It was a flitting, fleeting thought. A run of the mill momentary, eh, I change my mind. A non-decision really, so inconsequential or so it seemed at the time.
I was running late. I was headed to a party. I had been gone all day and stopped at home just long enough to pick up my car and part ways with my then-boyfriend (now-husband).
I had ice cream in the fridge inside, just up the driveway, a few feet from where my car sat parked under the shade tree by the curb.
"I'll see you tomorrow," I said to him. "I'm just running inside for a minute and then I'll be off."
And then...I just didn't. I don't know why. I didn't hear a voice or feel an inkling or anything. I just didn't go inside.
But I could have.
And I planned to.
But I just didn't.
And who's to say that non-decision, non-incident was anything but an ordinary Saturday September 7:08 p.m.?
But it sure feels like something when your friend's husband's phone rings two hours later as you're eating pie and having a grand ol' time and give a rather puzzled smile as he passes his phone halfway around the room to you and says, "Um, Sara...it's for you. It's Adam. He's been trying to get a hold of you."
"Hi!" you say into the phone and immediately alarms go off between your ears and your brain scrambles to keep up as you recognize the sheer panic in your boyfriend's voice at the other end of the line saying words like "break-in"..."your bedroom"..."police"..."so glad you're okay."
And you ask about your roommate (Yes, she's okay) and you apologize for having your phone in your coat pocket--the coat you took off.
And you start repeating these strange words back to him and have to walk outside into the suddenly scary night where you start to cry and wonder what if...
And you feel so exposed and so violated and you can't help but wonder the un-knowable--was it the area's serial rapist? Was he watching me? Was he already inside? What if what if what if...?
And you wonder about the other girls and you wonder how you'll ever feel safe again and you jump a million times a minute for days, weeks, months on end and you think about that vanilla ice cream, untouched in the freezer.
And you'll never know.