General May 19th, 2007

Never in my life had I felt so vulnerable about walking in the open. It was 4am in the morning and I was walking back from the lab to my hall. It was a windy night – an almost definite sign of rain.

However, this night was different. The sky was occasionally illuminated with flashes of lightning. Threatening to strike at any object any time. Add that to the fact that I was like a pole sticking out from the ground, that made me a perfect target at any time. The surrounding trees didn’t seem to be able to provide any form of comfort, neither do the buildings around me. I was in the middle of the road at the carpark and I was not exactly sheltered.

For the first time in my life, I felt that I needed to get to the safety of a shelter – one that can shield me from attacks from above. However, even a race to the nearest sheltered pathway didn’t seem to provide me with the assurance that I needed. I could almost imagine the lightning bending underneathe the shelter just to strike me. It was a horrid thought and I was filled with immense fear.

I hurried my pace to the hall and even as I was climbing up the stairs, there was no safety felt. It wasn’t until I was behind locked doors that I felt the safety from the lightnings flashing across the horizons.

This was indeed a frightning experience, strangely one that is felt after years of being taught not to walk in the open when lightning threatens. I guess when you are the only soul in an open space, it gives a whole new meaning to the words safety in numbers.

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