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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

“Where Does the Time Go?” Two Perspectives


The car left the driveway; at 8:15; the same time as every day. I watch as the blue van pulls out of the driveway and onto the street. I wait until I am out of sight of the rearview mirror, then I open my car door and cross the street. I scan the front of the house again. No cameras can be seen. I have never seen any here before, but you never can be too careful. 

“Lovely morning isn’t it.” I hear a voice from behind me. I turn and see an older woman walking her dog.

“Yes, it is.” I walk by her and head up the driveway. She seemed old, she hopefully won’t remember she ever saw me. The backyard of this house is well-kept. The flower beds have all been watered; the grass is cut low and weedless. You can tell someone manicures their yard. In fact, someone does manicure their yard. A lawn service company comes every Thursday from 12:00 to 14:00. 

I carefully step up to the porch careful not to disrupt anything or leave any trace of my existence. The door to the house appears just as it did yesterday. There is an alarm; however, I think I can disable it by electrocuting the keyhole. If I can’t, I can run into the acres of the wooded park behind the house. 

Before trying to enter, I take a deep breath to collect my bearings. “You have no other option. You have to do this. They won’t even notice anything is gone.” Out of my pocket comes a small unnoticeable lock pick. It is one of those fancy ones with a mini electric current to disable alarms. I check my watch; 8:20. I only have about 10 more minutes before someone comes home. 

I discreetly open the door and gently turn the handle. I give the door a little push; it swings open. It opens, and I wait; no alarm. I walk into the house and shut the door behind me. My eyes scan the interior. 

It’s Immaculate. I have been told by others that this place is full of curiosities to pillage. They never mentioned the character of the house was stunning. I am only standing in the kitchen, and it is 1000 times more eloquent than any house I have ever been in. From prior experience, I know most of these people put their valuables in their bedrooms. I walk through the house trying not to get distracted by everything around me. 

I make it up the stairs and to what appears to be the master bedroom. Inside I find my way to the closet and in it, what appears to be a vault. I take out the lock pick again and work on opening it. After making no progress on my watch I see the time; 8:29. I have to get out now. I close the cabinet door to the vault and hastily make my way out of the bedroom. 

I rush down the hall and reach the stair chase. I set my eye on the front door. It is riskier, but I have a better chance of making it out. I make it halfway down the stairs, then I hear her, “Oh my god!?”


“Have a good day,” I say as I wave to them getting out of the car, “Wait, Lisa, you forgot your lunch.”

“Oh, thanks mom,” she replies as she grabs it and runs away. 

I watch as they run into the school before I quickly pull away. No need to stay around and talk with the other parents. I feel like they only talk about their children and their spouses. I never feel like there is anything to say about my children, and I’m sure no one wants to hear me complain about my husband, even though I would very much like to do that.  

I have driven to the school and back so many times; it feels like I almost don’t have to bother paying attention to where I’m going; I just know; it’s like an instinctive feeling. As I pull into the driveway, I look at the clock; 8:27. I’m home early today; the extra time to myself is always a plus. 

I place my key in the door and notice it is unlocked. I must have forgotten again. I can almost hear my husband’s annoying voice, “If you leave the door unlocked you inviting robbers to come in.”  

I walk in, throw my keys on the table, and head into the kitchen. Something feels off; I can’t tell what. The house seems eerily silent. I feel like I should creep through it with caution. I look at my reflection on the shine of the stovetop; I look like a mess. I decide to head upstairs and take a shower. 

I pass through the dining room and jaunt into the entry hall. The morning light shines perfectly through the stained glass windows above the door. Behind me I feel a presence; I turn and, “Oh my god.” Behind me, there is a man. He is small in stature and very thin. Not the intimidating predator you might expect to see in your house, but still terrifying. 

He freezes in his tracks, and I freeze as well. For some time neither of us moves. Then he turns and runs up the staircase. I don’t know what comes over me, but I follow him up the stairs. He is fast, but so am I. The main hallway of the second floor is very long; when the evening light hits it just right, it looks like something straight out of a horror movie. I am afraid if he makes it to the other staircase, I won’t catch him. Without even thinking about it, I grab a vase from one of the tacky side tables and throw it straight toward him. Finally, my high school career as a softball pitcher is paying off. 

The vase hits him square in the back, causing him to slump down onto the floor. I could call the police, but that doesn’t seem fulfilling. I run over and crouch next to him. With some sort of new-found confidence, I muster a few choice words to utter towards him. “Who are you?” As I say that I clutch his jacket, and push him over revealing the front of his coat. I rip it open, and inside I see a collection of earnings and jewelry. “So your just a petty thief; how pathetic.” I can see the fear in his eyes. 

Before I can think of something else to say, I hear sirens outside. The home alarm system must have been triggered. 

“At the end of the hallway, there is a staircase and a back exit. Leave, and don’t ever come back again, do you hear me? Don’t think I am doing this out of sympathy for you.” I don’t tell him this part, but I can’t deal with my husband getting mad at me over this, I don’t have the energy for one of our fights. 

I check his pockets for jewelry and watch him get up and head down the hallway and down the stairs. Just to make sure he is gone I walk over a make sure I can hear the door open and close below me. 

I turn back and head down the staircase to deal with the police, who are knocking on the door. I open the door just enough so I can see the officer, but they can’t see in the house.  

“Hello officer, what can I help you with?” I say trying to sound as normal and peppy as possible. 

“We received a call from a neighbor about a loud scream, do you know anything about that?” The officer’s tone is condescending, I don’t enjoy it. My glance is stolen from the officer and goes towards the man walking sneaking through the neighbor’s yard, into a van parked on the street.  

“Excuse me miss; is everything all right?” The noise from his question penetrates my ears, but it does not register in my brain. All I can think about is making sure I can wipe the security camera footage, and clean up the mess before my husband comes home. 

“No. I mean, I don’t know anything about a scream. Everything is fine.”     

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