by Bill Kelly
May 24, 2006

Hi, c’mon in. I need to show you something.

This is Julie…… Yes, she is very pretty when she sleeps. Can you believe she worries about her weight? …… I know. It’s crazy.

Don’t worry about making noise. First, she sleeps like a log. Between being a full-time nursing student and working at a halfway home for people with disabilities, she stays very busy. Secondly, if we could wake her now, maybe she could stop …. well .. you’ll see.

No, no. I’m okay.

Well, you see. Right now, her phone line is being cut. This trailer actually belongs to her brother-in-law. He lived here as a bachelor. When he married her older sister, they moved to an apartment. They plan to build a house on this land someday, but…. well … they might change their mind.

Yeah, the trailer is pretty old. Her brother-in-law couldn’t have gotten enough to make it worth selling. It wouldn’t have rented for enough to make it worth the hassle of dealing with renters. When she finished her freshman year in the dorms, he offered it to her rent-free. Her dad built the deck in the back. He built it in sections back home and hauled it up here in his truck. He and her brother-in-law assembled it.

It works pretty well for her. She’s about twenty minutes from campus and fifteen minutes from work. She never had the time, money, or inclination to join a sorority. Even regular apartment life can have more distractions.

You heard that? Yeah, so did I. Julie did too. See? She’s stirring; opening her eyes.

The guy who cut her phone lines just broke in the back door. It really didn’t make that much noise. The doors on these trailers aren’t very solid. The one bad thing about the deck is that it gave him a little more solid footing when he did it.

He’s walking into the living room pretty carefully. He’s not really worried, he’s just spent so much of his life sneaking around that he’s always a little stealthy.

Yep, her eyes are wide open now. She’s not certain whether she heard something or whether she just had a dream. Yeah, her teeth are chattering a little.

He sees the extension cord running from the socket to the lamp over her favorite chair. That’s where she likes to sit when she reads. The lamp cord didn’t reach any outlets from that corner. He’s unplugging the lamp, but he decided just to jerk the cord from the wall.

Yep, she heard that. She’s picking up the phone, but there’s no dial tone. He already took care of that. She sits up in bed. Unfortunately, her cell phone is in the kitchen with her purse. It might not matter. The real phone would have instantly told the police where she was, and they could have been here in ten minutes. With the cell phone, she would have to give the address. Speaking clearly when you’re this terrified isn’t easy. Maybe the police would get here and maybe they wouldn’t.

She wishes she had listened to her father. He wanted her to bring a gun. He taught her to shoot a couple of years ago, and she knows how to handle his old .38 pretty well. Still, she refused to bring a gun.

You see – Julie’s only 19, and the federal government has now made it a crime for 19-year-olds to have a gun. No, she realizes that if she kept quiet about it she’d probably never be caught or never prosecuted if she were caught. However, she believes in obeying the law, and she doesn’t want to take a chance on having a criminal record.

The guy walking down her hall with a knife in one hand and the extension cord in the other is 19 also. He can’t legally own a gun either, but that wouldn’t stop him. The only reason he doesn’t have a gun is that he doesn’t need one for what he has in mind.

According to our government, Julie can have a gun in two years. Unfortunately, ….. no, I shouldn’t say that. It isn’t a matter of “fortune,” “luck,” “chance,” or anything like that. This situation resulted from a deliberate decision by our government.

What I was going to say was that Julie doesn’t have two years. She has about forty horrible minutes.