It was a tiring Saturday. Towards late evening suddenly DH (Dear Husband) planned that we should go for Tulip Garden the next day. Guess, the garden was open only for 10 days or so and that Sunday was the last chance for us to visit. So making a petty fight for not planning it before , I ended up rolling Roti's, to be carried the next day, made arrangements and then ironing the clothes,charging cameras and stuff. It was 12:15 in the night, (ideally the next day) when we went to bed.
Suddenly I woke up in the middle of my sleep, which is quite unusual. Could not see DH next to me. Saw him standing puzzled in the living room. Checked the watch, it was 3:10 AM. Thats when I heard a 'Beeeeeeep', a shrill high pitched sound. I could not realize what it is. It came within another 20 seconds once again 'Beeeeeep' Oh my God ! its the Carbon Monoxide Alarm. Until a very long time since I came to US,I did not even see, that such an instrument was there in my living room ;) Why is that beeping now? With so many questions in my mind, I got out of bed and joined my puzzled husband in the living room. The sound was huge as if whole block is going to wake up. Anyone in US would know the eerie silence in the night. No fan, nothing and here is a shrill higgggh pitched beeeeep to break that silence. DH was sitting next to the beeper and analyzing it and cursing it for every few minutes for the sound. It still had a green light on it. It said, "You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide but yet it can kill you". etc to kindle my fear.
Where the H at this time is a carbon monoxide leakage? We opened the windows and quickly inspected the kitchen, bathroom and everything. We could not find anything unusual. We reduced the heater thinking it might even be a cause. Nothing worked, the beeper was going on every few seconds every time creating a eerie fear in me. He tried to unplug it, still the beeping continued. In my thoughts " Oh what a system, it works even after unplugging, runs on battery huh, what if I smash it on floor on break it to stop the beep. But its carpet everywhere. What if I cover it inside my comforter, may the sound will reduce". I went ahead and unplugged every equipment right from MW, Wireless router, Lamps thereby making negotiations with God to save us from the situation and in turn I can do him this and that.....
By the way, Why on earth should I unplug the electrical things when the whole funda is about a carbon monoxide leakage? What was I doing?. May be this is how I (and many others) will react at a state of tension or sudden fear. With heater down and windows wide open it started becoming so cold inside.
After a while DH resolved it should be an instrument defect/malfunction and plugged it back and shut the doors and went back to bed instructing me to do the same. Oh No..How can I sleep anymore ...its beeping..may be this is my last day on earth...I did not even chat with my parents today. What if I shut the house and go sleep in the car. The instrument said so..I mean, not to sleep in car but to go out to fresh air in case of leakage. And it also instructed to call 911. I went to my DH and suggested we should call 911. He was giving me 'R u crazy' look and said its not even a warning or something and that the beep will be continuous and there will be a red light glowing in case of such leakage and this is clearly a fault. Saying so he went back to sleep. Or was trying to.
I opened the living room windows which DH just then closed, resolving, getting cold is far better than dying. Sat on the bed and again started thinking .....if I can ever sleep. I got a strict NO NO. I tiptoed from the bed and went to the living room, started starring at the beeper and recording the frequency of the beep it was not even continuous. sometimes every 30 seconds, sometimes 50.. Google was a Saviour many a times and I decided to google about it if its a common fault so that I can attempt to sleep with little bit of peace. Oh god..I have unplugged all the wireless routers. Anyway, plugged it back, switched on the system. Now DH came to help and while he was browsing at 3-30 early morning for possible reasons of the carbon monoxide beeper malfunctioning I was back in living room starring at the beeper as if my stare could stop it from shrilling.
Simultaneously at the back of my mind I was planning to remove the mesh from the window so that we can jump out of it easily in case of disaster. Suddenly something flashed in my mind and I moved away from the living room and could hear the beep much closer. Ah..I got it. Its not the carbon monoxide beeper at all, its the Smoke Alarm. After confirming it with the proximity of the sound I told DH about my latest discovery. And he was already googling about it. Google said it should be due to Low battery that a smoke detector will give such a beep every few seconds indicating a need for change in batteries. I got my half senses back but still frightened. Once again made sure that there is no smoke in the home. DH tried to pull out the smoke detector but it seemed wired with the wall, we could not do it but after he messed with it, it slowly stopped giving the beeps. May be its a coincidence and it has lost its battery fully. We went back to bed. And I could not sleep till 4-15 in the morning. After that when I woke up, we were still alive. House was as it is. Day light always brings confidence and dark night always gives fear. Now in dawn I was more comfortable, called up the maintenance, they fixed up a new battery.Also read about many such stories of people getting confused between both these beepers. Thank God! we weren't the only one to be fooled. And all went well, we were off in few hours to Tulip Garden. Both of us were quite tired with sleepless night but the beauty of the flowers was a great refreshment. More so was the fact there was no parking fees ;)