Home Alone 4: Stranded in Orem

Scene: a warm summer evening, Provo, UT, about 6:30 pm.

I’d just awoken from a 3 hour nap. I emerged from my bedroom and saw my roommate, Heidi, who told me she was going to our ward’s FHE.

“They are going to have food, I haven’t eaten dinner,” she told me.

Realizing that my stomach was similarly empty, I decided to break with character and actually attend FHE this week.

“Let’s drive separately,” I told her. “I’m going to go work in my classroom afterwards.”

So, I went to FHE, ate a hot dog, and after sufficient mingling, decided I could then leave. On my way to my school, I stopped at a friend’s house to return a book I’d borrowed from him and ended up staying and talking to him and his wife until 1 am.

At this point, I decided I was still going to go to my school. I’d taken a 3 hour nap, so I wasn’t too tired, and I was feeling stressed about all the things I need to so this summer at work that I haven’t done yet.

Aware that some people would think it was dangerous for me to be at work alone so late at night, I made sure to lock my classroom door, in case some deranged lunatic broke into the building and tried to kill me. Once in my room, I put on This American Life, and let Ira Glass keep me company as I waded through half-finished worksheets and piles of used Clorox wipes.

One hour and a couple of podcasts later, I noticed my plant sitting in the window and realized it hadn’t been watered since school ended three weeks ago. I got a cup and went to the hall to fill it up from the drinking fountain.

When I got back to my classroom, I found that, in my caution, I had unwittingly locked myself out. Inside were my car keys, my phone, my computer, pretty much everything that could help get me out of this situation.

I started checking other doors to see if there was one that was unlocked and had a phone I could use. I found a small office that was unlocked. I picked up the phone and dialed the only number I know by heart (thanks, cellphones), my mom’s, hoping she could then call my sister who could come pick me up.

To my chagrin, I was reminded that in order to call out of the school, a special code needed to be entered. I tried a few different codes (was it 5842? 8454?) but none of them worked.

I wandered into the copy room, which was thankfully unlocked due to some construction going on within the school. In the copy room were stored all the items from the front office that were displaced by construction. I rummaged through piles of papers and plastic plants until I found a phone that had the call code written on a sticky note. I once again tried to call my mom, but because she has a Colorado phone number, the long-distance call wouldn’t go through.

I unearthed a computer and turned it on in hopes that someone potentially helpful was on Facebook Messenger or G-Chat. As I tried to log on to Facebook, I realized that it had been months since I have had to sign in and I no longer remembered my password.

I decided to reset the password though my email, but none of my passwords were working there, either. I cycled through as many old passwords as I could remember until one finally worked and let me on.

After resetting my password, logging on the Facebook, and scrolling through my feed (#priorities), I looked for green dots next to names on the Messenger sidebar. No one. I started having a one-sided chat with Ashley, who is currently living in Spain, hoping that the time difference would mean she was awake and would see these messages soon and I’d at least have someone to talk to.

After an hour or so of internet wandering, I saw that one of the school secretaries had recently liked a photo and I hurried to message her.

Me: You’re not awake right now, by any chance, are you?

Su: Can’t sleep. What’s up with you?

Me: Nothing much. I’m definitely not at the school and locked out of my classroom at 2:30 am. That’s not what’s going on right now.

Su, eternal blessings be upon her soul, came and rescued me and I got a solid three hours of sleep.

And that’s how I beat Shaq.

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