I giddily ran into the Hussain’s basement closet with Susan, closing the door and locking it behind us (an unnecessary and drunken decision that made perfect sense in the moment given our impending gossip session). It was New Year’s Eve of my senior year in high school and all of our friends had gathered at Stephanie and Christopher’s house to celebrate.
After Susan and I had finished gossiping about how crazy it was that Em and Dom were upstairs hooking up, we left the closet and I shut the door on our way out, blissfully unaware of the fact that the door locked itself when I closed it.
As I sat on the living room floor, curled up and laughing with a few other friends, Christopher’s belligerent yell bounded up from the basement. “Who the fuck is in the closet? Open the door!” I rolled my eyes along with Susan and Ian at Christopher’s overreaction. But as Christopher’s yelling and pounding on the closet continued, we lifted ourselves up off of the ground and tumbled downstairs. A crowd of four other guys had gathered at the door, everyone pounding and yelling at whoever was inside. At about this time it dawned on me that I had been in that room just a few minutes ago. And I had locked the door… But why would the door have stayed locked if I was able to open it to leave? I thought to myself. “All of the champagne and vodka is in there!” Christopher exclaimed as he continued to knock, unwilling to accept that there was no one in there. Finally, Stephanie, Christopher’s sister and the more rational one of the two, proclaimed that there was clearly no one in the room and that she would find the key. I ran upstairs with her to help her look. Fuck, I thought to myself as I rummaged through drawers in the kitchen. Fuck fuck fuck. I was the one who locked the door.
After a while of searching without success, we returned downstairs to find an even larger crowd surrounding the door. Clearly, the message had spread that all of the alcohol was in this locked room. I knew I should say something, fess up, but I couldn’t bring myself to. Suddenly Julia, the comic of our friend group, pushed through the crowd with a pair of massive hedge clippers. Like, seriously massive, almost the size of a shovel.
“Bring down the door! Bring down the door! Bring down the door!” the entire party began to chant, oblivious to the consequences that we would all realize tomorrow of ‘bringing down the door’ with hedge clippers. But alas, me, Susan, and Stephanie watched somewhat amusedly (and somewhat horrified) as Julia, Christopher, and Ian took turns chopping away at the door with the hedge clippers. After a few minutes a big enough hole had been made in the door for Julia to reach her hand through and unlock it, a feat which was met with massive cheers. The alcohol was freed from the room, and the festivities continued.
Of course, once the commotion calmed down, everyone wanted to know who had locked the door. Christopher was always the one to get the drunkest at parties and tended to do stupid stuff. So after everyone refused it was them, naturally Ian, his best friend, and Stephanie penned it on him. “Big Hoose, you locked the door!” Ian said, using the nickname he gave Christopher for his foolishness. Christopher insisted that he hadn’t done it, but I just sat back guiltily, not saying a word.
This happened four years ago, and the only person I ever told was my best friend. The story is often brought up when we’re all hanging out together as a group on break from college, and I always look over at Susan and laugh as everyone continues to blame Christopher, who I think now believes that it really was him that locked the door that New Years night.