I went back because my husband and kids were there, but why didn't I take them with me in the first place? I don't really have an answer for that other than, you just had to be there.
When I got back my husband was sitting on the couch with a look on his face I will never forget. "What the HELL?" pretty much sums it up.
At this point, Annabelle grabbed me by the hand and declared that it was time to do something about my ankle. She led me upstairs and into her bathroom. Pointing to the soaking tub she said "Get in and I will fix your ankle for you."
"In there?" I asked, pointing to the tub.
"Yes, I'll hold the baby while you get undressed. She can get in too if you'd like. Then I'll massage your ankle and get the swelling down. You'll feel much better."
"Actually, I'd feel much better going back to my house, putting my kids in their beds and unpacking."
"No. It is too late. I've already had your husband put your kids to bed here. Get in."
"Even though a bath sounds wonderful and all, I'm not getting in. I don't know you and I don't have clothes to change into or even underwear for that matter. I'm going home now."
"You can wear my clothes and my underwear."
She really said that. No lie.
At this point it was probably 11 at night. I was exhausted, my baby was exhausted and my thinking was getting worse by the minute. I don't remember how, but I made my way back downstairs to my husband and whispered that we should get the kids and go. As we were talking about what to do, she comes in and says "I'll show you to your room. If you hear crying in the night please ignore it. I sleep on a mattress in my sons room." I didn't even know she had a son until that very moment.
Once again I don't know what came over me. I followed her upstairs to the room we would sleep in. I still hadn't really had a chance to talk to my husband about everything that was going on because whenever I tried she managed to stop it. The bed in our room looked like it had come right out of the princess and the pea fairy tale. It was so tall, even the step stool wasn't enough to get in. My husband gave me a shove, and climbed up next to me. The mattress, if that's what it really was, was so soft and fluffy it was like laying on top of all of the filling from all of the pillows in a pillow factory at one time. We sunk right in.
We both lay there silent for a long time. Then I started laughing.
"What is so funny."
"This! This is crazy!"
"That's what I was thinking, but I've been trying to figure out what's been going on. Care to fill me in?"
"She kidnapped me. That's all I know."
"Why didn't you go home?"
That's when I told him about her bursting in our home and taking me and our baby on the longest car ride to her house. I told him about the spots, the tub and the underwear. He started laughing.
"What's so funny?"
"I thought you knew her. Like she was some kind of long lost friend or something. I couldn't figure out what you were doing, but I wasn't going to say anything. You seemed so determined to do whatever she said."
"What! Oh well, I guess you're right. It's like she has mind control or something. I didn't know what to do, you were gone when she came and I thought that the Relief Society had sent her. I thought it was a strange welcome, but that's why I went with her in the first place. I kinda don't think they had anything to do with this do you?"
He was laughing again, "No, I don't. Have you seen whats in the bathroom we are supposed to use?"
"No, is something else wrong?"
"Cat litter. Every where. I don't think the litter box has ever been changed and the litter is all over the floor."
"I won't be going in there that's for sure. What did she say about it when she showed you where the bathroom was?"
"Nothing. She didn't even seem to notice that there was something wrong."
We lay silent again for a while when my husband started to really laugh.
"What is so funny? I don't think this is very funny."
"I just thought that we are here in this wackos house, that you by the way got us into, and I'm just picturing her coming in here when we are asleep with a pick axe. All I can think of is Jason from that movie. Stab, Stab, Stab!"
"You are sick and wrong."
"Me? Oh no, it isn't me, I assure you. And what's the deal with her husband? He doesn't talk. He's probably scared of her too."
I started laughing so hard. He was right! We were in the home of someone who was really messed up.
In the morning I got our things together as quickly as I could. I grabbed my sleepy kids and we headed down the stairs for our escape. Only thing is, she was waiting for us!
The table was set again in her fanciest finery. She had made waffles, pancakes, muffins, french toast and juice. My kids were starving and made a beeline for the table. She started dishing up before we could say a word. Once again, I sat down defeated. She began to tell my son all about her plans for us. She told him about the play, the dance recital and all of the goodies that would be there. She pulled out a calendar and began going day by day, week by week all of the things we would do. My sons eyes grew bigger and bigger. The last thing she told him was, "The Saturday after Thanksgiving I am taking you to the mountains. I have purchased our tags for our Christmas trees. We will chop down our trees and bring them back here. We will have hot chocolate with marshmallows. Then we will string popcorn and cranberries." While saying all of this to my son not only had she gotten his breakfast for him, she had pulled out all of her candy jars for him to choose a treat from. It was like watching the old woman who lived in gingerbread house in the woods.
I had had enough. I stood up and told my kids to go out and get in the car. "But I haven't eaten my pancakes mom" my son said innocently.
"I don't care. Grab your sisters hand and go now."
My husband jumped to attention, shewing the kids to the front door.
I turned to Annabelle and said "Thank you for your hospitality. We are leaving now."
"No, it isn't possible. I haven't unpacked your house yet, and I haven't finished going through your calendar, you aren't leaving." she said in her still very robotic voice.
"We are going home now. We are unpacking OUR house by ourselves. We are not coming to a play or a dance recital. We are not having Halloween and Thanksgiving here. And I am most certainly not taking my new baby into the mountains, traipsing through the snow to chop down a tree."
All of my frustration had boiled to the surface. Her husband was staring at us, but still had not uttered a word. I grabbed the diaper bag and followed my family to the front door.
My son looks at me and says "Mom, she is real nice."
"No!" I whispered, "She is CRAZY!"
My son looked at me with disbelief and said very loudly "She's not crazy mom!"
Annabelle looked right at me. I looked at her and turned to go out the door. While walking to our car I remembered our pizza that her husband had picked up at our house the night before. Turning to my husband I asked him to go get our pizza so we could have it for lunch. He said to forget it. I told him to go back and tell her husband to get our pizza and not to come to the car without it. He knew I was losing it so he ran and got it for me. Getting in the car he asked, "Why did you want the pizza so bad? We could order another one?"
"Because, I don't know, maybe it's just that I wanted to show her that she does not have total control. Sorry, that was weird of me, but thanks for getting it."
He laughed and said "The whole thing was weird."
We got home and not too long after there was a knock on the door. I thought for sure it was Annabelle. Instead, a nice looking woman introduced herself and asked if she could speak to me. It turns out that she was the Relief Society President from our church. My sisters friend that I had left a message for the night before contacted her and told her that Annabelle had taken us. She sat down and told us that she owed us an apology and explained that Annabelle had recently gotten out of a mental hospital, but was still heavily medicated and one of her issues was fixating on something. She had overheard some people at church mention that a family was moving into the house down the street from her and right then and there we became her fixation. The people from our church figured this out, so they told her that we were coming a month later than we really were thinking this would prevent her from barging in on us during our move. Annabelle is smart though and watched for the moving trucks. The Relief Society President told me not to open the door when Annabelle came over and to not give her our phone number. She said she knew it sounded mean, but it was the only way to get Annabelle to forget about us. I told her the whole story and she felt really bad. She said to not be surprised if Annabelle would peek in our windows when we didn't answer the door. She told us that we had to be firm and hold our ground. As far as knowing our house "intimately" it was true. She had been in the house when the previous owners rented it out and had barged in a few times on them.
We had a few more run ins with Annabelle, but eventually she left us alone. About 2 years after moving in I had another very funny incident with her that I will share another time. But there it is, with a few things left out here and there, the time I was kidnapped. I laugh at myself when I think about it now. It was a crazy time for sure. I do feel bad for Annabelle and her family and I learned to have a lot of respect for her husband. He was staying with her, hoping that she would break free from the mental illness that took hold of her not too long after they were married. What a patient man.