I always lock doors. I love when a house has an alarm system. I watch out for anyone in our neighborhood that lingers. I have fear in my heart.

When I was a tiny toddler my mom’s dear friend Ellen loved me. She took me in her arms everywhere she could. She had a bright smile, shiny hair and a kind easy laugh. I was in elementary school when Ellen’s two teenage children were murdered.

I think I was 7 years old. My mom told me the story: Ellen’s son and daughter had walked home from school, to their house in the country, think wide open spaces, deep woods, dirt roads. A man was in the house in the process of robbing them. There was something about a gun. There was something about her son trying to protect his sister. There was something about a bed. There was something about the daughter being found naked and dead and bloody in the shower, I was told she was trying to “seduce” her attacker, her murderer. It wouldn’t be until much later that of course I knew, this poor girl was raped. And there are more details that my memory protects me from.

I like doors locked. I watch people everywhere I go. I listen to my gut. I have fear.