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The case of the clean caper

They took everything. Our tent, boxes of forgotten trinkets and I don't know what, bottles of wine and champagne from the day of our wedding.

Then they swept, mopped and dusted.

They literally 'cleaned out' the place.

Not our home, mind you, but the storage area that comes with it (called a 'cave'). François hadn't been there in at least a year. Me, 7 years. I never went back since the day we put our stuff there.

So we have no idea if this was a recent caper or not. The only reason we found out is that François agreed to show the real estate agent who is selling the unit below us where the caves were located. They are in the building next door.

He came up soon after and told me what he saw, more surprised than angry.

I wanted to see it for myself.

So we scooted downstairs and only after the main door clicks behind us, did we realize that neither of us had the key to our own building. And everyone else is on vacation. So now, we had been robbed and we couldn't get into our building.

Not knowing what to do, we visited the cave. It was as he described. Lock forced open and everything removed. Just shelves remained. It wasn't any ordinary quick theft. No, it took time to remove all the items of all the caves downstairs (not only ours) and to clean so immaculately.

We only had one angel in our pocket who could now help us get into our building. Alicia, our dear friend, the Mexican surgeon. Since we water each others plants, we have copies of each others keys. Since our phones were also in the apartment, we walked the kilometre to her spot, without being able to let her know, not knowing if she was even home.

And we buzzed. And buzzed. And buzzed. Then buzzed every single floor of her building.

After 5 minutes we hear a sleepy voice, C'est qui?


It's us, we call back, guiltily.

She tried to buzz us in - but it was jammed. We explained we were locked out and if she could throw down the keys. She said something that neither of us could make out.

At this point, we sat on her steps and joked about our really bad luck and our really good luck. I said we should train Charlie to be like MacGyver so that he could take a hairpin and open any lock. Even catch the scent of the cleanest robbers in town. Just follow the scent of soap. I bet with enough cheese I could teach him.

A few minutes later with her two chihuahuas in tow (my love says they are not dogs but rather are large rats), Alicia joined us downstairs with tired eyes, a giant smile and our keys.

She saved us.

We walked home and got in the building, entering into our apartment to find our little Charlie sprawled out, unaware of what had just went down.

Where have you guys been, his eyes asked. But a minute later, they simply said, I am perfect. Pet me.

There was nothing else to do but move our empty storage selves over to him and give him a good belly rub.

His MacGyver training starts tomorrow.