I am often lost in a world of daydreams and when that is the case it can be fairly easy to startle me. When Bev and I were dating and then on into the first year of our marriage he thought it highly amusing to jump out at me from darkened doorways or creep up on me from behind. He could always count on a pretty dramatic reaction and the more I bristled with righteous indignation, the more hilarious he found it.
We’d been married nearly a year when we were living in Prospect Heights, Illinois in order to study Missions with the aim of going overseas. We shared a large house with a number of other students and teammates. Our upstairs bedroom had an ensuite bathroom and Bev had gone up to get a shower when I decided it was time for some payback at last.
I crept up the stairs, stealthy footsteps muffled by the thick carpet in the hall. If I leaned to my right I could just see into the room without exposing my position. The bathroom door was closed and I could hear the reassuring sound of water running. There was a wall to wall closet with sliding doors just inside the doorway on the right so I carefully began to ease the slider open, checking over my shoulder every few seconds to make sure he was still in the bathroom. Oh, revenge was going to be so sweet. I backed into the closet doing my best not to disturb the hangers or make the slightest noise that would give me away. Bev had notoriously good hearing. I could hardly restrain my gleeful anticipation as I slid the door across inch by careful inch to conceal my hiding place. With only the last couple of inches to go the gloom in the tight confines of the closet was almost complete. I turned my head and nearly jumped out of my skin. He was supposed to be in the shower but there he was in the dimness only inches from me, his grinning face barely discernable as he peered at me from where he’d been struggling to hold his breath as he waited concealed among the coats.
I can’t imagine what the people downstairs thought when they heard the piercing shriek followed by a scuffle and a tremendous crash coming from our bedroom. In my frantic efforts to get out of that closet I knocked the sliding door completely off its track and it went down like a felled tree with me on top of it. By the time our housemates thundered up the stairs and burst in to see what happened we were both sitting on the floor laughing so hard that tears were rolling unrestrained down our cheeks and we were gasping for air. Bev had to confess that he’d been pretty startled himself when the closet door started to slide open seemingly of its own accord. It took everything in him to keep silent when he realized what I was doing. It was the last prank of its kind for either one of us. We could try for our whole lives and never top that.