Paranoia seizes you in that moment of realisation. Something you used to own or possess has disappeared. Paralysed, you are no longer capable of movement. Even if you are capable of mobility, your mind struggles to concentrate as it is in the grip of fear. You curse yourself for your carelessness; for not being vigilant. Panic stricken you rummage through your bags a few times hoping that you would miraculously find the lost thing. You could feel the sting of tears at the back of your eyes. In utter disbelief, you retrace the journey of your bags. You frantically rustle the pages of your memory to ascertain whether you had the lost thing in your bag when you left your destination. Search after search confirms your loss. You articulate to others that you have lost something. Genuinely interested or not, they join you in your search to solve the mystery of the missing thing.
Have you ever suffered from such seizures? I did last week when I discovered that I did not have my wallet in my bag after reaching home while placing an order for pizzas online. I rushed to the boot of the car where I usually place my bags. I slipped my hand into the grooves or furrows on either side of the flat surface of the boot and found nothing much to my disappointment.
I return to my computer to finish my online order, however, realise that I cannot complete the transaction without entering the digits on my bank cards, which were in the lost wallet. I access my card number through the bank app and complete the order. No matter what pressure I applied on my mind, I could not recollect at what point the wallet vanished or how it disappeared. I consoled myself that it would have fallen in the cosy little cabin under the table where I usually leave my bags. It could have accidentally fallen out of my bag as I leave it unzipped for the sake of convenience. A faint surge of hope brought relief to me. I immediately emailed the administration staff to look for the wallet as soon as they reached the workplace. I prayed to god that they would find the wallet and all my miseries would evaporate into thin air.
Next morning, I walked with confidence to the staff and asked them if they found the wallet. I was not prepared for negation . I almost felt my heart in my throat and was filled with despair when the realisation that the wallet could have been stolen struck me. I jumped into action called the bank after cancelling the cards which I had locked the previous night and confirmed the receipt of replacement cards within seven days. I informed the Road and Maritime Services and the Police as I would have to return home without a driver’s license on me; an offence according to law. It was difficult to spend the day without worrying about the whereabouts of the wallet. I had to force myself to attach importance to the present. As I had checked the accounts via Netbank , I knew I had not lost any money. `
It was not until I returned from work early that afternoon to draw money from the bank’s branch and opened the boot to take my bag with me when I located the wallet in the boot. The morning and return drive had moved the wallet from its hidden spot to light and relief washed over me when I spotted it. While I was happy to have found the wallet I was embarrassed about the occurrence and the inconvenience I had caused staff. I wasted no time in informing them that the lost property was found. Happily, I made my way through the shopping centre to the bank to draw cash for the expenses I could incur till the next weekend. I had cancelled the cards and there was no way out of it except wait for the replacement ones. I shared a laugh with the bank staff about having found my wallet and the latter nodded knowingly. Lost and found was not an uncommon experience after all.