It Was Just A Dream, But The Fear Was Real
Ever have a dream that was way too real? To the point where you had trouble discerning reality from the dream? Happened to me years ago, but this particular one still sticks with.
This was less than a year into being married and my wife at the time had to travel often for her job. She was gone almost every weeknight which left me in the house by myself. I'm not normally one to jump at every little sound. In fact, I'm one that turns on the scariest of horror movies on after it's dark and watches it alone.
The Day in Question
That morning I was asleep alone in bed on the second floor. I had woken up, checked the clock, and noticed I woke up about 20 minutes before the alarm was set to go off. Figured I had some time and I was wide awake so I turned off the alarm and laid my head back down on the pillow to relax for a moment before getting out of bed. I laid there and thought I was closing my eyes just for a minute when it happened.
I heard a giant bang and realized someone just kicked in my front door. Before I could even react I heard someone scale the steps loudly, going up 4 or 5 steps each loud step, reaching the top, running into my bedroom, and then stopping and standing above me. Now the bed was right there, immediately next to the door, and I laid facing the door. I was frozen in fear as I could feel a rather large human standing there, hunched over, right above me, so close I could feel their breath on my ear. I laid there trying my best not to react at all. Resisting the urge to shiver or shake, open my eyes, or close them tighter. I laid there completely still, trying to regulate my breathing like I was still sleeping soundly. The whole time I could still feel each exhale on the side of my face while hearing one or two others ransack the downstairs.
Then, as suddenly as it happened, it stopped. I couldn't hear anyone moving, couldn't feel any breath, couldn't feel anyone near me, or any eyes on me anymore. I laid still frozen in fear and pretending to be asleep. I never heard anyone leave, so I was still afraid they were in the house. After minutes of self-debate, I slowly started to open my eyes. Didn't see anything. Started to get out of bed, ready to jump back into the sleeping act at the slightest noise or motion. I eventually made it to my bedroom door that was just slightly open, and I pushed it closed as slowly and quietly as I could before locking it and jumping back into bed. I went back into my act for several minutes, noticing there was no reaction of any kind in the house. Now getting a little more sure I was alone again I unlocked the door, opened it, and started to creep downstairs. I was expecting to see a door half-broken, with what was left swinging loosely from the hinges. Instead, I saw it all in one piece and still locked. I checked the back door, and it was closed and locked as well. I checked every window, even down in the basement, and nothing. Not one thing was out of place from when I went to sleep the night prior. Relieved, I went up to get ready for work, when I finally looked at a clock. Now I thought maybe an hour had passed, but it was nearly 2 and a half hours from when I first turned off the alarm. Despite me thinking I was awake and conscious the entire time, I had apparently fallen back asleep for over 2 hours! Needless to say, I was late to work that day. Luckily I didn't have anything going on that morning and was able to sneak in under the radar without being asked why I was so tardy.
It was all a Dream. Mostly.
While nothing like that has ever happened again, it was such a relief when we got a dog a few months later; and I still tell myself that the dog will react and slow any intruders down in time for me to actually get out of bed and react "next time"...