I don’t want to ever relive last night. Not ever. You hear me?
After babysitting my friend’s kids, I got dropped off a little over midnight at my home. I unlocked the door and tried opening it only to find that my roommates had used our hotel-style lock leaving me locked out. The vestibule had now become my new home. A 15-degree dirty, cobweb filled, home. I wouldn’t be let in until 4 a.m.
I initially laughed. Surely this won’t last long. I could just call them. Nope, phone is dead. Yell for them? Nope, they’re asleep.
After banging on the windows, on the walls, on the door, trying to hop the back fence, yelling their names, I realized I was stuck. I was stuck outside of my own home! I was so close. It was right there. This door, this damn door, was keeping me from feeling warmth. I can’t explain to you the overwhelming frustration and fear that moved within me. I couldn’t do anything except cry.
The 15-degree temperature became evident as I felt it enter my bones. Thankfully I had my gym bag, so I threw all the layers I could conjure out of my stinky clothes in hopes it would help. It wasn’t enough. I was shaking from the inside. I tried sleeping but I couldn’t because (1) I was frozen and (2) I was scared that someone would see me and that I wouldn’t be able protect myself.
Every 30 minutes or so I banged on the door and yelled for help. It didn’t seem to matter. It was reminiscent of a reoccurring nightmare that I have — the one in which I yell for help but nobody hears me. I was even able to open the door wide enough to get my hand through, but I could only move and throw things — the sound wasn’t loud enough.
I laid on top of the incredibly gross floor mats that have soaked up all of winter’s grime and I thanked God for the privilege, and honestly, the decadent life style I have. I have a bed. I have blankets. I have an enclosed space that protects me from the outside. I have access to clean water and food and modern toilets. I cannot explain to you how humbling it was to sleep on the floor outside my own house. I kept seeing the faces of the homeless people I pass on the street every day. And I know I only had hours of it, and in all honesty, it could have been worse, but my heart was pained to the core realizing how good I have it.
It was nearing 4 a.m. and I lost feeling in my feet and hands. I was terrified of frostbite. (I am so thankful that I got locked out on the cusp of spring or else I would have been screwed.) I yelled, slamming the door once more, a desperate plea for someone to let me in.
Finally my roommate heard me! She came and let me in and I could barely get up off the floor. Everything hurt. I was so cold. I ran straight to the bathroom to take a shower and warm myself up.The warm water burned my extremities. I couldn’t stop shaking and crying whilst showering. It was over, right? I am finally in my home. No, please, not ever again
I am exhausted. I had four and a half hours of sleep and my body is incredibly achy. I am in a strange daze.
So, what did I learn from this experience? Many things. Many things. But ultimately, I am thanking God for my life and the safety and security I have.
And oh, we’ve added a new house rule: do not lock the top lock until you receive confirmation that the person is not coming home. Yup.