If this is Heaven, what is Hell?

Angie collected all her patience and what was left of her sanity and started walking. She couldn’t calm down, she wanted to scream, to cry, to yell.. She wanted all this anger and all this saddness to go away. She should have said something, she should have done something instead of looking at the “screaming old lady” or trying to protect herself mentally from all the poisonous words that the “screaming old hag” was uttering.

It all started a couple of years ago when Angie moved from her parent’s house in the mountains to this lonely tiny flat which is only 200 m away from the Beautiful University of Heaven. The building in which Angie’s apartment was located, was a very old dirty dusty construction. It had 3 floors and Angie lived on the first floor. For the last 2 years, Angie watched the building entrance moving from dirty, to dirtier, to the diritest, to disgusting. She tried many times to clean it, only to end up seeing it after a few days worst than before. She never could understand how someone can throw garbage in the entrance of his/her own house. She is still puzzled when she sees cigarette buds on the stairs leading to her flat and she still wonders how she ended up in this tiny ugly dirty place that she hardly likes in the first place.

Despite all those inconveniences, Angie stayed in the building, and did her best, based on her time availability to clean the building’s entrance, the stairs leading to her flat and – of course – her flat. But a couple of months ago, something happened that made her want to change things drastically in this building.

So what happened?

One fine monday morning, while struggling with one sad “monday morning syndrom“, Angie returned home to find the door entrance closed. She didn’t know what to do. It was very early in the morning and she didn’t feel like calling her neighbors or asking them to open the door for her. She tried to find a way to reach the lock in order to open the door, but with no luck. She took a walk along the street that leads to her flat, and tried to ask for help, but with no luck. So she waited patiently for about an hour, then called one of her neighbors who came down and opened the door for her. She tried to ask him for a key to the door, he didn’t have one. He told her to use a rope that was attached to the door, and encouraged her to use that rope to open the door when the door was closed, but the rope was removed that morning.

This episode was repeated two or three times on the following weeks and Angie didn’t know what to do. She was struggling with her old work, and she had enough on her mind.

And then one fine night, on her way back from a night out with her friends, Angie came “home” to find the entrance of the building, closed. She tried to open the door, but she couldn’t. She looked at her watch, and noticed that it was 1:30 AM.  Luckily for her, she had her car so she drove to her parent’s house. Her parents were delighted to see her, like they always are when she comes home after a long week.

After being stuck out during that night, Angie decided to take things in hand. But unfortunately she didn’t have enough time to deal with this issue and thought that this “incident”, as she likes to call it, was one “accident” that wasn’t necessarily going to be repeated again.

But to her disappointment, she returned home one night to find the door locked again. And again she drove to her parents house. And when she told her friends about that episode, they urged her to do something. Some of them, even asked her to call them in case she find herself in such similar conditions. And 2 or 3 of them felt weird when she opted to drive for 30 minutes very late at night, instead of spending the night at their flat.

And the episode was repeated one third time. And Angie was furious when she was locked outside and this time, she didn’t wait or procastinate or anaylze. She went around and started inquiring about a key to the main entrance. And guess what, no one, had a key. She contacted her landlord and asked him for a key, he didn’t have one, and he advised her to see with her neighbors. No one had a key. She knocked at every door on every floor and waited and waited for someone to answer but with no luck. She came at different hours and knocked but with no luck. Finally on the second day, she contacted her landlord and informed him that she was about to change the lock because she couldn’t take it anymore, because she wasn’t able to go to her flat, because the place was becoming dirtier everyday, because the whole thing was becoming unbearable. And she also told him that one of her neighbors, had promised her to change the lock and to give each resident a key. She told him that he promised to do that more than a month ago but he doesn’t seem to have the intention to do so. The landlord was very nice, and he told her to take care of the logistics, he also told her that he will reimburse her later.

So on a thursday morning, Angie went to see a locksmith and asked him to change the lock. The whole thing took him about an hour. He provided her with 12 keys and she made sure to leave a note on the building entrance and to go around telling the residents about the key to access the building. She left a note on every door in the building urging the residents to call her or to knock on her door to get their keys.

That same evening, at around 10PM, Angie received a telephone call from an angry woman who kept screaming and yelling for 10 consecutive minutes. Angie didn’t know what to say, except to apologize and to ask the woman to calm down. She tried to reason with her but she couldn’t. The woman was furious, she kept telling Angie that she wasn’t supposed to change the lock because she (the woman) had already change the lock and she had paid a large amount of money for the lock. She demanded to have the old lock, and Angie apologized by telling her that she didn’t have it. She even asked her to calm down and told her if she could come to see her. The lady had a small store in the building across the street and she… lived… on the second floor in Angie’s building. Angie tried to explain calmly and with patience that she didn’t know that the lock was changed and that she didn’t also know that the woman had a key. She tried to tell her with great humbleness that the reason that pushed her to change the lock was because she was stuck outside many times in the past, because the place was becoming unbearable and because she couldn’t live with this dirtiness any more. The lady kept screaming for a while and didn’t seem to listen to anything that Angie was saying.

( Thank you)

( To be continued :))
(By Zeina Gabriel)