After having lunch with my friend down town I headed to my favorite super market on my way home for some last minute shopping and to leave some serving plates to the chef there as I was catering part of the upcoming gathering in a couple of days.
I love my new car. It is smaller than my old one, definitely much lighter, and I feel it is my little toy, a little plaything that looks like a jewel with its champagne color. It is perfect to run around in doing my errands. It’s fuel consumption is practically nothing compared to the old one and I simply love it. I would never forget the day I got it, because that was the day my water was cut off and all the contention at my compound started. But that is another story.
Goldie, my new car, very quickly became my favorite and I started using it most of the time, forcing myself to take the old one out every once in a while so it does not feel neglected. So of course I was in Goldie when I stopped over at the supermarket for my errands. This being the day before Easter Sunday the super market was packed. I had to circle twice before I finally saw someone leaving and slipped into their just vacated spot. I felt very lucky, it was literally in front of the mall door, and even luckier, they had left their shopping cart right there, so I was set to go.
I got out of the car and locked it with the remote control on the key, went round to the boot, opened it with the remote control, took out the serving plates and put them in the cart then slammed shut the boot as it sometimes doesn’t catch, so had to really slam it hard.
With the bunch of keys still in my right hand, my handbag slung over my left shoulder, I walked to the door of the mall where there are a couple of security guys standing by an electronic metal detector. One took my bag and scanned it, the other took my shopping cart around the metal detector, I went through, the detector went off because I had my keys in my hand, but they let me through anyway because they know me. I stretched my hand with the keys to get the shopping cart and all my keys fell. I found myself holding the keychain medallion. I bent down to pick them up, the ring with all my houses’ keys, the single car key for the old car and…. where is Goldie’s key? I had just used it to open the boot! I immediately turned around, retraced my steps exactly to the car, searching every inch of the ground till I got back to the car which was all the time in my sight as it was parked right there.
The car parked behind me had a driver sitting in it, a young chap who was baby sitting a large white dog. He got out of the car and asked me what the problem was and I told him exactly what happened. He said that he’ll go in and look around at the spot where the keys fell. He took some time, came back and said he found nothing but went in to the Mall’s Security office and reported the key missing. I thanked him, but realized that I was now standing there with the service plates, with no key on the horizon and a locked car. The only other possible option would be if it fell in the boot as I leaned in to get the service plates. But that too was locked. I had to do something.
After the initial paralyzingly shock, my brain started to function again and I got my houseboy/driver on the line, told him where he could find the spare keys to both my old car and Goldie, to come and bring Goldie’s spare key. And there I stood waiting for him. The young driver from the neighboring car kept me company for a while, then had to leave when his patrons came out of the Mall. I called my friend to tell her about my adventures and she reassured me that I would find it in the boot. Then another friend called to wish me a happy Easter and I told her about what was happening. All that done I just stood there next to the car with the shopping cart full of serving plates. I did not dare move fearing that if someone had found the key they could just easily open it and take it and go. So I stuck to it like glue.
I was getting anxious, so I called the Chef to whom I was going to give the plates, to let him know that I was there but stuck next to the car. In a couple of minutes the Chef and one of his assistants came out, he gave the plates to his assistant and stood there with me. Of course he wanted to know what happened so the whole story came out again. He looked all around, even looked under the car, no key. He suggested I call someone from Security to stand guard over the car and wait for the spare key to come inside the Mall, but I did not feel comfortable about that and said I would be fine. He left after that by a couple of minutes.
It was just fifteen minutes later that my driver arrived with the spare. I told him to open the car, pull the lever to open the boot as I wanted to check if the key had fallen in there. He opened the car and then as he was about to pull the lever of the boot the car’s alarm went off! I asked him if he had pressed any key or something and he said, no nothing. I was a bit baffled. The alarm would not go off if you are using the spare, or would it? Anyway, the key was not in the boot. Huge disappointment. So I told my driver to sit in the car till I went in and reported the loss to the Mall’s Security Office. He did, and I did. Then I came out, took Goldie’s spare key and drove her back home, feeling very depressed about the whole situation. The key that I lost was the one with the remote control.
Two hours later I got a call from the Mall’s Security Office telling me that the key has been found. I was ecstatic! Where? Who found it? I got very vague answers, that it was found and even with the ring it was on. I was so happy I told them I would be picking it up the next day. But later when I started thinking about what had happened, I realized that someone had seen me get out of the car, seen the key drop, took the opportunity to pick it up and waited for me to get into the Mall, but unfortunately for him I came right out again looking for the key, and just would not leave, stuck to the car like glue. And now the alarm going off made sense. He was trying the key while we were fiddling around opening the car, but he missed it by a few seconds because the alarm went off AFTER the car was opened and while the driver was bending down to pull the boot’s lever. The remote control key has a button for the alarm!! So there was the thief standing, all the time I was there, waiting for his chance to get into the car and go. This realization gave me the creeps. Thank God it was still daylight, thank God the Mall was packed with shoppers, thank God for my stubbornness in sticking to the car and only left it when the driver was there to watch it. I could have so easily lost my beloved Goldie to an unscrupulous opportunistic thief, but God saw fit to show me His grace and to tell me that He is watching over me. It is now a really Happy Easter.
12 April 2015