I hear it. Loud and clear. It's 5.30am at my apartment. I'm wide awake because Maxis' stupid mobile network lags again. An sms timestamped at 10.09pm last night only reached me in at 5.04am just now. The sound my phone beeping woke me up.
But that's not the sound I wanna talk about. I'm actually talking about the sound outside my door. The one I'm hearing right now at this very moment as I'm writing this. The sound of two metals knocking from a distance. I think someone's trying to break into my neighbour's apartment.
I'm scared. I don't know what to do. I'm pacing around like a headless chicken while writing this. I've been hearing it for about 45mins now. Continuous metal knocking, like the sound when someone uses a hammer and pahat (what's pahat in English?) to cut open a padlock. I've thought of going out to check it for myself, but I'm not about to be a naïve heroine. Especially not after hearing lots of stories about how burglars and thieves mercilessly slash their victims with parang just for being uncooperative. If they can do it to innocent people, what more to a random chick who's about to fail their mission.
Now I hear the Subuh azan, loud and clear. In the background, the metal knocking sound is still going on. Ya Allah please guide me. I don't know what to do. I can't call the cops coz I don't know for sure if it's really a burglary or someone just forgot his/her key after a long raya break. I'm puzzled. There's team security guards hired by the management, but where are they now? Can't they hear it? If me who's staying inside can hear it loud and clear, don't tell me they can't!
Oh God, this has been going on for an hour. The sun will come out in a while. Are those burglars for real? Are they going to continue their break-in attempt even after sunrise?
Oh someone's awake! I hear a neighbour's grill being opened with keys. I hope that person is brave enough to go and check out what's going on with the knocking metals.
Am I a coward for not doing anything? Am I selfish for locking myself inside and not trying to find out if there's real trouble going on out there? Am I a bad neighbour?
I feel so disturbed right now. Not knowing what's happening. Not knowing at which unit or even which floor the sound comes from. Not knowing what to do.
Ya Allah, is this the right thing to do? Are you telling me to take care of my own safety before caring for others? It that why I'm still sitting here, still hearing that knocking sound, still not doing anything about it, yet I don't feel much guilt, believing what I'm doing is right?
I'm hungry. I want to go downstairs and get something for breakfast, but I'm scared. The sound is still there but the intervals are wider apart. Perhaps whoever's doing the knocking is already tired. He has been knocking for almost 1 and half hours now.
I hear doors being opened and shut. Maybe other neighbours have now heard the noise and they are just as curious as I am, wanting to know what's going on but too scared to find out.
Maybe I'm being paranoid. Maybe it's nothing to worry about. Maybe some drunk idiot locked himself out of his unit and couldn't think of calling a locksmith to help him in. Maybe he did call, but the locksmith may want to charge him a limb for odd-hour service, so he decided to do it himself.
My imagination is running wild now. It's now 6.35am. The sound is still there. No longer persistent, but still there.
The sun is rising. It's 7.10am. I'm hungry. Heck it, I'm going to get my breakfast. I'll let you know what's going on later.
I'm at the mamak place downstairs, waiting for my roti telur and nescafe tarik. I'm going to tell you exactly what I saw.
I saw nothing. I heard the sound coming from some floors below mine. Went one floor down, the sound got louder, but nothing there. When another floor down, even louder, but still nothing. I saw a girl standing in front of a unit at the far end, apparently waiting for someone. Nothing strange.
I'm no bionic woman, so it took me a while before I could find out where the sound came from. It was from a unit two floors below mine. I wandered in front of the unit for a few minutes, trying to figure out from where exactly the sound originated. I was standing at the corridor facing the unit's awninged kitchen window, looking up at the sky, when I finally saw it. Big drops of water coming down from the rooftop way up there, perhaps from a leaking water tank. As the drops came down, they hit the unit's aluminium awning. The impact was so hard it sounded like metals knocking, even denting the awning.
I couldn't even express how relieved I felt. It was nothing after all.
Now I'm going to enjoy my roti telur and nescafe tarik without worries.