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In my previous post titled “If this is Heaven, what is Hell?” I described one episode that Angie faced with the “screaming old lady” who happened to be Angie’s neighbor. The story isn’t over yet. Would you like to read the continuation of the story? ( ummm… again… I won’t wait for your answer..But I really hope that you’d really want to read this part 🙂 Thank you in advance for reading, for re-reading, for sharing this story with your friends, and for commenting 🙂

So where was I ? My last post ended when Angie went to see the “old screaming lady” who didn’t seem to listen to any word that Angie tried to say.

Those minutes during which Angie was trying to communicate with the woman seemed like a century. The woman pointed out mistakes that were made when the door was closed and the lock installed. She told Angie that the door shouldn’t have been closed the way it is now, she also told her to contact the locksmith again to redo the work. And then suddendly the woman calmed down and wanted to show Angie around. She took her to her house on the second floor and started talking about religion, war, peace, and people and made sure to elaborate on each resident of the building. She even told her about the building, about her own family and about her newly married daughter. And then suddendly, the old woman seemed to have an urge to leave and she kind of kicked Angie out of her house and returned to her store pretending that “she couldn’t leave her – other – daughter alone in the middle of the night”.

Angie returned home that evening and cried herself to sleep.

After this episode, everything seemed to calm down. The building entrance  became cleaner and cigarette buds slowly disappeared.

Then one night, after a month or two, Angie came home to find the lock broken and the door wide open. She didn’t know what to do or what to think. She simply closed the door and went into her flat. The next morning she tried to inquire about why, who, when,  and how the lock was broken. She wanted to know badly why it was broken. But again, she didn’t get any answers. Everybody seemed to be innocent… So she contacted the landlord again and told him about the issue. He told her to change the lock and to make sure to tell everyone that she had extra keys and if one happens to loose one’s key, all that was to do is to ask for one and not to break the lock. So the same day, Angie contacted the locksmith and changed the lock.  He managed to change something in the lock in order to allow the building residents to use their keys.  And Angie thought that this “accident” was just an “incident” that wasn’t going to be repeated again.

But exactly one week later, Angie came home late at night and couldn’t use her key to unlock the door. The lock had been broken again. She was angry… She wanted to scream out loud… She was feeling like an idiot. She remembered when her mother used to compare a man’s action to a donkey’s action. Her mother used to tell her that a donkey hits a wall one time, but the next time, he chooses a different path. Something in Angie’s mind was telling her that if she replaces the lock this time, she wouldn’t be compared to a donkey because in this case her IQ would be lower than the donkey’s IQ.

She hardly slept that night. All demons of all times were dancing in front of her eyes and in her mind. Nothing could calm her down not even the sweetest music or the softest words. She couldn’t call anyone because it was very late at night… She had to deal with this issue (like many other issues she had to deal with before) all by herself.

A few hours later, she managed to put herself to sleep but she kept seeing nightmares.

When the morning finally came, Angie didn’t feel like waking up… She didn’t feel like breathing or thinking or living or anything. She wished she could find a way to turn herself off (just like a computer) and to restart everything all over again.

It was almost 7AM and she wanted to take things in hand. She wanted to finally be in charge of things around her and not to simply go with the flow and let everything carry her, the wind, life, people, the wave, or even time… So she listened carefully to the noise coming from outside her flat, and waited for her neighbors to start walking down the stairs. And when she heard that one person was on his way to leave the building, she opened the door of her flat and talked to him. She greeted him and asked him if he knew what happened to the lock. The young man seemed very peaceful and advised her to speak with his brother because he didn’t know anything. So she waited for the brother to walk down the stairs and spoke with him and again he denied knowing anything about the slightest thing. He advised her to contact his neighbors on the 3rd floor. So at around 7:50 AM and slightly before going to work, Angie walked to the 3rd floor and spoke with her neighbors. She had to wait for a few minutes for someone to open the door for her. The sleepy young man who opened the door was very polite but he didn’t know what happened to the lock. He called his two roommates who didn’t know anything either.

So Angie thanked him politely, returned to her flat, picked up her stuff and walked to her new office. She was telling herself that no matter what, she wasn’t going to replace the lock. When she left, the building was still accessible by simply pushing the door if one was coming from the outside but when she came back in the afternoon for her lunch break, the buidling entrance wasn’t accessible anymore. She couldn’t put her key into the lock and she couldn’t push the door to open it. So she collected all her patience, took several deep breathes and contacted her landlord. He was furious when he heard that the lock was broken for the second time in less than one week. In a way, she could understand his anger, she was furious herself but she was collecting all her patience to stay calm and peaceful. He advised her to get the locksmith and to remove the lock. He also advised her to get a chain and a cheap lock. He also asked her to see with her neighbors especially with the “old screaming lady”. So she walked to the old lady’s store and listened to her mourn and yell and scream one more time. Angie told her that she couldn’t open the entrance door and the woman walked with her to the main entrance and tried with her own key to open the door. And since she couldn’t open it, she started mourning and giving orders… She ordered Angie to get the locksmith because she (the old woman)- who by the way doesn’t live in the 2nd floor because the house on the second floor belonged to her mother-in-law who passed away a couple of month ago – had to cook for her children.

Feeling totally weird… Angie walked to the shop of the locksmith and told him about the issue. She even urged him to remove the lock. When he came a few minutes later, he was puzzled and couldn’t understand what had possibly happened to the lock and to the door. The “screaming old hag” came shortly after, started making bitter remarks and demanded to have her old lock back. Stress was rising. Negative vibes were filling the place slowly and steadily. And Angie thought about a lecture she once heard about the preliminaries of a fight and wondered what to do in order to avoid a probable clash. The locksmith told the old lady that he didn’t have her lock and that he threw it away. She told him that the current lock was useless, cheap, of bad quality and was badly installed. The locksmith felt offended and insulted, so he replied that the lock is of an excellent quality and he installed it in an excellent way. The old hag demanded to have her old lock back. The locksmith her repeated to her that he had thrown it away. She pointed out that the door shutter shouldn’t have been done in the way it was done because it is impossible to open the second shutter. He told her that he did his best with this old door and that it was all he could do. Angie could see the anger reaching its peak, and wondered what will happen if this man would actually beat this woman, right here, right now. And finally she heard herself saying… “please calm down, there is no need to stress about this issue… please calm down”… The old hag walked away. And the locksmith removed the lock and asked for a high fee… Angie handed him the money and mumbled something that he need to calm down and that she was really sorry for this epsiode. He asked her why didn’t she say anything to the old hag? He asked her why didn’t she answer her when she started screaming and yelling? He asked her why was she so calm and so peaceful? She only answered him that she is a very polite person by nature and that she found that it wasn’t very useful to answer the woman especially that answering her would be like spilling oil on fire…

(Thank you 🙂

(By Zeina Gabriel)