One thing I never know about – is how to answer when someone knocks on the bathroom door. Usually I respond in the same manner as if someone were at the front door, but “Hello” or “Who is it” just don’t seem to do justice when its pretty clear what they want in there, and they really don’t want you to be in there.
I remember the day clearly. Or maybe I don’t. I don’t remember how old I was, exactly. Somewhere between three and four. I was old enough to know better, but still young enough to get away with it. While over at someones house for lunch one day, I had to use the bathroom. And as any girl my age would have done, I trotted off to take care of business. I don’t really remember what happened next, just that there was that moment of fear.
Not just any fear, but fear that struck me from every angle. A knock. On the door. I wasn’t what one would probably consider a shy kid, or maybe I was. I just didn’t care for awkward situations, and I really didn’t appreciate new people. Or people taller than me, I should say. Anyone over three feet tall was going to get the vow of silence. Its just how it worked. So when I heard the knock on that door that lovely afternoon, I froze.
And didn’t reply.
“Christina?” A voice came from the other side of the door. I said nothing. Sure, I was in there, but they, were out there. I figured if I waited long enough the person on the other side of the door would go away, and I could slip out unnoticed. I finished my business, washed my hands and headed for the door when it happened again. Another knock. Only this time I heard voices. As in more than one person. “Go ahead and open the door, its ok.” Someone tried to reassure me. I wasn’t buying any of it. Now instead of just one person – there was a group of people outside that door and if I went out there I would be greeted by them all. The mobs of unfamiliar-taller than me people.
And I didn’t say a thing.
“Were going to take the door knob off, don’t worry we will be in shortly!” the voices on the other side said. Now…I was really starting to panic. I looked around the room. There was no way out. No back door. Nothing. All that I could do was stand there and shake in my little dress. And then, just as the door knob fell to the floor I saw it. My saving grace! The shower curtain. Of course! I ran as fast as I could, and wrapped myself up in it.
Surely they would think no one was there, figure the door had gotten locked accidentally and all would be well. They would leave and I could slip out, unnoticed. No one would ever have to know that I got locked in the bathroom, when really, I wasn’t locked in there.
My plan might have worked…Im not sure what gave it away, the fact that there were two feet underneath the curtain or the fact that the curtain itself was clear. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how tightly I closed my eyes, I just knew they had found me when my friends brother shouted loudly “THERE SHE IS!”
I was escorted out the door. The walk of shame indeed.
I vowed then and there to never hide behind a clear shower curtain again.
To this day, I still panic when there is a knock on the bathroom door, and I am faced with the same dilemma. Just WHAT do you say when someone knocks on the bathroom door? Or do you wait until they are so desperate – they take the entire door knob off.
And of course, I am haunted by the question, just HOW did they know I was in there!