~Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fired Up

It was 6 a.m. I shot up in bed screaming. The fire alarm was going off. I don't know about other buildings—this is the only building I've lived in with this set up—but every bedroom is equipped with a fire horn. When the fire alarm is set off for the entire building, the horns blow in the bedrooms. It's loud and piercing and painful.

"Ahhh!" I screamed. The building shuddered as the fire-resistant doors held open by magnets collectively slammed shut.

"What's going on?" asked Abraham.

I knocked over a glass of water while fumbling for a saucer my nightstand. "Fire alarm."

I found what I was looking for. I climbed on top of Abraham and inserted my earplugs into Abraham's ears. "Don't you think we should get up and go outside? Is this safe?" he shouted, very concerned.

I laid on his chest and covered my head with a pillow. "It happens." I had to shout over the earplugs and pillows and screeching fire horn.

"Do you seriously keep earplugs on your nightstand to block out the fire alarm?"


"Are you sure we shouldn't get up?" he shouted.

"The fire department isn't far."

“How does this happen?”

“Someone probably pulled the alarm, thinking it was funny. I’ve set off the fire alarm in my apartment cooking, and it doesn’t set off the whole building like that.”

“I have to go to the bathroom!” he shouted.

“Your funeral! You have to pass by the horn to get there!”

I groaned and rolled over in bed. I pressed one ear against the mattress and plugged my finger in the other ear. I felt Abraham return to bed. Then I felt him hover over me as he removed one of his earplugs and stuffed it in my ear. I selflessly gave Abraham my earplugs so he wouldn't be in pain, and he selflessly gave it back to me.

I smiled, despite it being 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning and I was so tired that my eyes burned. Despite the fire horn blaring and the approaching siren of the firetruck. I was reminded of "The Gift of the Magi," not for the use of irony, but for the sacrificial gifts. Sacrificing your own comfort for someone else's.

I'm not used to this. I don't know if Abraham is simply decent like the majority of the population, or if he is especially thoughtful. Compared to my past experiences, he's different. In my world he's the most thoughtful man I know.

Just having one earplug inserted helped. We heard one firetruck approach, then two, then three. Three wailing sirens, the fire horn and the fire alarm in the building hallway: it’s enough to drive someone insane. Then it was silent.

Abraham shifted in bed and spooned me. “There’s something I feel the need to tell you, though,” I admitted.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“When the alarm goes off, it usually happens in twos.”

On cue, the fire horn resumed blaring.


v said...


He does sound like a keeper though.

Anonymous said...

Gawd, I would move. But, LOVE that Abraham gave you back the earplugs!

Danielle said...

Decency is hard to find nowadays, and thoughtfulness impossible. This is how everyone should act, and I feel like women have these 2 features in bundles. Then when we find a sig other with at least one we feel like we won the lottery.

Because we have, which is the sad thing about dating today.

I'm so glad that we have battery operated fire alarms, I took the batteries out. I'm a rebel like that.

bluemoon said...

I am continually impressed by Abraham. :)

Northern Lass said...

Cuuuute x

Anonymous said...

I was most definitely reading this with your voices hollering over the alarm!

terrible fun story to have w/each other



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