During the past few years, I have come to identify a few sounds within my house. The only reason I can now tell you that the refrigerator makes ice around seven p.m., all the upstairs doors sound like they are opening when the air conditioning stops its cycle, and where the floor creaks in certain spots is because I have listened intently to every single noise in my home to make sure that one particular noise is never heard: the sound of one of the external doors opening and someone (that is not my family member nor my friend) coming in to steal stuff or to steal me.
So, yes, I can now recognize most of the sounds that “go off” within my two-story abode and even some that go on outside my home like the sound of sticks, acorns or pine cones falling on the roof or the crunching of our gravel driveway when a car pulls in. There are some noises that still catch me off guard though. For instance, sometimes my dad gets up at bizarre times during the night and I am never ready for that. I'll be roused by his movement and I'll still my breathing for a second so that I can listen closely to the footsteps and opening and closing of doors to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is taking place. Frequently, I'll wake up in the middle of the night and I can't go back to sleep so I lay there listening... to everything. Things I don't normally hear in the day I can hear at night, such as the ticking of my clock or the whirling hum of my fan or the rustle of leaves outdoors. Those are all pleasant sounds. The ones that aren't so calming are when the walls creak for no apparent reason or something falls or crinkles or drips when it shouldn't be doing that.
I'm not sure what I'll do if one of these times I hear something abnormal and can't pinpoint it. I'm always listening and am only peaceful when everything sounds normal. But, when something doesn't fit, my heart starts beating and I wish for the light of day to pour in and reveal everything that is hiding in the dark. But, even in the day, when I am all alone at home all the noises that resound throughout the house keep my ears busy. I think that is one reason I don't listen to music when I am home alone... then I wouldn't be able to hear "it" coming.
I wonder why I was born with such an acute sense of fear?