She lay curled up in a ball staring intently at the door and waiting for it to creak open. It was only a matter of time before it did but whenever it did she would be ready for him.
Then she felt a lump in her pocket and remembered what she had brought along in preparation of him finding her.
Yesenia Barragan was a busy working mom and her daughter four year old daughter, Zoyee, was her whole life. She was always there for Zoyee as much as she possibly could but sometimes life got in the way.
When she was forced to go away on a business trip one weekend and there was no way out of it, she had to figure out a solution right away.
Yesenia turned over and over all of her options in her head. She had used up all of her sick leave and holidays to take care of Zoyee when she had gotten sick.
She knew that if she didn’t attend the trip, there was a very high chance she could be fired. She had a very difficult decision to make.
Yesenia enlisted the help of her mom to recruit someone to babysit and her mom suggested Yesenia’s younger sister, Savanna. Yesenia was very unsure but her mom convinced her she had taken care of children before.
Yesenia knew her sister was trustworthy but she didn’t quite know why she still felt uneasy. Little did she realize but this decision was about to change the lives of all of them forever.
Savanna was so excited to be asked to babysit her older sister’s daughter. This was her chance to prove that she was trustworthy and responsible. However, she could never have predicted the unthinkable would happen.
While she was on the job, she found herself in a situation that most adults wouldn’t be able to deal with. Her worst nightmare was about to become a reality.
As Marie dropped off Savanna at Yesenia’s house, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was going to happen. She looked across the road and could see a car with tinted black windows parked there.
Despite knowing the area well, she still felt a knot in her stomach. Marie was about to have her motherly instincts proven to be correct.
Yesenia showed Savanna around and told her where everything was and gave her a list of numbers to call in an emergency. She gave her daughter a kiss and said her goodbyes.
When her mom got the stomach churning message it was already too late. Yesenia couldn’t turn back. She knew she should have trusted her instincts.
Yesenia was distracted as she left with explaining everything to Savanna. She never even noticed the ominous black car sitting outside the house as she left.
As she drove away, Savanna and Zoyee chatted and decided which Disney film they wanted to watch. Savanna was confident that everything would go well. Surely they would be safe in this quiet suburb. She was about to be proven wrong.
After settling on watching ‘Frozen’, Zoyee and Savanna were having a ball singing along when they heard the knock. It couldn’t be Yesenia back so soon, could it? She hadn’t been told she was expecting a delivery either.
As she looked through the peep hole and saw who it was, she instantly knew something was very wrong.
It was a man she didn’t recognize at the door. He wore a black cap that concealed his features so she couldn’t make out what his face looked like. He wasn’t a delivery man or he didn’t look like an official.
Savanna decided to just pretend that no one was home and she snuck away from the door. If she ignored it he would just go away. She was about to find out how wrong and naïve she was.
The knocking continued for a few minutes then it stopped. Savanna sighed with relief. Everything was going to be fine! Then the doorknob started to turn.
The man was trying to get inside the house, invited or not. The knocks began again, louder and more urgently. Savanna’s heart began to race. He wasn’t going anywhere.
Savanna was starting to panic at this point. She was fully aware that if this man really wanted to enter, he could. At any second this man could come through the door and she needed to act right now.
She caught Zoyee by the hand and they went up the stairs to the master bedroom. Would he be able to get them there? She wasn’t sure but it was their only hope.
They ran up to the master bedroom and Savanna rapidly scanned the room for a key or even a barricade. Seeing nothing she could use, she turned around and spotted the en suite bathroom.
The two girls ran in there and she locked them in. What she heard next made her blood turn to ice.
The man was not letting up with his assault on the door and then Savanna heard a sound that shook her to her core. She heard the sound of the wood in the door splintering and she knew time was up.
She held Zoyee by the shoulders and looked her in the eye and told her that they were playing a game where they must be as quiet as they could be. Not one sound or they would lose.
At this stage she could hear the man inside the house and her heart was audibly thumping in her chest. She told Zoyee to hide behind the toilet and the stayed crouched in front of her to protect her.
She was terrified and shaking but she wasn’t going to let anything happen to her little niece.
As the minutes passed she knew that time was of the essence before they were inevitably caught. Then who knows what he would do to them.
Savanna was starting to sweat profusely. She ran her hand across her clammy forehead then rubbed her hands on her jeans when she felt it. She had totally forgotten she had it with her.
Savanna pulled her phone from the pocket of her jeans and started to try to send a text with trembling hands. Her fingers were barely able to hit the right buttons as she started to text her mother.
She accidentally sent “I’m baby” to her mother then one saying “He’s inside the house mom, he’s gonna hear me”.
She waited for a reply feeling more and more anxious. All the while she could hear the man stomping around the house and looking through drawers and banging doors.
As she received her reply, her heart sank. Her mom was too far away to be able to do anything and calling 911 would take too long also. She couldn’t allow herself to lose hope and to let down Yesenia and Zoyee.
All the girls could do was wait and be as quiet as possible. The whole time they heard the man rifling and banging and it sounded like her was getting closer and closer.
Savanna and Zoyee stayed still as statues and quiet as mice for what felt like hours until Savanna finally felt her phone buzz. Her mother had replied.
Savanna’s mom Marie managed to contact a neighbour and Savanna felt a wave of relief wash over her. She heard another man’s voice then the intruder running.
He knocked over several things on his way out then the door slammed. He had gotten away. Shortly after, she heard the police arrive. Their ordeal was finally over.
Fortunately, the man had only managed to turn two rooms upside down and never found the girl’s hiding place. The local police officers arrived with police dogs to sniff the man’s scent and conduct an extensive search for him.
His scent was everywhere in the house but it lead out of it. At that point Savanna’s mother arrived. They were finally safe.
Savanna’s mom and sister were beyond proud of the brave and efficient way in which she handled the situation. Had she handled it differently, it may have been a much different story for herself and Zoyee.
Savanna is obviously happy to be alive but is still worried for other girls like her that he is still out there somewhere.
Savanna is still processing the experience and has suffered with PTSD, depression and anxiety to a certain extent. She is attending therapy to talk through the experience with a professional.
Eager to see the man dealt with, she has helped the police extensively in the ongoing search for him by helping to describe his appearance to them.
Police have stated that the home invader is still on the loose in the local area but they are doing their absolute best to catch him. Savanna’s disturbing ordeal is an example for all babysitters to exercise caution.
While babysitting, always having your phone on you is so vitally important. You never know what could happen.