The first apartment I ever rented was a studio, garden-level. My ex-boyfriend (that I also talked about in another post: here) kind of lived with me but we only had one set of keys.
One night after I got off work, he wasn’t home and he had taken the one set of keys with him. If you get locked out, at these apartments, you can call 24-hour maintenance and pay $60 to get in the main door then $60 more to get into your apartment.
But, I remembered I never locked the windows. They were really, really tough to lock, okay?!
(I was never in the mood to bust open the palms of my hands by trying to lock my windows and I didn’t really feel like it was a big deal. I opened my windows so often to let out my nasty cigarette smoke– I didn’t want to waste my whole life trying to lock and unlock those windows.)
I knelt down and removed the screen quite easily then slid the window right open, and jumped into my apartment. Yay! I just saved myself $120!
Just only a couple nights later, I was counting my money and I folded it up and set it right next to my bed. I decided I wanted a soda. (I never drink soda anymore, yuck.) It was late, (or early) nearly 4am. I don’t know why I wanted a soda? But I did. I left my door unlocked and walked not too far down the hallway for the soda I so badly wanted.
When I came back, the money I had just counted was missing. I threw apart my whole studio apartment. I must have been going crazy!! It was late. I could not find the money anywhere. I was so sleepy and dozed off quickly after I decided that I, in fact, was going crazy. I must have just misplaced it.
The next morning I woke up to a phone call from my landlord. She asked me if my cat was missing! My heart raced out of my chest and I jumped up just as fast. I shouted “Sushi?!” and he wasn’t on the bed or eating so I knew it was him she had found.
I went to pick him up in the office, where she had him, immediately. I was so confused. He was here when I was counting my money though? I must have been so stressed out about misplacing that money that he slipped out when I went to get the soda, but how could I not have noticed him run past me? I always noticed when he ran past me out the door. Always. This would have to have been the first time he got past me! What a sneaky little boy…
Or so I thought.
The night after that, I still hadn’t found my cash but I still thought I’d find it sooner or later. But at least I had my cat back!
When I fell asleep, he was next to me. I felt safe. Then, I woke up to him meow-ing at the top of his lungs at the bottom of my bed. I sat up to look at him and see what he was fussing about so late in the night.
There was a man hiding at the foot of my bed in a black ski mask and all black clothes! I screamed at the top of my lungs “get the fuck out!! Please, just get out!!” And I shielded myself with my blankets because it was all I could think to do. In the blink of an eye, the masked man ran back out the window where he came from and I ran to shut it behind him.
I was shaking. I didn’t know what to do. I called my dad hoping maybe he’d come pick me up and let me sleep at his house but I was too pansy to suggest this. I didn’t want him to think I wasn’t capable on my own, I guess. All he said was to call the police. So I did. They came and said there was nothing they could do. But, they locked my windows for me. And a few weeks later, they called to tell me that they still didn’t know who it was or how to get my stuff back.
The unwanted visitor in my home stole my jar of weed and all of my cash that night– he got it all before Sushi woke me up to warn me, unfortunately.
It dawned on me that this masked man had been in my home before. The night when Sushi ran out it wasn’t me who had let him out. I think the man came when I was sleeping that night, too. But, that time, he got away and my Sushi tried to run after him. I didn’t misplace my cash, that intruder stole it. I know this because I never found that cash anywhere, ever.
I had nightmares about this man every night and I awoke to every single noise for awhile. My landlord gave me a wooden bar to put between my windows so you couldn’t slide them open, even if they were unlocked. Which they never were again.
(Challenge #2 / Day #7)