I always feel secure and safe in my parent’s house. It is not big but it’s homey. It lacks the trappings of a 21st century house but it is comfortable. It is my home and I practically live here all my life. (I do not live in a subdivision or some posh village but our neighborhood presents amiable elders and all too familiar faces). It is my refuge, a little haven from all the noise and disorder that characterized a city.
But just last night, this belief was shamelessly shattered.
Unknown to us, “some activity” was already underway just outside our house (but still within the property’s perimeter) while we – my father, mother and I- were seated around the dining table with every intention to sup (Matt was already asleep). The pitter-patter of the rain provided the perfect cover.
My sister (AJ), who came home just in time to witness this “activity,” stopped in her tracks, so shocked to even unlatch the gate. Frozen. At the sight of my sister doing the motions of opening the gate, this intruder retreated, scooted off and took flight ober da bakod, with some of our wet garments in tow.
Ashen-faced AJ then nervously called my father and said that she saw somebody, whom she initially thought was my father, hauling off the clothes we left hanging outside to dry during the day (we didn’t have the time to tidy this up earlier because some relatives turned up in our doorsteps as soon as we arrived from our barber trip).
Gasp! Aghast. We were horrified when we heard this (And it was not even 8PM when this happened).
Instinctively, I secured the locks of the back door. My father shot off the front door, outside the gate to the dark night in record speed, barefooted. My mother darted off to check our clothes, or what was left of it. Through, the commotion, I was able to bring my father his slippers. Someone, maybe it was my sister (or was it my mother?) brought out the flashlights.
We didn’t track down the thief (but we didn’t expect to anyway). But we did recover heaps of clothing and some unmatched slippers (mine and my sis’) haphazardly scattered just outside our fence. He must have left all these in his hurry to flee, scurrying in the dark with only few pieces of wet clothing. But had it not for my sister's arrival, all these would have been a part of somebody's wardrobe!
I felt so harassed. So violated.
Dear Lord, protect us. Ug ikaw na bahala sa adtong tawhana.