I am awoken by sirens and the sound of seagulls. There is thumping, and I realise it is the sound of humans cascading down the flight of stairs. Apparently, it is not another fire drill.
I leap out of bed and race for the entrance. The sound is louder in the corridor. Shrill and almost deafening, it ushers me into the pristine flight of stairs alongside other residents heading downstairs. Somnolent eyelids and half clad forms jostle for room in the race to get outside and away from danger while stern looking firemen rush inside to uncertainty.
The blue door to the entrance is visible now and I arrive outside to behold three fire trucks and a sea of human flesh. They are huddled together like sheep. It is minus 2 degrees tonight but everyone is staring upstairs like Manna will drop from the third floor. I realise it is my floor but there is no fire, just the sight of the blue curtains illuminated by the fluorescent lights.
“I was frying fish and the smoke set off the alarms,” squeaked my Nigerian flatmate to a tiny lady wrapped in a speckled duvet. “Even though I opened the window, it didn’t stop ringing. I hope they won’t fine our floor. It is 200 Pounds for false alarms.”