Yep. There was another shooting. It wasn't directed at our house this time but it was half a block away and my husband was outside when it happened and saw the entire thing. Seven bullets flying down the street. If the guy had turned around and decided to take out the witness standing there in a bright white shirt illuminated by the streetlight...things could have been even worse.
Once again if things had happened just a little differently I could have lost one of my guys.
After the first shooting, Shelby made this comic using an app called Halftone as a way to lighten the mood and try to calm our family's nerves. There was no calming anyone down this time though.
I heard the popping noise and instantly thought that it sounded like gunshots but I was really hoping that I was just being paranoid and it was actually fireworks. Seconds later though Shelby rushed inside and told me to go to the basement. Right then I knew that once again the nightmare had become a reality.
He ran upstairs, grabbed Jeremy out of bed, snagged the pistol and they headed to the basement as well. Jeremy was a little more shook up this time. I'm not sure if it was because he was snatched out of bed while he was fast asleep or if he realized that once is an "accident" and twice is a problem. Whatever the reason, he was calm enough to get in the basement but the tears came shortly after. He was scared and he was upset because he didn't have his beloved stuffed animal to hold on to. It was sitting on the dining table and he was worried that it may have been shot. He calmed down a bit once he realized that none of the bullets came into our house this time.
Once the cops were on the scene we put Jer back to bed and we all prayed for God to keep us safe, hoping that it would make him feel okay enough to go to sleep. As soon as we came downstairs I burst into tears and told Shelby "I can't do this again." After sobbing for a few minutes I half-jokingly said, "This weekend sounds like a good time to move, right?" to which he seriously replied, "How about we move tonight?" Apparently right after it happened he started thinking about moving and was trying to figure out how he could convince me to move during the middle of the school year.
We discussed it for about a minute and decided to do it. We considered leaving in the morning but knew that none of us would be able to sleep in that house ever again. So we considered getting a hotel somewhere in the city for the night. Finally we decided that we were wired and may as well just start driving and get a hotel whenever we started getting sleepy. We quickly threw some clothes into bags, loaded up the car and left town before the cops pulled away and any retaliation shots could be fired. We stopped at a place half-way and stayed there for about four hours. Just long enough to grab a couple hours of sleep, take showers and hit the road again so he could make it to the main office with enough time to do some work that had to be finished that day.
So far everyone has understood completely but I can imagine that some people think we are crazy for skipping town in the middle of the night. We really felt like it was the only option though. During the drive we were listening to Three Days Grace and heard the line, "If you want to get out alive - go run for your life." That's pretty much how we felt about the whole situation. We barely made it through the first shooting. I couldn't open the curtains for two weeks because I felt too exposed and like I would be giving the shooter a better target. We were finally able to return to "normal" somewhat but it was still miserable and we didn't feel safe. We had a plan though and we were putting in our time until we could move and do things the "right way".
However, another shooting exactly eight weeks after the last one (what is it about Thursdays in that neighborhood anyway?)...and we had to get out. We were worried about retaliations and the block errupting in a war with us stuck in the middle of the gun fire. So we left with no real plan other than staying with my parents for awhile. Jer came out of his room while we were packing and we explained to him that we were going to live with Nana and Papa for awhile so we could be safe and that he would never have to come back to this house again. We stopped for gas before leaving town and he thanked Shelby repeatedly for taking us away so that we could be safe. After jabbering for the first twenty minutes of the trip, he finally felt safe enough to fall asleep again.
We still aren't exactly sure what happened that night. We don't know who the shooter was, who he was shooting at, why, or whether either one of them were found. We also don't know if any more shots were fired later that night. All we know is that the police found the shell casings and that they had some guy in handcuffs and they were patting him down. We may never know what actually happened that night. Just like we will never know what happened the first time. All we know is that we are going to get out of there and never look back.
It has been four days now and we still aren't really sure what is going to happen. Shelby's boss is trying to get the rental house ready for us and until then Jeremy and I are staying with my parents. Shelby will have to spend time back in Minnesota tying up loose ends at work and packing up the rest of our stuff but I believe the plan is to bounce around between friends' houses and only go back to our house when absolutely necessary. And never on Thursdays. ;)
These first few days haven't exactly been pleasant and I have been in tears at least once a day. Between the trauma of being a part of another shooting so soon after the last one, facing the possibility of loosing our house to foreclosure, not knowing how long I will have to be apart from my husband, and having recurring nightmares about being gunned down in my own home...things are pretty rough right now. Once again, every time I hear a loud noise outside my heart starts racing and I panic thinking that it was another gunshot. Moving back in with my parents has also been rough because I just want to be able to go on like normal and pretend that everything is okay but I can't. I don't have hardly any of my belongings, I don't have my routine, and Oh! that's right, my husband picked up a new dog as an (unwelcome) surprise the day before everything happened so I also have to deal with training a new pup while in someone else's house when I am already just about as stressed out as possible.
So...yeah. Life is pretty shitty right now. The worst part is that I have no idea when things will get better. It would help just a little bit if I had an exact date to look forward to and know that my family will be together again in our own place but I don't have that. All I can see right now are lots and lots of dark days of suckiness. But! We are all physically okay and that is what really matters. Everything else may suck for awhile but we will make it through and we will still have each other which is our whole reason for moving in the first place.
Anway, sorry about missing the link party today. We are still trying to get settled in at my parents' house and I honestly didn't feel like dealing with it right now. I will try to get it back up and running next week though. Since I don't have my craft supplies, my kitchen or my camera, the posts around here will probably be pretty sparse for awhile. On the plus side, once I feel up to socializing again I will have more of a chance to interact with everyone! I have been so busy getting ready for the move that I scheduled some posts to keep things going here but it has been way too long since I have actually had a chance to respond to comments and emails left for my site, much less leave comments on anyone else's. It looks like I won't have much else to do for awhile though so once I get my emotions in check and am feeling more social, I should have plently of time to visit you all. :)