You Never Know

You never know when trouble will find you. You never know when you’ll need to fight for your life. You never know when it might be your last time to see your loved ones. You just never know…

You Never Know How The Day Will Start

It was New Year’s Eve, and I woke up early to feed and take care of the dogs. I got a text from my wife about a strange car parked in our front yard. Our driveway is at least 300 feet long, and sure enough there was a car parked there. I texted my wife not to worry about it, it must just be friends of the neighbor’s kids or something. We live off a private road with four homes, but I didn’t recognize the car and it would be unusual for someone to park there.

Twenty minutes went by with no movement around the car, so I decided it was time check it out. I had a Ruger LCP II .380 ACP in a DeSanits pocket holster in my jeans pocket and looked over at my Mossberg 590 12-gauge in the corner. I always have the shotgun handy when I am out with the dogs, as we have coyotes and foxes on our property. And you never know. I decided against taking the shotgun because I didn’t want to scare the kids in the car or seem too aggressive.

Alarm Bells

I hopped into my car, and as soon as I reached the strange car and got out of my car, a young man popped out from the driver’s side. He told me he was having car troubles. Alarm bells went off in my head; why wasn’t the hood up? That’s when I noticed that he wasn’t that young, actually around my age and missing most of his teeth. More alarm sirens went off in my head. I offered to help troubleshoot the car problem, but he declined. I wanted him out of there, so I offered my cell phone so he could call someone—maybe friends or family—to come get him. He called his father, and my alarm siren scaled back down to alarm bells.

Then he asked me for a ride to the nearest fast-food restaurant. My alarm bells ramped up to that robot from Lost In Space screaming in my head “DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!” Arms failing about and all that. I told him that wasn’t possible. I noticed that he was wearing very baggy clothes and I couldn’t tell if he had any weapons on him. The backseat of the car was full of bags, and I also noticed an electric saw on the front seat and part of the dashboard missing. 

Racing Thoughts

Throughout this whole episode, I had my hand on the Ruger. I had all sorts of thoughts running through my head. “Watch his hands. What if he runs with your phone? It’s just a phone. What if tries to steal my car? Watch his hands! Don’t let him get too close to you. What if he pulls a gun? Go hands-on? Engage? Draw and fire? Run to cover and then engage? WATCH HIS HANDS. Why the hell didn’t I take the shotgun? I wish I had a bigger gun… at least I have a gun, gives me a fighting chance. WATCH HIS HANDS, DAMN IT. Do not let Misty (my wife) become a widow. Be smart. Why couldn’t it be the neighbor’s kid’s friends or something? WATCH. HIS. HANDS.”

He agreed to meet his father at a gas station about a mile away (easy walking distance). He handed back my phone after I gave him directions, which he relayed back to his father. He tried to get me to drive him to the gas station (that robot started screaming even louder), but I declined. I wished him luck and walked backwards to my car. As I was doing that, we were both watching each other. I drove back up to the house and called the police about what had just happened and to report a non-working car on our property. I figured I should get the police involved because you just never know.


After about a half hour, I drove back down to the car with a ZEV OZ9c on my hip, the Ruger still in my pocket and the Mossberg riding shotgun. The man was nowhere to be found, thankfully. I walked around his car and noticed bullet holes on the driver’s side. Great. His father called my cell, telling me they couldn’t find his son. I gave directions leading back to his son’s car. They still couldn’t find him. That’s when his father told me his son had a long history with a drug addiction. I could see in his eyes the pain and sorrow his son had caused him. I felt for him. You never know what live will give you.

The police came, took our reports, canvased the area and towed the car. Separately, talking to the police, I found out the car was stolen from a town about an hour away. The stolen car was involved in a high-speed pursuit the night before and probably turned down our private road and shut off the car to lose them. After doing so, he was apparently never able to restart it. He was a known felon to the police and had quite a record. They didn’t elaborate much about the bullet holes, besides them being fresh.

You never know, it could have been worst. Times when you need to defend yourself, life will never, ever give you a warning. There are good people in the world and there are bad people in the world. You never know who and when you’ll meet.

Linas Cernauskas
Born and raised in New York City (living there for 39 years), in 1999 Linas Cernauskas began working in publishing at the bottom step for Harris Publications. He worked his way up to earn the title Editor-In-Chief. He currently works as the Content Director for Bleecker Street Publications. He holds a degree in Industrial & Organizational Psychology and is fluent in Lithuanian. He is an avid gun collector, fan of bourbons and cigars, and enjoys fishing. Wanting a quieter way of life, he currently resides in Michigan with his lovely wife, where he gets to shoot in his backyard and raise a small army of Toy Australian Shepherds.