Someone broke into my consulting room, during the night. I did not realise they had been there until the morning when I saw that they had stolen my air-conditioning unit from the wall and my heater. They took nothing else. I ran around the house frantic to replace the heater so that the room would not be cold later in the day when I worked.
I went down the street to shop for necessities and saw a burglary in action. A group of three men and one woman were breaking into a shop. I watched as they loaded heating units and air-conditioners onto the back of their van.
‘So you’re the culprits,’ I went towards them only to back off as soon as the words spilled from my mouth. One look and I could see that they had realised I recognised them and they would turn on me, and turn on me they did. I ran inside a nearby shop and through the glass windows I could see the four coming for me.
The owner saw me and realised the trouble I was in. ‘Run,’ he said, but I could not. My terror had me frozen to the spot. I could not move. The shop keeper drew the curtains on his shop and we were covered in darkness. My assailants ran past the shop and I was safe. Only then did I begin to unfreeze.
I was on a train then, passing through Camberwell East railway station,
‘I haven’t been through this station since I was a child,’ I said to my husband who sat beside me.
Next stop, our stop. We rose to leave and again I felt the paralysis seep in, though not so bad that I could not walk. But I left without my handbag, which I had left behind on the seat, while I dragged my feet to the door. My husband rushed back to get it for me just as the doors were closing in on him. He managed to leave the train in time.
My husband looked like the children’s singer, Peter Coombe, a shock of curly hair and a cherubic smile. All the women loved him. It was as if they were bees drawn to a honey pot. But I knew he had eyes only for me. The details grow hazy. Women draped themselves over my husband and he looked to me with pleading eyes, as if to say get them away. I do not want this attention, but they clung to him like plumbago.
We had not yet called the police about the burglary. My husband was on the telephone chatting to friends and family for ages and I could not get the phone from him long enough to make the call. His sisters and brothers were staying with us and they too seemed calm about the robbery. But I needed to get to the police. I woke desperate to make the call.