Houston, we have a problem. By Maite Leonardo Cabello.

Maite Leonardo Cabello

Maite is a doctor who is specialised in Paediatrics. She is in London to get experience in the NHS and of course to improve her English. 

Houston, we have a problem.

By Maite Leonardo Cabello.


Maite has written this for The  Writing Project . . . .

Just like every other day, I met my boyfriend at home around 8 pm, it was a lovely day so we decided go for a run. We were in a hurry because we didn’t want to have dinner too late so we put on our sports clothes and in 5 minutes we were ready to go.

Little did we know that within 5 seconds we’d be in big trouble.

My boyfriend pulled the door shut and looked up at me to ask if I had the keys.

I was struck dumb.

I realised that I had the keyring in my hand but not the keys. I usually left my key ring at home and take only the keys when I go for a run, but that day I had got muddled up and I took the wrong one.

Can you imagine the situation? We were without our mobiles, money and keys and wearing sports clothes at 8.15 pm in London. Houston, we have a problem.

We spent 2 or 3 minutes, with a lot of tension around us, thinking about possible solutions and finally we decided to ask our neighbours for help, although we didn’t know anybody.

We live in a four floor building with three flats on each floor. We rang on the bell of each of the four flats without any response but, suddenly, after knocking on the door of our upstairs neighbour he opened the door. After we had explained to him our problem he was extremely kind and he invited us into his house.

He tried to contact the property managing company and he lent us his laptop and his mobile phone in order to solve the problem…after a while my boyfriend got the landlord’s phone number by checking  his email account.

The landlord said that the flat has a special security door and calling a locksmith would cost an arm an a leg. So the best solution was to come to our house with a spare key to open the door.

We had to wait for him for around an hour so after thanking our neighbour we decided to follow our initial plan: running in the park! We definitely needed to let off steam at that moment!

While we were running, I was thinking that, although it had been my fault, it’s better to look on the bright side rather than to beat myself up. I said to my boyfriend, ‘You know what?, If I had not left the keys at home we would not have met this fantastic guy and if I had not left the keys at home we would not be watching this marvellous sunset and finally, if I had not left the keys at home I would not be practising the dreaded English conditional!’

Finally we could get into our flat and we took a bottle of Spanish wine and went upstairs to give it to our new friend, he deserved it!

Please take care when you go for a run, maybe you do not have such an excellent neighbour! And if you are in trouble or you are dealing with a difficult situation remember that that every cloud has a silver lining.

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