Daily Prompt: Safety First – A Close Encounter

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Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.

In November 2006, I ventured into Calgary after accepting an employment offer. I was keen on living in the wild west since the job market in Toronto was extremely sapless. Due to the distance, the company I joined granted me with a decent condo for a two month period, until I found permanent residency.

At first blush, the weather in Calgary was atrocious. Despite the flaky barrier, our flight landed punctually and were immediately prompted by a driver in dropping us off at our temporary nest.  The snow was mountainous and the roads were so slick it felt like we were driving on ice with small patches of drivable road. “You should’ve put some skates on this car instead of winter tires,” I joked with the driver. The driver was navigating so leisurely that I could feel myself aging. Slowly but surely we made it “home” as we neared the downtown core. We approached the ancient behemoth, unloaded our luggage and swiftly picked up our keys from the management office. We made it to our floor and located the suite (inset scary music here) which was located in the end of the hallway, snuggled against a flight of stairs.

Jostling the keys in my hand, I finally managed to find the correct match. I put the key inside and noticed that door unlocked, but the lock felt tampered. We slowly slithered into the condo as if Scooby Doo and gang we’re entering a haunted house for investigation. The obvious suspicion of intrude was labelled not only from the door but the entire carpet. There were mild footprints all over the living room and bedroom, and the unit had a unorthodox odour to it. Despite the staining, the home strangely appeared neat and tidy.

Regardless, we were on high alert and managed to sideline the issue until the superintendent was contacted. A call to my fellow Human Resources employee was placed for an explanation, since she had made arrangements for this unit. I gave here a piece of my mind as she convinced me that the “super” would make dialogue with us and rectify the situation.

The time was around 7pm and we were amidst our dinner. We were chatting about the origin of the tampered lock? Why is it so cold here? What’s there to do? Answering all the queries of a tourist without the convenience of “smartphones”. I whipped open my dell laptop, hit the google button and got to work.

All of a sudden there was a jingle of keys coming from outside our door. My wife raised her eyebrows in fear and clouded my son. We remained silent in anticipation of hearing any voices from the opposite side. There was no whispers but a buzz of someone putting a key in and struggling to enter inside. I slowly crept towards the door with my fist in the air. “Who is it?”, I yelled.

The music of keys vanished, and a thunder of footsteps followed. With cold chills, I gambled and pierced the front door open. There was a roar of feet scrambling down the stairwell as the stairway door closed. A thousand pounds lifted off my chest as the shivers slowly tapered away. “Damn guy took off,” I whispered to myself. While examining the door, I noticed (mind my lack of terminology) that the lock bar wasn’t fully locking. Using kitchen instruments, I attempted to correct the problem but to no avail we headed to bed knowing that we weren’t safe.

We slept the night in unease and thanked god the incident didn’t repeat itself, indeed that was a long night. The next morning we hunted down the superintendent and had him replace the lock promptly. As I discussed the incident with him, he mentioned something about homeless people gaining access to a few units. I gulped in fear but thanked god that nothing serious transpired from our incident.

Has anything of this nature ever happen with you?

6 Comments

Filed under Daily Prompt, Humor, Personal

6 responses to “Daily Prompt: Safety First – A Close Encounter

  1. Always trust your intuition. In this case you had reasons for your suspicions. If possible I would have immediately left and checked into a hotel for the night. Just my half pennies worth.

  2. An experience to be more careful .You and the family were still awake . Regards.,

  3. Oh, yikes! Yes– I’ve had similar encounters but with people who wanted to harm me, not homeless intruders. That is definitely scary, I would have piled furniture in front of the door ;)

  4. Back in 1978 I went to a Texas A&M-Arkansas football game in College Station, Texas. Arkansas was heavily favorite but A&M won with a long touchdown pass on the last play of the game.

    On the 90-mile drive back to Houston, a car started tailgating me. Then he turned his bright lights on. I turned down a different road knowing that he wouldn’t be following me. Well, he followed me. Didn’t matter where I turned, he followed me.

    Yep, I felt unsafe.

    Finally, I sped away and attempted to get to the next city. He kept up with me and eventually pulled up along side me and rammed into the side of my car. He did that several times before I smashed the brakes down and he went zooming past. I eventually got to the next city and at the only red light in town, there sat a high patrol. They caught the guy.

    Turns out he as an Arkansas fan, drunk, and a little upset that A&M had won. I had an A&M bumper sticker on my car.

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