Has it ever happened with you that by mistake you shut the auto-lock door while going out but the moment you slammed the door shut, you are like ‘Holy Shit! Left the keys inside’? And then realize that you even forgot your phone inside. *Another curse*. And that you were staying alone in the apartment as your roommates are out of town till next week? *Another curse*. And that too at such an unfortunate time that even your landlord wouldn’t be available till next day to bail you out? *Another curse*. And then you can’t help a smile thinking that it had happened again.
Almost 4 years back, I had gone through the experience of feeling homeless for 3-4 hours in a foreign land(Switzerland) having locked out the door accidentally but forgetting to take the house keys. After that incident, I developed the habit of double checking that I have the key to ensure that I don’t end up in a similar situation again. However, taking precautions may not always prevent the accident but it may only delay the accident to happen.
Unfortunately a few days back I went through the almost same ordeal. It happened when I stepped out of the apartment in the night around 9 pm to check the mailbox downstairs. I checked my pockets (by habit) to see if I had keys and I did have a key (but it was just the mailbox key!) and then I shut the door thinking I had the house keys. And when I reached the mailbox, I realized what the hell I have done. I started thinking about ways how I could get in the house.
- Contact leasing office to get duplicate keys, but its closed and will be open only next morning 9 am.
- Break in to the house through balcony but it was too dangerous and I could have ended up spending night in jail if I was seen doing a break-in. And secondly, the balcony door was closed.
- Contact a friend to whom I had given the duplicate keys to house but who is living 15 miles away. I neither had the phone to contact him nor a vehicle to reach there, nor did I have the wallet to pay for taxi.
- Contact my neighbor and take his help to contact my friend who had the keys.
- Go to a friend’s house which was nearby and spend the night at his house and come back to leasing office next morning to get duplicate keys.
After having thought of all these possible options, I felt that there was no need to panic. So, I thought let me meet my neighbors (who didn’t even know that I was their neighbor) , try explaining to them my crisis situation and seek their help to contact my friends. The neighbor was a Spanish guy who was quite friendly and welcomed me inside his home. I requested him to contact the leasing office and check if there is any chance of someone doing a night shift who could help in such emergency situations. He called up the leasing office but as expected no one was there to pick up. Luckily, two of my friends turned up at my door and they were knocking my door and calling my phone (which was inside the home). I wasn’t aware that someone was at my door as I was inside my neighbor’s home. Then, they said something to each other and I was able to recognize a familiar tone and I opened up my neighbor’s door to see those familiar faces. I can’t tell how delighted and relieved I felt to see them. I thanked my neighbor for his assistance and then went with friends to meet the friend whom I had given keys earlier this morning.
Phew! And I felt great relief to come back to the warmth of home after missing it for about an hour 🙂
(PS: I was watching this movie ‘The Hidden Face’ (SPOILER ALERT!) today where a lady ends up locking her inside a secret room and is helplessly trapped there for a month as she forgot the keys to unlock the door of secret room. I wish I had seen that movie before and realized the importance of keys!)