With all my bags packed and ready for another adventure, this time with my girlfriends in the Bahamas to celebrate my bachelorette, I sailed back through security at YYZ and posted up in terminal one awaiting my zone’s boarding call. The plane was completely full and poised for take-off on the runway when the captain’s engine light went on and we aborted the mission. The plane taxied back to the gate and the passengers unboarded with instructions to keep an eye out for our new plane’s gate posting. Two hours later I was en route. Emails from Connie and Jenny revealed that they were both also delayed. We should have taken the hint…
At long last the three of us found one another in the Nassau airport, grabbed a cab to Connie’s family home there, dropped our bags, hopped in the car, did a big grocery shop for the week, and set about making a beautiful dinner. We had spaghetti limone with seared scallops, parmesan and kale with red wine. Sated and settling into our new tropical paradise we adjourned to the front patio for another glass of wine al fresco. With the backdrop of ocean waves crashing onto sand, we got into a passionate discussion of the importance of setting intentions and the incredible ways the universe always gives us exactly what we need, but never in the ways we expect.
And then, there was a man holding a gun to Jenny’s head. Then there were three more masked men with guns pointed at us. They pushed us inside the house insisting we keep quiet and demanding our money. “Okokokokokokokokok.” Jenny got her cash out of her wallet. “Herehereherehere.” Connie gave them her cash as well. My heart was exploding in my chest, but on the surface, a very strange calm came over me. I just stood in front of the thief with his gun on me and said, “I don’t have any money.” There were three men with three guns pointed at us while the fourth was going through the upper floors of the house. “Where is the safe?”
“There is no safe here,” I replied.
“Do you want to die tonight?” my assailant asked me.
“I’m not sure. Maybe. Are you going to kill me?” I replied with more sass then I was prepared for.
“You’re not scared,” my assailant observed moving closer to me. Just then, the man who had been searching the house dropped his gun down the stairs and the clip fell out. Again, with more sass than I was prepared for, I kissed my teeth and called them amateurs. At that point they seemed to get nervous, grabbed what they could and ran away into the dark cover of night.
We were all ok. We were unharmed. We had angels watching us. We locked all the doors and put down the storm shutters. We took a few deep breaths. Then we assessed the damage. They took my phone and wallet with my cash and cards, but managed to miss my laptop, hard drive and cameras. They took Jenny’s wallet as well, but in an impressive ninja move, she had dumped all her cards under a pile of tampons in her knapsack when she grabbed her cash to hand over, successfully camouflaging them. Jenny had packed her laptop in a stained, torn old manila envelope that was also left untouched. And in another very crucial moment, the thieves had picked up Jenny’s phone, but after realizing it was a Blackberry, put it back down. Blackberry really should sell their product as the “anti-theft phone.” They took Connie’s entire carry-on bag with her passport, wallet, phone, brand new iPad, meds, make-up etc. We called the police. The Royal Bahamas Police showed up in 20 minutes and took a look over the house. They said we could just let it go, or we could come to the station, give statements and then they would open a case. We piled into the back of the police cruiser and went to the station.
Three officers took us into three separate rooms to give our statements. The 12 ft square, concrete, windowless room with a view into the hallway containing a dried up old mop and bucket that I ended up in made me feel surreal. The lady cop in uniform, but with a bootleg Guess fashion five panel hat on her head, got out her pad and pen and asked me to tell her what happened, just like in the movies. It was then that I realized something about shock; it works on you to forget as a defense mechanism. Even though the robbery had just happened, my recollection of it was foggy. I gave the best statement I could and met the girls back out in the lobby. They rushed us out of there with no paperwork and took us back to the house. The forensics guy met us at the house and dusted it for prints. He found one partial. Then they left. We secured the house again. We had one phone and one credit card. We were going to be ok. We thanked God Connie’s kids weren’t there. I crawled into bed with Connie, and Jenny said she was ok to sleep alone. None of us slept…
Oh man. Harrowing. Check out Bessel Van der Kolk for information on how we react to trauma. Be well…
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