He was standing there with a look of surprise on his face, or should I say he was crouching next to my hose. A teenage boy, at best in his early 20s was using my hose to fill up a water bottle.
Perhaps it is more appropriate to say that we were both surprised. I had walked outside because I was preparing to leave to pick up my dinner and I am certain that he never expected to encounter anyone.
For a moment I was silent as I tried to assess the situation. He spoke first by saying that it was only water, but there was something about his manner that bothered me. I said that it was more than just water. I pay for that water. It is not free, it comes from my pocket. I know that I had a harsh look on my face and an edge in my tone.
I told him to turn off my hose and stand up. As he did so I confronted him, peppering him with questions.
“Why didn’t you knock on the door and ask, do you need money, what makes you think that you can just take it?”
And in return he said that he was sorry, but it was just water. The lack of sincerity in his voice further incited me. I noticed that he was heading to a car parked across the street. It had three or four people inside it and as he walked I told him to get in the car and leave.
He mumbled something at me and kept walking. I stood and stared while he flagged down cars to ask for assistance with his vehicle. Apparently it was stalled on my street and for a moment I considered walking over to offer him some water, but I just couldn’t do it.
He was willing to stop cars to ask for help so I wondered about why he couldn’t have knocked on the door and asked for help or at least permission to use my hose. It took me a moment to realize the source of my anger. It stems back to the incident at Target when my son shouted “Daddy, they have mommy’s purse.”
The more I thought about it the more that I realized that I felt violated again and though it might seem trivial, some of the anger/frustration comes from the first incident. To him it may have “just been water” but to me it was something more.
I was angry. It bothered me that he was willing to flag down cars in the street to ask for help but that he was unwilling to do the right thing and knock on my door and ask for permission to use my hose. For a moment I wanted to stop him in his tracks to get some clarification on this but it wasn’t going to happen.
He wasn’t going to allow himself to look any more foolish in front of his friends and I wasn’t going to engage in further dialogue because I really did want to let it all blow over because I didn’t want to make the situation worse.
What I mean by that is that I had to be concerned about what this kid might do to my home later. It is a sad statement, but the reality is that I had to consider whether he would choose to come back and vandalize my home in some manner.
In the time that has elapsed nothing has happened so I am cautiously optimistic that this is nothing more than a story, but I admit to being disturbed that I had to worry about any of this.