one "thing" I truly love. Everything else is replaceable. I know a camera is, too. But mine is not. Not really. They no longer make it.
Someone was in my house. In the middle of the night. They took my camera. Probably the money in my purse. They may have taken more if the squeaky floorboard hadn't scared them.
They could have easily walked up the stairs to where TheDog and I were. I haven't slept since this realization hit. I'm not sure when I will feel safe enough.