Monday, October 3, 2016

An OCD's Experience of Burglary.

Written based on the question: "I keep thinking about it, and the more I think about it the more..."


I keep thinking about it, and the more I think about it the more it doesn't make sense. I locked the windows and the door, I'm sure of that. I made sure everything was in its place before I went up to bed. The living room was tidy, the curtains were drawn, and the kitchen was spotless. Not forgetting the alarm system: it was DEFINITELY activated. So why am I greeted with all this filth when I came down this morning?

I was never a messy person. "Neat" would be an understatement when it is used to describe myself. I MUST have order, and I must be clean at all times. I was always the one that came to school in the whitest blouse and the straightest pinafore, and I went home looking exactly the way I entered the school grounds every single day of my schooling life. Every. Single. Day. Some days my blouse was so white that it almost glowed under the purplish-blue hue of the early morning sky. My belongings were always where I liked them to be, all categorized and placed strategically so I could keep them back as easily as I would take them out. You might think, a freak like me, surely there would be countless times that I'd been bullied, and you would have suspected wrongly. Who would dare disturb a 1.9 m, 90 kg girl who easily towered over even the tallest teacher in school, and was famous for being the (unofficial) MVP of all Tarik Tali events in every Sports Day for five consecutive years? So, yes, everybody left little OCD giant alone to her book-arranging and pencil-sharpening. I just love being organized, and all my life I've been organized, until this faithful morning. So, you can just imagine how horrified I am, finding things where they should not be. 

The freshly-bought magazines are all torn out of their plastic wrappers and spread all around the coffee table, WHICH, has a mug of half-drunken coffee placed dangerously close to the edge of the table, WITHOUT A COASTER. NO. Just, NO. As quick as lightning I dashed to the living room to save my beloved white rug from destruction, if God forbid an earthquake had to happen right at this moment and shake the damn mug over the edge. So I picked up the cool ceramic mug off the table, and saw the unmissable coffee ring on the white marble table, and right next to the stain, on the rug (which I saved from a potential coffee spillage!), dirt. I have never felt so enraged that I actually felt nauseated to the point of vomiting, but of course, I wouldn't do that. Not on my rug, even if it's already ruined with a snot of the planet. 

There are some fingerprints left on the television screen, which is strange, because which burglar would be dumb enough to not wear a glove when they break-in to houses. Also, who touches the television screen?? I can never understand the minds of criminals, but I would expect them to at least wipe their fingerprints off with a napkin, which I'd conveniently provided in a nice little Hello Kitty tissue box right beside the television. Nevertheless, the alarm did not go off, I just realized. I turned to my front door, where the controls for the security system are. "Activated", it said. Then I went around the house, pulling back every single curtain and check on every single window pane. Nothing. All windows are shut, just the way I left them last night. No footprint, not even a speck of dirt anywhere. So, how did this bottom-grade burglar who's foolish enough to leave fingerprints and evidence on every single thing he touched and did, manage to enter my house unnoticed?

You would be thinking: Well, check the CCTV! Yes, I would've, but then you didn't see the disaster in the kitchen. My cereal boxes are all toppled over, Koko Krunch is mixing with Fitnesse is mixing with Cheerios on top of a pile of Corn Flakes. The fridge door is opened (I try not to think so much about the electricity bill that I will be receiving very soon), so is the oven with some brown slime splattered all over the interior, which is also where I find the partially melted bottle of Nutella. The hand towel is on the floor, in a mangled state and soaked in what appears to be pasta sauce. The table towel is found on the stove, which, I'm glad it was not turned on by the burglar last night otherwise I would be waking up without a house to live in anymore, IF I survived the fire, that is.

By now, you must be thinking: Have you checked your belongings? Is anything valuable missing? Well, nothing is missing, I can tell you that. Because the place where I hid my valuables was not even touched. But just to make you feel better, I will check it out.

Yep, everything is still there, all in their organized boxes and piles.

I must call the cops now, before I start cleaning up all this mess. So I dialed 999 and reported the incident, and it will take about 10 minutes until the police arrive to investigate everything. 10 minutes of living in this chaos; I have to keep myself calm.

My phone started ringing; it's 9 a.m., I should be at work now, so I'm guessing it should be my boss, Karen. And I was correct. Karen called and questioned me on my tardiness and of course asked about the Lee-Wong deal. 

"I've done the proposal yesterday and emailed it to Brian to triple-check them," I said, as calmly as I can.

"What?? I just saw Brian and he did not receive email from you," replied the panicky Karen. We have been working on this deal for over two months and the long hours and late nights for a deal on one stupid piece of land is taking its toll on us, especially Karen being the main PIC of this deal. You see, Mr.Lee is a cut-throat man, while Mr.Wong is your typical kiasu uncle, so it had to take us a long time before finally agreeing on all the terms and conditions for Wong to finally pay for the land he so desperately wanted.

"Well, you have to ask him to check again, I am sure I've sent him a copy, I can see it right now in my 'sent' folder," I said, staring at my computer screen in a corner of the living room.

"Got ah? Okay okay I will find him again, bye," answered Karen, and the call was cut off.

Two police officers turned up at my door a little bit later and made their rounds around the house. They find the whole situation odd, as clearly nothing was stolen; it seems like the burglar really just wanted to watch some TV and have some breakfast. They then asked for my CCTV footage, so I brought them to my computer and pull up the recordings:

11.30 p.m, that's me, turning the lights off and the alarm system on, then head upstairs. 

12 a.m, the whole house is dark.

12.30 a.m, still nothing. Se we fast forwarded the footage and suddenly there's some movement in one of the screens and we slowed down the recordings to the original speed. 

Wait. What?

That's me!

That's me coming down the stairs, turning off the security system, opening my front door, turned, and walked straight to the couch in front of the TV and sat down. Just sitting and staring at the blank television screen. I don't even remember doing all that. Was I sleep-walking? Have I sleep-walked before? Have I been opening my front door wide for anyone to come through every night? When did this started? Suddenly a chill creeps up my spine, to the back of my neck; have I always behaved this dangerously?

"Ah, miss ah, you sure this is a break-in ah? You opened the door wor," said one of the officers.

"Arr, wait. Wait. Let's continue watching," I said. I can't be the one who caused this entire catastrophe, could I?

I was wavering on whether I have lost my mind and then we saw someone passed by my front porch, and very quickly took some steps back, and peeked into my living room. That was Beng, my neighbor. Also known as my arch nemesis. So why was he on my property?!

Beng walked into my living room, where I was, and appeared to be talking to me, but I was not responding. He must've realized that I was sleep-walking, because he started taking the magazines on the coffee table and ripping the plastic wrappers right in front of my face, one at a time, taunting me, and I showed no response to whatever he was doing at all. Well, that explains the mess on the table.
He then proceeded to the kitchen and begin to make a mess everywhere, as we've seen the aftermath earlier. It seems like he was trying to test his limits on how loud and messy he can be before I woke up and catch him in action. But no, still no response. 

Eventually he grew tired of terrorizing my house and decided to make himself a cup of coffee and sat down RIGHT BESIDE ME and began sipping his beverage, IN MY FAVORITE MUG. Then he tried to turn on the television but couldn't find the remote, so he went towards the device and touched all over it, hoping to find the 'On' button. "It's voice-activated, you idiot," I thought to myself. Fool.

After failing to turn the television on, he decided that it was time to head back home. He'd even waved his hand right in front of my face before strolling out of my house like he just wont the lottery!

"Officer! You saw what he did! Isn't this considered as invasion of property?!" I exclaimed. Beng HAS to be arrested for doing this to my house!

After he left, there was just me, just sitting in the living room staring at the television, with my front door still opened wide. We fast forwarded the footage further, and when the time showed 5 a.m, I was seen geeting up from the couch, walked to the front door to shut it, turned the alarm system back on, and walked up the stairs, towards my bedroom.

The three of us fell into an awkward silence after we finished watching the CCTV footage. I can feel that they're confused at what's happening too: is this even a legitimate case of a break-in?

"Err, technically, you opened the door lah...but then... that doesn't mean your neighbor can simply masuk and buka party here. You sure ah, you didn't allow him to come in?" asked the second officer, finally breaking the silence.

"Of course not! Where got people open their front door big big late at night wan??"

"Okay, miss. Then we will go to your neighbor's place and get his testimony, okay?"

"Ya ya okay, then my house like that, can I clean up or not?"

"Hmm, not yet la, my partner contacted the station just now. Since you still insist to lodge a report then we still have to collect some evidence of your neighbor entering your house and carry on with our SOP. So, you have to wait a bit for our team to arrive can?"

Reluctantly, I waited for more officers to come over and collect everything that they needed. They took pictures of the 'crime scenes' and took fingerprint samples. I would've asked them to get Beng's DNA from the mug he drank from too, if I didn't give in to my condition and decided to wash the mug first. Taking DNA samples might be too much, but it's Beng, so I don't really care. 

I called my mother and asked if I have always been sleep-walking since young, but she confidently told me that I have no such problems growing up:

"Girl, make sure you get a check-up at the doctor's soon, okay? Ask about the sleep-walking and if there's any way you can stop it. Dangerous lo, if this continues," my mum advised, clearly concerned.

"Okay mummy, I will go soon. Either tonight or tomorrow," I answered, trying to provide some comfort.

It was a weird day. 

Well, at least Mr.Lee and Mr.Wong finally signed the agreements, as a very excited Karen told me over the phone later that day.

Word count: 2,104 

Clearly, I am an over-achiever. D:

For more stories I've written previously, click here.