It was year 1995, and I was, well, still in primary school (talking about this, I think I was very much a crazy kid).
My parents were strict, and it was impossible for me to have any form of freedom. Freedom, when it was spelt as “you don’t do anything that we did not agree to.” Welcome to my dictionary.
I was at the age of curiosity and rebellion. I did not appreciate rules that made no sense, and I wasn’t equipped with common sense until later age. So coupled with my small brains and a little sense of rebellion – partially due to the strictness of my parents – it was one of my goals to test the depth of waters sometimes.
My classmate was a little like me, and we found a common goal that would translate as “going against our parents’ orders”. One fine day, during class, this classmate of mine suggested that we could meet up in the middle of the night for a cup of noodles and maybe some thrills from being the bad kid. Me, being me, agreed without considering. I thought it would be fun!
His dad slept in the living room – the place where my friend would have to pass by if he wanted to leave the house. So he would be the guy who would have to be extra careful, and naturally, he would take more time. As my parents slept in their own room, sneaking out of the house in total silence was a piece of cake for me.
My friend and I had a plan, and that was he would call me when it’s safe for him, and I would pick up the phone at the first rang. We set the time to be at 11.30pm, and I sat by the phone in the night while my parents were either sleeping or having sex. Thinking back now, they should be sleeping, because I succeeded in the end. SPOILER ALERT!
“DDRRI..Hello?” I picked up the phone before the first ring ended, and I discussed with my friend our next moves by whispering through the phone. It was an okay call from him, and I took my keys, holding them tightly so that they would not hit each others and gave my parents the warning, unlocked the doors and sneaked out of the house before closing the doors in total silence. I felt like a commando who succeeded on a night mission. Anyways, I did it, and I headed for the lift and made my way to my friend’s house.
I reached his door, and he was sitting by the gate. He was still inside, and I did not know why. Holding the gate, and somewhat reminding me of how prisoners looked when talking to prison guards, he whispered to me that his dad had been fidgety, and he didn’t feel safe to attempt sneaking out.
Then he did what most good hosts would do – invite me in. Again, I was stupid when I was young. I thought since he couldn’t come out, I might as well honour my words. I agreed, and I went in, after he quietly opened his gate for me. His dad was still sleeping on the couch in the living room.
Now what? It did not occur to me that there was nothing we could do even if I went in. His dad was in the living room, which made conversations impossible, and in the dark with need for total silence, it was entirely useless for me to be inside the house. But I was in, and opening the gate to go out would mean another attempt of “try not to hit the keys together”. We were standing there like statues in museums.
Then his dad turned his body, from facing the wall to facing us. I’m not going to lie; we were scared. We ran into the kitchen and hid behind a wall waiting for his dad to return to his deep sleep. The tragic thing was: he did not.
I don’t know if it was the weather (Hey, Singapore’s hot!) or he just had a nightmare. He turned his body over, and we saw through peeping, that he was contemplating waking up for reasons that we couldn’t bother to know. Then my brilliant friend had a good idea, and he signalled me to hide inside the toilet.
I have to say here that I was someone who would never question my friends’ intelligence. So, without thinking, I walked quickly into the toilet with quiet footsteps and hid inside the darkest shadows I could find. Just as I was stepping into the toilet, the door creaked.
“C…C…CR…CRR…CRRRRAAAKKK…” God damn it was loud. In the silence, any sounds would be amplified by thousand times, and that door just sang a song I did not like. I never believed that his dad never heard that commotion.
I was in a position where I could peek out to see if the coast was clear, and any more movements I were to make would start the whole toilet door concert all over again. So I chose the smartest thing I could do, and that was staying still and not move even when the water from the ceiling (why, just why?) was dripping on my head.
Then I saw my friend’s dad walking towards me. Step by step. Looking back now, he was either a) going to relieve himself, or b) checking out the sound. I reached a conclusion at a later stage, and I’m convinced his option was (b). I’ll tell you why in a while.
He walked, nearer but slower. My friend, hiding in another corner of the kitchen, was motionless. There was nothing he could do to save me. He stayed still in the dark hoping that his father would not see him. It was the same for me, except that the area I was in was the area he was walking towards. I could have try my luck buying lottery, but I was underaged.
He was walking towards me, and there was nowhere else I could hide. I started to pray, and I convinced myself that things would not be bad if I were caught. After all, I was still a kid. I held my hands together, not making any moves. I closed my eyes, expecting the worst while praying for the best.
I heard nothing, after what seemed like forever. I opened my eyes slowly, and saw the back of my friend’s father, walking back to the couch. I thought he could have been afraid of the dubious creaking sound that he heard. That didn’t matter. What’s important was he walked off, and that was good enough for me I guess?
I stayed on in that position for another eon, until my friend’s father finally went back into his deep sleep. Then my friend, who was also motionless for the time the dinosaurs were wiped out, walked slowly to me and whispered, “Coast clear. I’ll open the door for you.”
I stayed on until he opened the door wide enough for me to pass through without touching the sides, and made a quick but silent dash out of his house. At his doorsteps, he suggested that I wait for him while he ensured his father would not be waking up anymore before joining me for night snacks.
Hell no! I ran my ass off after waving goodbye!
What’s the most sneaky thing you’ve ever done?
Andy Lawson is the average man on the street that you’ll not even trouble yourself looking at him if he passes by you. He’s sensitive to bullshit, and he hates mediocrity in most people. He is the author of his self-published book: Facts and Fiction of Fengshui: Facts that Masters are NOT Telling You. He doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter, because he hates to be associated with people who tend to be passive-aggressive online, but he does have a very limited set of vocabularies, terrible grammar, a twisted mind that makes himself God in his own twisted world and an ability to communicate with people who wish to be his friend.