Becky and I live on a quiet suburban street. We only have a sidewalk on one side of the road and the trees on both sides are so big that they meet in the middle, creating a living archway. People stop their cars going in opposite directions and roll down the windows to talk to each other. I even saw a lady stop her truck at the end of the road at the Stop sign, notice someone she knew, climbed out of her truck, with her dogs, and chatted for a few minutes while the dogs played. Nobody honked, nobody shouted, nobody cared that she blocked the intersection.
So I’m sitting quietly, with my two aunts who are visiting from England, and we are enjoying the silence. It’s lovely. I’m sitting with my back to the window and I’m staring at a wall. There is a reflection there that must be from a vehicle outside. Normally, they are fleeting, as the vehicle is travelling. There’s no parking allowed during the day, so I figure this will move soon. A couple of minutes go by and it is still there. Now I’m curious. Who’s parked outside?
I get up and have a look. Outside my house, facing the wrong way, is a black van with heavily tinted windows. Hmmm. Not typical for this neighbourhood. Then I notice the police cruiser parked at an angle outside of the house next door. He’s obviously got the road blocked. Now I’m really intrigued. I tell my aunts that there’s something weird going on. They both jump up for a look.
Now we also spot an unmarked police car and a couple of constables standing in the street. Are they watching the van or is the van part of the police? I have to help Becky with something and go into the back of the house. When I come back out, both the aunts are in the kitchen spying on the black van. Nothing is happening, so they sit back down in the living room. Suddenly, the one police cruiser goes up the street, past the van, and stops. A police officer comes from that direction, but Oh my God, he’s got a riot shield. He goes up to the van passenger door. Another officer climbs out and goes to the back of the van. He’s sporting a semi-automatic and a helmet, thank you very much. I tell the aunts, “Get away from the windows!” They calmly announce that they’re nowhere near the windows. I can already imagine the bullets flying and windows shattering.
We chat amongst ourselves and decide that it must be a raid on a house in the street. This must be a SWAT team, I think to myself. “I thought this was a nice neighbourhood”, my auntie complains. “It is”, I insist, but looking outside my house, it all seems a bit sinister. I call Tom and tell him what’s happening. “My life is so boring in comparison”, he states. Not helpful at all. A car tries to pass in front of the house and is turned around. I can’t believe this is happening…in front of my house. A bloody SWAT team! After a few minutes of milling about, police jump into vehicles and the vehicles start zooming up the street. We can now count how many police vehicles were there; five cruisers and two black vans. It was obviously something really serious.
I call the ‘All Clear’ and we get ready to go out. I poke my head out and check the street. It’s quiet again. As we drive up the road, we have to squeeze between two police cruisers who still seem to have the road partially blocked. By the time we come home, everything is back to normal. We are still talking about it and trying to figure out what was going on when, again, my aunt says, “I thought this was a quiet neighbourhood”. In my head I answer her, ‘It was, until the chaos sisters arrived’.