Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Uninvited

I (24F) recently moved into an apartment in the city from my parent's suburban home. My whole life I have entered through a garage door using the keypad on the side of our house, so locking the front door behind me occasionally slips my mind since it never became habit. I learned pretty quickly to change that once a mystery figure entered one night this summer.

I'll explain the layout of my unit's entrance, because it is relevant. If you don't care, skip the following paragraph.

My roommate and I live in the basement unit below the main apartment building. Our windows overlook the alley way with the dumpsters, which is a local junkie hotspot to shoot up drugs/dumpster dive because it's quite secluded. There are often creeps back there doing gross stuff. Our unit's front door is behind a heavy locked main door that leads to the fire escape and other doors to other floors of the apartment (all of which remain locked), but the fire escape is easily accessed if you just climb on the fire escape. That said, so is our front door.

So one weekend evening this summer, I had a few friends over to drink before walking to the bars. One of them mentioned to me that a strange, hazy looking older dude had just waltzed into our hallway for a moment, looked around, and then exited out the heavy back door once someone said, "Uhhh, what's up dude? Are you lost?" We figured it was a drunk, directionally challenged guest who was looking for a way out, which I thought was odd because when using the fire escape, you're outside and can obviously tell which direction is the way out.

I woke up later that night around 4AM to my kitten and the Jack Russell mix puppy I was babysitting for the weekend wrestling around my bedroom and causing a rolly poly ruckus. I lay there awake for a good 10 minutes when suddenly I hear my door open. My roommate was elsewhere, and there I was all alone with a useless 7 month old puppy and 6 month old kitten.

I heard footsteps into my hallway. My bedroom door is wide open and there are bars on my windows, so I immediately realize I'm probably fucked on an exit strategy. They didn't seem lost because my unit looks way different from all the others and being in the wrong apartment would be obvious immediately. But then, the puppy starts snarling and barking from my bedroom. I'm probably lucky she stay in my room or else he could have figured out pretty quickly she wasn't a real threat. He closed the door behind him and I heard him leave out the heavy door in a rush.

I would have assumed it was an accident if my door wasn't all by itself on that floor, or had I heard activity on the fire escape prior to entrance. But they entered so quietly. The fact it happened twice in the same night implies to me someone knew it might be unlocked. Of all times to be babysitting a dog, thank god it was that time. And thank god I was awake and aware.

I'll never know, and quite frankly I don't want to. But that could have ended VERY badly. I remember to lock my door these days. Because holy shit.

-Cat

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