Shotgun Awakening

When I was 16, concluding the last day of my freshman year of high-school, my car broke down on my drive home from the last day of school. I walked to a friend’s house in the area to use his phone to call my parents to ask them what I should do. I think we had a AAA membership at the time.

I had stayed overnight at my friend’s house several times and had become trusted by his parents. I knocked on their door several times but no one answered. I had seen my friend break into his own house several time by reaching through the mail-slot and unlocking the backdoor. For some stupid reason, my sixteen-year-old self decided that it would be OK for me to reach through the mail-slot and unlock the door so that I could use their phone. They wouldn’t mind, right?

I reached through the mail-slot and unlocked the door, turned the handle walked right in. Immediately, a shadowy figure sprung from behind the door, pinned my throat to the wall with one hand and pointed a shotgun at my eyeball with the other hand.

I had no idea what was going on. I impulsively started trying to de-escalate the situation. While I was being choked with a gun pointed in my face, the assailant repeatedly screamed, “Don’t F&(K with the (redacted) family!” Subsequently, I calmly convinced him that I wasn’t a threat.

As it turns out, my friend’s older brother had just returned from serving in the military overseas. He was treated for PTSD shortly after this encounter.


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