The Hooded Bandit
When a nurse's visit turns into a crime story
When I was working for a Visiting Nurse Company, I visited 7-8 home-bound patients a day.
One rainy day getting out of my car I put my black coat's hoodie on and walked up to the apartment building. A few seconds after I got out of the elevator on the third floor, the lights went out.
The hallway turned pitch dark, and I couldn't see anything. Great! They forgot to change the battery in the emergency lights. I fumed. But at least, I didn't get stuck in the elevator.
I took my small penlight out of my uniform pocket and made my way to apartment 3 C to visit Mrs. Jones who was recuperating after her knee replacement. A few seconds after I knocked on the door, I heard the shuffle of her walker and then the click of the peephole cover followed by a loud scream.
"Get the gun, Joe!" she yelled and screamed again. "There is a hooded bandit at the door!"
"No, no, no!" I tried to assure her. "Look!" And to make it sure she can see me, I shined the flashlight on my face.
Her scream coming through the locked door pierced my eardrum. "Joe! Get that f****ng gun, I tell you!"
My heart thumping in my throat, I didn't wait for Joe to get his gun. I raced down the hallway and found the staircase. Tumbling down the half-dark stairs I finally reached the main floor and ran to my car as fast as I could.
When I got back to the office, I called Mrs. Jones. "You're not gonna believe what happened!" she blurted it out before I could say anything. "A bandit in a hoodie and mask had tried to break into the apartment when the lights went out. You said you were coming, but you were lucky not to be here when that criminal tried to break down the door. I scared him away, though. I screamed and Joe got his gun, but by the time the police got here, he was gone."
While she was talking, I kept thinking. She probably phoned all her friends and family members by now with her story, so if I told her I was the "hooded bandit" at her door, she'd be a laughing stock in her circle, for months.
"I'm running a bit late today, Mrs. Jones. I'll be there after lunch." I told her, but I called the police station and confessed to the officer and I told him not to look for the "bandit". The officer had a good laugh and promised he would tell Mrs. Jones only that they couldn't find the intruder.
Erika M Szabo, author of epic fantasy, alternate history, sweet romance, suspense, and cozy mystery novels and short stories as well as fun, educational, and bilingual children’s books