It came at 12:21 AM on Christmas day. We had just had the perfect, cozy Christmas Eve. We decorated the tree. We pooled our mutual creativity to make a tree-topper; one we hope to have for years. Hell, I even had a thimble full of egg nog. The night felt warm and twinkly and silent. We were brushing our teeth.
I thought I heard something. I peered out of the bathroom to listen closer. I heard it again. Someone was knocking at our door. Not once. but twice. then thrice. getting slightly more frantic each time.
Our apartment is small. You can hear all creatures stirring. We shut off the light and I tip-toed away from the door. Whoever it was, we were not answering. Joe got out a sharp implement and put it in arms reach.
We waited. It kept going. Each knock ruined another part of that wonderful evening. I began to fill with dread. I whispered “either someone we know is in trouble, or someone we don’t know, is.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses? Not at this hour. And on Christmas? Our neighbor friend was most likely out of town. My mind raced. Maybe our car was on fire downstairs (which happened on our block to someone one Thanksgiving) and someone was coming to tell us? Who would be so bold as to knock at this hour. And on Christmas? In our neighborhood, I knew it was not carolers.
As I fell asleep, I obsessed over it. My half-awake mind thought it would make a nice story about Santa. But then I doubted Santa would walk up 4 flights. WHAT was I thinking? Lucid dream craziness.
I woke up the next day still thinking about it. This time with a clearer head. And it scared me even more. I am still thinking about it. I am so conclusion-jumpy I know. And its always the worst. The city does that to you. I cant help it. Maybe someone just had the wrong apartment or maybe they needed a cup of confectioners sugar. Maybe we could have helped. But it certainly was not fucking Santa.