After the cleaners left, I took the boys out for lunch and then drove Ivan to his piano class. I returned home and noticed that my clothes drying rack, located at the back of my house, was shifted at an awkward angle.
Someone moved my rack, I told Aaron.
Could it be the wind? He asked, and we both took note of the unusually strong wind blowing at that moment.
The rack was heavy with damp clothing. Could it have been the wind?
An hour later, I drove out to pick Ivan from piano. As i alighted from the car, I noticed the muddy foot prints on my garage floor. There were a few, some walking towards the direction of my front door, and some towards the side garden.
Look, I exclaimed to the two boys, someone has been in the house.
The cleaners had just cleaned the garage this morning, so the foot prints must be fresh. I had noticed some workers mowing the front sidewalk just now, and the prints looked suspiciously like that of the boots they were wearing. I put my own sandals on top of it, they were much larger than mine.
The thought of someone trespassing my house gave me the shiver. Did he try to open the front door? Or perhaps peer through my windows?
I called Mike. He thought perhaps the grass cutters wanted some water to drink?
Impossible! even so, he was trespassing, I argued.
I told mum. She said, he must have been observing your house the whole time, and the moment you drove out, he went into your house. You’d better be careful from now onwards.
I couldn’t eat a proper dinner that night and hurried the boys to finish their dinner and hurry home. Perhaps he was still there, trying to get into my empty house.
Mike came home near midnight and asked if I had reported to the police. What’s there to report – there was nothing stolen, and no eye witnesses, other than the foot prints. He asked if I had locked my car door. Our neighbours reported having their cash cards stolen from both cars one morning. He went down to lock it.
For the first time in my entire life, I felt unsafe in my own house. Sometimes, the house does appear too big, with gardens leading from the front to the back. The police apparently thought so too and requested to search our garden one night at 2am during the hunt for Mas Salamat.
On another occasion, I was in the kitchen at 6am when I thought I heard someone in front of my wide-opened door, which I had been sure must have been my imagination. Who would be here at 6am? I went into my dining room and there was indeed a man standing at my front door. I screamed, and the old man delivering my newspapers also had a shock. Apparently Mike had left the gate opened the night before, and the old man wanted to bring me my papers instead of leaving it on the garage floor. He must thought me mad.
Anyway, the next morning, I showed Mike the footprints. He took a look at them, examined the patterns closely, then calmly took our slippers by the door and placed the back next to it. A perfect fit. It was our slippers’ print. Mike had worn them on Sunday and was shooting macros in the rain.
The cleaners did a bad job of not cleaning off the muddy prints. I must raise a compaint to their management for the scare they gave me.