because i was very tired, i slept early - at about 11pm, way before the storm. but was jolted awake by sudden thunder at close to 3am. it was so freaking loud and lasted for so freaking long... my bed, which stands against three very packed bookshelves, vibrated (quite violently, in my sleepy opinion).
when i woke in shock and before i actually opened my eyes (i was under covers), i thought it was an explosion at the carpark downstairs - not a very crazy conclusion to arrive at, considering that there WAS actually an explosion at a carpark near my house many years ago when i was a kid. and i heard the explosion. (so, understandably i hope, i was scared out of my wits.) if anyone remembers, a bomb exploded from under the passenger car seat, shattering the hip of a 7-month pregnant woman... she and the baby died, and the person who planted the bomb was never found. i re-read the news articles on that incident in office today. so sad.
before i opened my eyes, the thought that was passing through my mind was: this is really big, we're all gonna hafta grab our clothes and run downstairs. and then i opened my eyes to crazy flashes of lightning lighting up my otherwise-always-very-dark room, even through the rather opaque curtains. i jumped out of bed, ran to my parents' room and flung open the door... to find them (and my sister, on the floor) all sleeping soundly in the aircon with the windows shut tight and curtains drawn.
then i exclaimed to my dad, "did you hear that??!!???" to which he responded sleepily, "yah, if scared, come in and sleep. but don't step on sister ah." a bit anti-climax. so i said no and closed the door. but lightning still flashed like crazy and thunder continued to boom from a distance, although not as crazily as the one that woke me up. and because i had woken up in such a fright, i couldn't get over it for a long time.
i was scared of the lightning even though i was supposed to be safe at home - lightning usually isn't that scary. and i'm seldom woken up by things, so imagine how loud the thunder must have been to jolt me awake... in my mind's eye, there was a huge smoking gaping hole in the carpark downstairs. so scary. :(( even guybrush was scared and i sought him out for comfort for a while. i was so freaked out. :((
at that time, there was no one i could share my trauma with. i missed colin 'cos she wasn't even in town to experience the same scary thunder - i whatsapped her but she must have been asleep as it was late. :( then i went on facebook from my phone under the covers hoping to find some comfort, but didn't get any cos i guess other people staying in other areas didn't hear it. :( one person i knew who stays close enough to me to have heard it was too busy partying in tanjong pagar, so i knew no point in checking if he survived the storm. finally, i'm glad to say, i found some reassurance on twitter, and then whatsapp, which helped me feel a lot better by 4am... okay, quite loser, but whatever.
at that point, i realised for once the major disadvantage of sleeping alone. i imagined, in apartments elsewhere all over singapore, others being able to share the horrifying experience of being jolted awake by what they thought was an explosion, with their sleeping partners and finding comfort in the aliveness of each other. i imagined, in apartments elsewhere all over singapore, parents comforting their young kids and tucking them back into bed saying, there, there, it was just crazy, crazy thunder, and really, we're safe at home.
i felt so scared and alone.
and then i tried to picture, if this had happened on the 23rd storey of the shama apartment in wanchai, where the bed was right beside the wonderfully big window - how infinitely more scary it would have been. was this how she felt when she peered out the window at night at the warm orange lights in the other apartments across?
i felt scared and alone and so childish, because it didn't seem like anyone else was freaked out by the horrifying boom of thunder at all. :(
so, tonight, the skies look clear, and it's kind of a first for me to feel a sense of relief that it isn't storming.
i do love storms... but thunder and lightning, they're kinda scary.