26 January 2013

Hafiz Adewuyi

A Close Call

Here I was this morning, prancing around my apartment, clad in nothing. It’s pretty normal for me to be like that when I happen to be the only one at home, preparing for a bath.  At that instant, I happened to be in the reception area of the flat. I’d been sorting the week’s dirty laundry, when I heard a sound that seemed to come from the staircase leading directly into the reception. My mind told me it couldn't be true even as I was about to enter panic mode. After all, I was the only one in the house? 

I moved closer, still wearing only my skin, to the door atop the staircase to investigate. At this point, I recognized the sound: the one produced when you ruffle a plastic (nylon) bag. The sound grew louder, an indication that its source was approaching me. My acumen kicked in and it did not take me long to have a full grasp of what was happening. The realization was so creepy that I responded with an immediacy that shocked even me. I slammed the staircase-reception door shut and spun around, as my agitated mind searched for the quickest way to conceal its bare carrier. Soon, I was in the nearest bedroom, wrapping myself in the towel which was spread over the door as I breathed a sigh of relief. I thought about how lucky I was as things could easily have turned out quite differently.

Half an hour before the just described moments, I had just arrived home from the previous day’s work. I had bought two bags of potable sachet (pure) water and as my hands were full, I could not take them with me on my first journey up. So, I had left the bags at the entrance below the staircase, deciding to return for them as soon as I’d dropped my backpack. However, me being the who that I am, I soon got so involved in my chores that I quickly forgot about the bags of water and the entrance door which I had left ajar.

Of late, two nice kids whom I have for neighbors have indeed been very helpful. Almost every day of this week, they would come running for me as soon as I returned from work, struggling with each other over who would carry which of my backpack and pair of shoes. Thus, on my investigation, I didn't even need to hear their voices to decipher who it was walking up my staircase, generating that familiar noise. They had probably been passing by the entrance when they saw my water and mused, “This bro. probably could use some help with these”.

I’m so thankful that the circumstances had been just as they were at that time. What if I had had a headset on, or I had been in another room of the house and just walked in on the babies in the reception, oblivious and unclothed.  It would indeed have been quite embarrassing on my part and probably, some form of child abuse, considering that a 10-year old girl and an 8-year old boy just should not discover what a mature man looks like without clothes in this way. 

Even now as I write, I wonder what impacts such a vulgar encounter would have had on them. Would it have changed their perspective on me completely? Would they always have imagined me unclad whenever we crossed paths from then on? I’m glad I have no compulsion to try to determine the answer to these questions because I was almost, but not quite caught butt-naked.

Can somebody help me shout alleluia?

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