Locked in my Parents’ House…

I was staying with my parents between lives.  I didn’t stay long because, well you know, having left home for so many years returning to the homestead is difficult and they really were stuck happily in their empty nester rut having also bid a fond farewell to my brother not so long ago!

I lasted 3 weeks.

I had a job and worked a reasonable 12 hour shift for four days followed by four days off.  I could almost have held down another job but instead I did things like take classes at Pineapple Studios, attend theatre matinees and run.

While in my childhood home I planned to exercise my rights to pound the pavements of South London before the birds set up their cacophony of a dawn chorus, light or not.

My first day off arrived and I crept down the stairs avoiding the familiar creaky boards not wanting to wake my parents in their small, charming, terraced Georgian cottage.

I slid  the top and bottom bolts of the front door, oiled by my father for ease of movement and flipped the safety latch.  Turning the knob I realised it would have been too simple to expect the door to open on the first pass.  I noticed key holes both Yale and skeleton and went off on a search.

There were always keys dangling from hooks alongside the coffee mugs in our kitchen cabinets.  Never having needed to perform this unlocking ritual I looked for labels, they were un-marked of course, conspirators in the official security secrets of the Baggarley London residence.

I unhooked them all and found the Yale and skeleton keys worked.  But still the door would not yield.

On further investigation I discovered there were dead bolts just beneath and above the old fashioned sliding bolts at the top and bottom of the door.

I returned to the kitchen cabinet and searched other would be hiding places but couldn’t come up with the missing key.

With the unused keys still in hand I thought that perhaps going into the back garden would afford me a means of escape, though with a brick wall at the end and a high wire fence to keep the adjoining school playing fields from coughing hockey pucks and balls into our back 40 (feet), I wasn’t very optimistic.

As expected, none of the remaining keys in hand worked on the French window.

I drew a deep breath and tried the lounge sash window but of course, some kind of locking system was in place and I noticed that even if I did have the corresponding keys I would need a ladder to access the top of the floor length casements for unlocking.

Rebelliously I left the front door unbolted and the keys in place.  Why does my twelve year old self emerge whenever I go home?  With an unkind heart I made my way back up to bed; I had to restrain myself from stamping up the stairs and flinging myself on my single divan with a defeated yelp!

When we all met later for breakfast I asked Daddy if he would share the complex ritual of keys with me for my run the following morning.

He refused on the grounds that since he wouldn’t be there when I left he couldn’t lock up after me.

So…I wasn’t expected to return?!

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