The pressure I felt in my lower abdomen had started to become unbearable and the idea of surrendering to it was finally creeping into my head. I guess I shouldn’t have drunk a bottle of water right before going to bed, but the again, I was never one to think ahead. I was on my laptop, catching up with the world through the internet as I usually do every night before going to sleep. I was on Facebook, YouTube, and a bunch of other sites, switching around without a general direction. Before I knew it, it was 1:30 A.M, way past my self-imposed bed-time. This had been a bad habit I had acquired over the years, going to sleep late and waking up late. I decided that this was enough for today and that I needed to go to sleep if I wanted to have a decent amount of rest before college tomorrow. I got in bed and closed my eyes, hoping to fall asleep quickly. I was finally becoming sleepy when my bladder began yelling at me and the need to urinate overcame the need to snooze. I reluctantly pulled away my blankets and got up from my bed. I somehow managed to make my way downstairs in the dark.

The stairs creaked as they usually do, considering this house was built before The Great Depression, but that’s not what made me uncomfortable. What was bugging me, I thought, was the complete and utter silence, except for my own steps of course. It was not surprising that the house was quiet, considering it was past midnight, so it must have been something else. I finally placed my finger on it and realized what was bothering me. The house was empty. My parents were out doing God knows what, since it was their anniversary, and my younger brother was sleeping at his friend’s house. It was just me and my younger sister, but she was fast asleep in her room. It was the raw emptiness of the house that permeated every corner and was now nibbling at my paranoid brain. I was very groggy so I easily pushed the feeling off my head and I opened the door to the bathroom. I turned on the light and my eyes squinted.

After an alleviating few moments, I flushed the toilet and turn on the faucet to wash my hands. The frigid water hit my hands, sending all sorts of impulses up to my brain. All of these lights and the cold water against my warm skin put my lethargic state to a stop. This is not good, however. Have you ever been in an empty dark building, when all of the sudden, your mind starts playing tricks on you. You start getting paranoid and scared and you don’t even know of what. This wouldn’t be happening if I was tired, but because my mind had become active, these feelings are able to grow and make me feel uneasy. I walk to the foot of the stairs, looking around, trying to avoid objects in the dark when I place my eyes on the door. I can see parts of the front door through the foyer door but not the lock. My mind starts to wander. “Have you locked the doors, Luke?”, “Is the front door locked, Luke?”, “Luke, Luke!”, “The door, is it locked?”

“Have you locked the door tonight?”

Now I know what you’re thinking. Why is a seventeen year-old guy being a pussy and just standing there. But hear me out. There is something about tonight that has me upset. I’m paralyzed across the room from the door. I can’t see if it’s locked or not but I don’t dare to check either. It’s dark and it’s lonely in here and I can’t move. I start replaying every single horror story and scary movie in my brain, to the goriest details. My brain is fucking with me big time. The trek across the room now seems like miles of dangerous distance. I won’t venture into this jungle of horrors also known as my living room, I simply won’t. There are killers behind the furniture, right outside the door, waiting for me to walk out into their domain, waiting for the right moment to come at me.

I slap myself mentally.

I start bargaining with myself, to convince myself that I am not a coward. “I’ve left this door unlocked plenty of times and nothing’s ever happened.”, “I live in Cranford, the whitest, richest, small town in all of New Jersey. Nothing ever happens.” I reach the conclusion that leaving the door unlocked is smart because I’ll be saving energy and I’ll be reaching my bed faster, falling asleep sooner. I walk up the stairs and across the room, rather quickly, and slide into the comfort of my bed. I cover myself with the blanket and sigh in relief that it’s all over.

“Have you locked the door tonight?”

I push that thought away as fast as it came to my mind. I already dealt with this and my choice was obviously the better one. I’m perfectly fine and everyone is perfectly safe. In fact, you know what? I probably did lock the door, so I didn’t even have to think about all of these scenarios. Everything is fine. I reach a sleepy state and am cozy and warm in my soft bed. I slowly fade to sleep. My world is finally in order. I do not regret my actions, because even in the remote chance that I did leave the door unlocked, what is the worse thing that could happen?


  • The officers arrived at the scene of the crime at 3:23 A.M, on October 30th, 2012.
  • The distress call arrived from the cell phone of Martha Langerak at 3:15, when she arrived home from Wildwood Beach with her husband.
  • The body of Lucas Langerak, as identified by his mother, was found on his bed. Notable injuries include head trauma, possibly from blunt object, laceration across the neck, abdominal area, and thighs, and multiple stab wounds in the chest cavity, causing hemorrhage. His body was found on a pool of his blood indicating that the probable cause of death was excessive blood loss.
  • Kathleen Langerak, was reported as missing by her mother as she could not be found anywhere on the premises. An AMBER alert could not be issued as there is no motor vehicle that can be linked to the missing child.
  • No possessions were reported missing. Johnathan Langerak indicated that no material goods seemed to have been stolen.
  • There was no sign of forced entry.

Have you locked the door tonight?