Night visitor

At 3:00 a.m. last night, our doorbell rang. I got up to go to the door, wondering who might ring our doorbell in the middle of the night. Pranksters? Someone in need of urgent help? What if there was a fire?

I opened the door and looked outside. No one was there. Pranksters, then, I thought. But then I saw movement off to the right—someone coming back toward the door, seeing I had it open. Suddenly I panicked and shut the door and locked it.

A second or two later, whoever it was tried to open the door. Since it was locked, he turned and turned and jiggled the doorknob for what seemed like a long time. Then he switched to knocking.

Heart pounding, I called for Jon Boy. He came to the door. We tried looking out the windows, but we couldn’t see anyone there. We don’t have a peephole, so we couldn’t tell if he was still on the doorstep. Jon Boy opened the door a crack again. Whoever it was had disappeared.

We tried to go back to sleep and forget the whole thing, but my mind was racing. Where had he gone? What if one of our neighbors had opened the door, and he had forced his way in? Who was he, and why was he in our yard? (Our duplex is located in the back yard of another house. To get to our front door, you have to go through one of two gates on either side of the yard. Even then, we’re not right inside the gate.) Why had he tried to just come in instead of knocking? If he meant us harm, why had he rung the doorbell first? Was he sleepwalking? High? Drunk? Crazy?

Eventually I decided to call the police. I had practically nothing to tell them. At that point I didn’t even know the would-be intruder was a man (I do now). But I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I knew our neighbors were safe and he was truly gone.

An officer came less than a half hour later. I explained what had happened, and he said he’d check the area. I didn’t hear from him again.

I stayed up and read until I thought I could sleep, then lay in bed for about half an hour more before Lego woke up to nurse. I finally fell asleep around 5:15, I think.

This morning, Lego and I went outside to water the flowers and vegetables and to play. There was a backpack leaning up against our duplex wall. I opened it and found an empty pill bottle, another pill bottle, a hat, some miscellaneous items, and a woman’s wallet. Inside the wallet were a lot of cards and an ID card for what I assume was our visitor. He had the most terrifying smile I believe I’ve ever seen outside of a movie. I felt relieved, once again, that I had closed the door on him in time.

Outside the gate from the alley, near where we park our cars, was his bike. I called the police again and let them know what I had found. They sent out an officer about half an hour later, and he took the backpack. He wouldn’t take the bike because I couldn’t say I was 100% sure it didn’t belong to the neighbors. Presumably he took the backpack to the address on the guy’s ID card.

The story I’ve made up to make myself feel better: The guy was out for a pleasure bike ride at 3:00 a.m. Or maybe biking home from work. He is mentally ill. Either he overdosed on his pills (thus the empty bottle) or he ran out earlier and didn’t take a pill he needed. He got lost and parked his bike in the alley. He went through the gate, thinking he was at home or maybe a friend’s house. He rang our doorbell. The end.

I did talk to our neighbors today, and they said they didn’t hear anything last night. So apparently he singled us out for whatever reason. Also, they said the bike isn’t theirs. I guess I need to call the police again. *sigh*

All in all, it wasn’t as exciting or terrifying as it could have been, but I’ve been feeling a bit freaked out all day.


  1. Scary. We had a few weird visitors when we lived in Orem. Thankfully nothing weird has happened since we’ve lived here.

  2. Even if he had been completely harmless, I’m still freaked out on principle. And it made me realize a couple of things: (1) the phone is as far from our bed as can be, and you have to go past the front door to get to it, meaning that rushing to call 911 is difficult, and (2) we’re pretty much defenseless if someone did break in. I’d always been pretty undecided on the issue of owning a gun, but now I’m seriously considering it.

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