When I was a freshman in college, I did all the things freshmen do: I hid a map of campus inside my textbooks so I could casually peek inside when I found myself hopelessly lost, I went to every activity that I could possibly fit into my schedule, I always dragged someone to the cafeteria with me because no one could walk in there alone, and I always locked the door to my room. By the end of the first trimester, I knew my way around campus, went only to the activities that really interested me, ate in the cafeteria alone sometimes, and stopped locking my door.
Now that may sound dangerous, but it really wasn’t. My roommate and I lived on the top floor in our four-story dorm. There were only 13 rooms and 25 girls. You never saw anyone on the floor who didn’t belong there. Strangers were always escorted. Not locking the door made sense because we were like family. We could run in and out of each other’s rooms looking for shoes or clothes to borrow. (Once, on campus, I ran into a girl who lived down the hall wearing an entire outfit that was from my closet!). We popped in searching for snacks. We could grab music to listen to or a book to read. But that all changed for me mid-sophomore year.
I am a very sound sleeper. I can sleep with lights on and music on and people talking loudly right in the room. (I also talk in my sleep, but that is another story.) One night, a good friend who was dating a football player was trying to describe me.
“I know you know her. She works in the cafeteria. She is really short and has short blondish hair and blue eyes.
“Um…I’m not sure…”
“Well, she is usually with her roommate, a girl with really big hair.”
“She talks to everyone…wait, I’ll bet she’s in…I’ll introduce you.”
Well, I was in…in my pajamas, in a cozy bed, in a dark room, in deep, peaceful slumber. Did that stop Mary? No, it did not. She quietly brought this 250 pound football player from Philadelphia into my room. They peered over my bed with only the light from hallway illuminating my snoring form.
After leaning in, nose-to-nose with my sleeping self, Mary’s boyfriend whispered, “Oh, yeah. Now I know who she is!”
They left and I was none-the-wiser…until I ran into this hulking giant in the cafeteria.
“You looked very cute in your jammies the other day… even your snoring was adorable.”
With a wink he was gone and I was left confused. I found Mary and she explained.
I started locking my door.
The people at Collinswood lock their doors but not consistently. You would think they would. I mean, Julia and Barnabas know there are vampires. Maggie was haunted by the sounds of the howling dogs, and the howling dogs have returned. Vicky has been kidnapped and threatened. People have been attacked by “animals” and killed. And still they go off to their beds without making a quick check of the doors.
So, because of unlocked doors, Dr. Hoffman found Jeff Clark reading through Dr. Lang’s journals. Barnabas was smart enough to lock the doors, but Jeff found an unlocked window and went to the laboratory. Jeff now knows that Barnabas and Julia are going to build a mate for Adam. Tom Jennings, now a vampire because of Angelique, wanders through an unlocked door, surprises Julia in the laboratory and makes her his servant. Barnabas strolls right in to Nicholas’ house though an unlocked door, looking for the new vampire, the one who turned Tom Jennings, having no idea it is Angelique. Before he can stumble onto her, though, he bumps into Joe Haskell, also wandering around the house unattended. They leave together. Barnabas goes on to find Tom’s coffin, in an unlocked crypt, and destroys him to save Julia. The West wing of the Collins’ mansion, which is supposedly locked and where Adam is hiding, has more visitors than a Holiday Inn.
So learn from my experiences and those of the Collins family: lock your doors. Lock your doors every night against howling dogs, dangerous vampires and nosy neighbors. Otherwise you may awake to dripping fangs or a red-eyed demon or a massive mountain of a football player standing quietly over your bed!