Any of you who have ever met Kamel in real life knows he’s probably one of the most easy going men on the face of the planet. He doesn’t honk even when I feel like we’re about to be crushed by an SUV, he doesn’t engage with crazies on the street (I do), he doesn’t get worked up about things very often (even when I think he should), he’s generally up for anything and is the last to be frazzled (unless he has to ask someone to do something for him… he is incredibly shy about that). So I’ve taken to the roll of PROTECTOR.
When we were on our honeymoon and someone down the beach cried out “Shark!” while I was reading and Kamel was out swimming, I jolted up and marched to the surf while Kamel was gleefully trying to hunt it down and take a picture. When drunk man was harassing people outside of the Walgreens and latched onto Kamel while we were aiming for the entrance, I was the one who got loud and threatening. I was the one who told him to “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM US” the one who stood between Kamel and the man. I can’t help it, it’s my go to setting. Protect my people, that’s what I do.
But this is not what this story is about, because on Monday night things changed.
Kamel and I were laying in bed, doing our nightly “cool down” from the day. Poking around on the internet, playing silly cell phone games, warming the bed, blahblah. Then! a rattling noise came from our living room, the sound of someone trying to force our door open, a sudden thumping and rattling. Someone was trying to break in. I looked at Kamel for less than a millisecond, really I could have imagined both of our eyes flicking past each other before Kamel flung the comforter off himself, lept out of bed, and as he had clear sight of the door yelled, in the loudest, most dominate voice I’ve ever heard come out of his body,
As in… “I’m going to fuck you up so hard you have no idea what’s coming to you get the hell out of my house whoever you are, I’m coming for you so you better move or get bulldozed.”
From my vantage point (the covers), that “hey” meant Kamel was talking to someone in particular, I thought he was yelling at someone he could see. I waited to hear the next move… was it stupid kids playing a prank? Our drunk neighbor trying to open the wrong door? Was it something worse? Should I follow Kamel or does he have it? When do I call 911? I was waiting for a signal.
And then Kamel chuckled. And scuttled back into the bedroom.
“Lauren,” he said, “It was a bag. It fell out of our closet, knocking a bunch of other things down and pushing the closet door open.”
But holy shit. I have to tell you, I’ve never felt more protected (except from my own father…. aww dads). I had never seen Kamel move so quickly, be so aggressive, or clear minded. He was going to protect his house, he was going to stand between me and whoever, phantom or real, was trying to get to me or enter our safe space. And dude – he was out the door and growling before I could even pull the covers back. Let’s do a review of the first two paragraphs and come back to this realization – dude was lightening fast.
And when he came back to bed, he hopped back on the iPad and kept playing whatever stupid game we’re addicted to at the moment, chuckling to himself quietly. In the meantime my eyes were about the size of grapefruits, staring at him and repeating, “You yelled ‘Hey!’ … you yelled it really loud… I’m really impressed…” while Kamel just shrugged it off.