The stomach clenching ice cold breath catching feeling that grabbed my body and held me as if I were in a straight jacket. My life had been threatened. Everything in my world changed after the phone call. I, used to being outside in my garden, wearing barely anything more than a bikini to soak up as much summer sun as possible, now hid inside, chilled to my bones. I, who threw open curtains and windows, now pulled them closed so no one could see me. But they could. Really. I’m not hard to find. Evenings naked in my hot tub with a glass of wine? NO I CAN’T. I have a gun. It is here for the occasional rabid Fox. Now it is loaded and stands guard by my bed. In the morning my gun comes with me from room to room as I go about my daily routine. The gun is too big for me. It is heavy. My husband assures me that as long as someone hears the “ka-chunk” sound of the pump action they will be scared away. I don’t believe him. My life has been threatened. He leaves for work. I am here. Hidden behind the walls of my old farm house. I can’t breath right. My body is tight. I jump at every sound. I cry a lot. I am angry. Days come and go but my life has forever been changed by this threat. I hung sheets across the fence between my garden and the front of the house. My garden. My spot of earth which rewarded me not only with fruit but with a sense of peace. Now I hide behind a sheet to be in my spot, my garden. The police do the occasional drive by as requested. I am not assured. My German Shepherd clings tightly to me. He knows something is not right. Jake follows me everywhere. He assures me. A day comes when the sun is so glorious and warm. I cannot stand not being able to breath. I feel like I will burst if I don’t stand up straight and take a little of ME back. I am tentative. I open the front door to let the fresh morning air in this musty old house. I throw back the curtains, and open the windows. It is time. I will always and forever be changed by the fear of having my life threatened but I WILL NOT live in a perpetual feeling of fear. That feeling is what was taking my life.