I have never been afraid of the dark – until now.  Growing up with multiple siblings and having more pranks played on me than I can remember, it is surprising that I was never afraid of the dark.  It was only a few days ago when I realized I am now afraid of the dark.  What brought this fear to life?

I picked my daughter up from after-school care and when got home, it was already dark.  We went into the house to begin our evening routine.  A friend of mine called. As I was speaking with her, I walked outside, down the sidewalk to check my mail.  I flipped the light on the stoop before I went down the sidewalk, so I could easily see to get to the mailbox and back.  As I started back up the walkway, I caught a glimpse of something from the corner of my eye.  I quickly looked up to see a man I had never seen before standing before me on the sidewalk. 

He was standing between me and the house – the house where my five year old daughter was waiting for me.  In an instant, panic swept over me.  I began to run through a million scenarios in my mind.  With my friend on the phone, I asked the man “Can I help you?”  He gazed at me for a minute and said “My car broke down up the street, and I was wondering if I could borrow some tools.”  I am not sure if he really was looking at the phone in my hand, as I was looking into the light from the stoop, or if it simply appeared that his eyes were fixed upon it.  I said “I don’t have any tools, but my husband should be home any minute and I am sure he would be happy to help you.” 

After saying this, I walked past the man and into the house.  I could feel his eyes watching me as I walked past.  Cold chills ran over me.  I was so scared.  I went inside, closed and locked the door.  The next ten minutes seemed like an eternity.  When my husband arrived, I asked him if he saw the man outside.  He replied “I didn’t see anyone outside.”  I described what had happened and he said “There are no broken down cars on the street, and no man anywhere to be seen.”

With the economy being what it is, many of the homes in my neighborhood have undergone foreclosure or have been rented.  I am really not sure who is in my neighborhood anymore.  I realize this entire scenario could have been avoided if only the front of my house had been properly illuminated.   I spoke to a professional at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and scheduled a consultation.  Now I don’t have to be afraid of the dark.