so it happened…. our house was burgled….. well to be exact the part of our house that my husband’s best friend lives in was burgled – cut through the security bars, removed the window putty & the pane of glass, managed to squeeze through a space that made one think ‘david copperfield’ & well our friend woke up to a black figure in his bedroom at 4am…..

in the mean time being a new mum i am so tuned into any noise that happens during the night….. so it was no surprise that i sat bolt upright in bed the minute i heard what sounded like (in my head at least) a fox being attacked by a dog with a cat thrown in for good measure. my only experience or recollection of such primal screams was when we first moved to live on battersea park after having lived in chelsea for 12 years…. we called the police the first night as we were convinced that a woman was definitely being attacked in the area – the troop of police that arrived searched high & low, found nothing & whilst standing on our doorstep giving us an update we heard the godawful spine chilling screeches again…. it was to our embarrassment we were informed that it was a fox…..

so back to the story at hand…. i was sure it was a fox this time. i hurtled out of bed, ran through the house to the front where the screams were just getting louder & louder only to realise in the very few seconds it took me to get there (with my husband hot on my trail) that this wasn’t a fox but our friend downstairs evoking a guttural earth shattering  scream that just didn’t seem real but most definitely was.

truth be told… you always wonder what you’d do in a situation like this…. hit the panic buttons, call the police, call the security guys etc… etc… but thing is… it is actually so terrifying, so out of your ‘normal’ way of thinking, you actually have no idea what you’ll do until you find yourself in this situation.

the blood curdling screaming continued (all of this mounting up to probably a couple of minutes but of course seemed like forever in the moment). i instinctively ran for our balcony door knowing that by opening it i would set the alarm off (trying to find a panic button in the dark just wasn’t even a notion) & i proceeded to shout his name over & over again at the top of my lungs from our balcony.

in the meantime my husband had armed himself with a cricket bat & was heading out the front door when i almost blew a gasket & screamed for him to stay inside as we had absolutely no idea of what was going on down there & well there was absolutely NO WAY i was going to watch my husband head off into the unknown when we live in a country like south africa where value for life is pretty much non-existant. and well, there lies the saddest reality of it all….. we are so fucking scared in this country that even if you hear someone’s alarm going off or someone screaming nobody does anything….. and really how can one blame them…?

so there we were, helpless upstairs with only our imaginations to keep us company…… a very dangerous & scary space to be in.

thank heavens city bowl (our security company who i honestly can’t praise enough) arrived within 2 minutes of the alarm going off & SAPS (south african police) arrived not too long afterwards. at this point we were in contact by phone with our friend & thank heavens he was not hurt but understandably completely rattled and could barely talk from all his shouting. he was telling us not to come down as he had no idea how many intruders there were or if they were still on our property – we should wait for the police & the security to clear the area. as it turns out they had crossed over into our neighbours garden.

will they ever catch the perpetrator (s)… no, obviously not! it took 3 days for the ‘fingerprint’ guy to arrive to take fingerprints…. i mean do me a favour!!!!???? it took 3 cops to try & figure out how to work the camera to take a picture of the broken window…

but beyond all of this i think the thing that stands out the most to me is that our friend was shouting with the most incredibly harrowing voice, i actually had to ask him later how he managed to get that level of noise to come out of him – it truly was unlike anything i had ever heard before…. then i was on our balcony screaming his name over & over again & well those of you who know me know that i am not known to be ‘soft of voice’…. our alarm was set off 3 times (people walking through the various beams) & yet when i called on our neighbours the following morning not one of them heard a thing!!!!????

a friend of mine actually hit the nail on the head when i relaid the story to him along with my utter amazement that no-one else heard the hectic pandemonium that was taking place in our house….. they’ve tuned out of it, he said…. there are so many alarms going off on any given night…. they have simply just tuned out of it (a thought actually repeated by my one neighbour when later in the day she said that now that she had time to think about it she ‘might have heard an alarm going off’……

and to think just weeks before i had been lulled into such a sense of peace & wellbeing that i actually found myself questioning myself whether i would actually want to leave this ‘wonderful life’ of mine if it weren’t for my family all being in the states….. evidently the universe felt a strong need to remind me why we have made the choices we have made.

and as for the ‘wonderful life’….. well, it sure as hell ain’t that wonderful now!

a very high price to pay

a very high price to pay

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