It was a night much like all the other nights. Both my mother and I had just done our Maghrib prayers and then retreated to the family area to unwind. Although the TV was on, we were not really watching, preferring to just sit back and relax. As always, at this time, the spouse would still be at the mosque.
And then we heard the turning of the door knob in the living area, not once but twice. We were not at all bothered by this, thinking that it was the spouse. Sitting where we were, we could not see what was going on in the living area; we could only hear. We knew the drill following every single turn of the door knob by heart. There would be the slamming of the door, the securing of the latches and the hurried footsteps of the spouse to where we were, to catch up on the 8 p.m. news on TV.
Strangely enough, there was a complete silence after the turning of the door knob. It took us several minutes to register this. The moment we understood the implication, there was both fear and panic. I ran to the living area to check on the door. It was securely locked. Then I did a hasty check on the other two doors and windows. They were all properly fastened.
A quick glance at the clock was all that I needed to conclude that it was a bit too early
for the spouse to return from his prayers. Yet both my mother and I distinctly heard the knob being turned. It was clearly not a fragment of our imagination. It was for real.
A check with the spouse when he returned home ten minutes later confirmed that it wasn’t him. So, who could it be? It would be too early for the prowlers to start on their rounds. But, if they had been keeping tabs on us, they would know that we were at our most vulnerable between 7.15 to 8.00p.m. when there would only be the two of us in the house.
If not the prowlers, who?
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