It’s a tradition in my household to sit in front of Carols by Candlelight every Christmas Eve regardless of the quality of singing. Who are these 109-year-old men and why are here every year? “Is that one still breathing?” I’m really only (minorly) interested in Dami Im, but hey, tradition is tradition. And what gets you into the Christmas spirit more than John Foreman whacking the giant symbols together in the climax of Hallelujah.
I really really hope someone else gets that reference.
Christmas Eve 2015 initially felt no different to normal. I had just finished a somewhat emotionally draining Year 9 and was ready to forget about everything, hang out with family and eat too much and brace myself for the Boxing Day food hangover that would follow. The Carols ended weirdly late like they usually do (the demographic of the viewership is almost exclusively 80-year-olds and 5-year-olds keen to see the Wiggles, why does it go until 11pm?) and I went off to bed, finding myself in the pre-Christmas-I’m-excited-and-can’t-sleep mindset that, at age 21, I still struggle to combat. However, I did manage to get to sleep, as I always eventually did, but it was short lived.
At around 3am on Christmas morning 2015, someone was standing at my bedroom window. Or someones. Multiple people. Nearly six whole years on and I don’t even know. I woke up on Christmas morning after hearing a sound that resembled fists aggressively pounding on a pane of glass. Later I would find out, that was exactly what it was.
You know when you’re below the age of 10 and you have a nightmare, and you walk down the hallway with your 8-year-old feet padding on the floor to your parents’ bedroom and it’s kinda like the only thing that you know to do when something like that happens? Picture this. I’m 15, hear this noise, and have absolutely no idea what to do. Was that an actual noise I just heard? Or was I just having a weird dream and woke myself up? Oh look at that it’s 3am, Merry Christmas Sara! Maybe I should go into my parents’ room and just let them know. I’m 8-years-old again, and I don’t know what else to do. I walk into my parents’ room.
“Hey, sorry, I think someone just knocked on my window.”
“…You think what?”
“I think someone just knocked on my window.”
My mum comes with me and we walk to my room, turning the light on. We open the blinds and are only met with 3am darkness. She leaves. She goes to the back door and goes outside to see if she can see anything. My dad is awake now and comes to my bedroom.
“I think someone knocked on my window.”
“…You think what?”
My mum comes back.
“Don’t worry about it Sara, you must have been dreaming. Just go back to sleep.”
Just a dream. Thank goodness for that. Imagine if someone was actually at my window! I go back to sleep.
We make it to lunch on Christmas day before the incident of the night before comes up.
“There was something written on your bedroom window last night,” my Mum says to me.
“Sorry what? There was something on my window last night?”
“Yeah, I don’t know what it means. It was like an acronym. But there was something written on your window last night. Don’t worry about it though. I’m sure it’s nothing. I took a picture of it just in case.”
I never saw that photo. I really didn’t need to. Someone (or someones) was at my window that night. And I don’t know who.
What do you think of that, huh? Pretty wild, and an absolutely shitty thing to do to a 15-year-old girl AND her family. But that wasn’t the end of it. Skip forward to January 2016 and we have finally moved on from the incident, to the extent that we didn’t really even think about it anymore. Things like that don’t happen to a person twice, right?
I don’t remember the date of this one, but I was actually still awake when it happened. It was a hot January night, just past midnight, and I was probably scrolling through my phone or watching YouTube or something brain-numbing. You’ll have to forgive me for forgetting those details, but I remember everything else. It’s dark in my room and I start to think I should head to sleep, when I hear a noise that makes me drop my phone.
The sound of heavy plastic hitting bricks. BANG. An echo that goes for a bit too long. I freeze, heart in throat. What. The fuck. Was that. Around 30 seconds later, the sound of heavy plastic hitting bricks. BANG. An echo that goes for a bit too long. My dad’s awake, he storms down the hallway to the door and opens it.
A girl screams and laughs.
A girl screams. And. Laughs. There are other footsteps too. She is not alone.
This time the whole family meets in the hallway. Everyone is the 8-year-old that doesn’t know what to do in the middle of the night when they are scared out of their mind. We call the police.
It’s past 2am now. The police are in my house. They are talking to my parents. The police tell my parents the noise was chlorine bombs, and something in my mind clicks. I’m 15 and scared. I sleep in my mum’s room that night. I’m 21 now, and I still don’t have answers.
Obviously, we came up with some suspects. Some I am still almost certain about. The police said they would look into it, but they didn’t. My school principal spoke to me about it after my parents sent him an email, but he stood up for the other people and told me to stop assuming the worst in others. Nice right?
It’s been six years and I’m still scared to look out of my bedroom window at night. I’m still scared of the dark, and every noise makes me jump. I think I needed to share this story, I feel better having done so, because these nights were some of the scariest (and weirdly life changing) experiences of my entire life. But I feel good sharing it, like I can finally move past it. What a wild time that was, and so much has changed since. I also know how to make chlorine bombs now, so if anyone wants to know, just ask (but don’t fucking throw them into someone else’s front courtyard you dick).
Looking back on times like this, it makes me realise how unimportant high school drama really is, despite it seeming like the end of the world at the time. People who were So ImPoRtAnT in high school are absolutely not doing anything remotely cool now, and it a weird, selfish way, that makes me feel good. I know to focus on what is really important, like the people who wouldn’t throw homemade bombs into my front yard. Good riddance to you, enjoy your silly little pointless and unfulfilling life. I’m doing cool shit and all your brain is capable of doing is retaining the recipe for chlorine bombs (they have two ingredients 🙃). Your prime was 2015. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.