Saved by the gut

Room 325 © Jehan Daal
Written by: Jehan Daal

A few years ago.
It is time for the special annual weekend trip, a tradition from me and three other friends. One of them is backpacking, the other one goes on a holiday with her loved one and the third one has other plans. To go or not to go is the question. Not a tough one though. I decide to go by myself and stay in the Netherlands.

It is past 5 p.m. time to celebrate the start of the weekend.
“Any plans for this weekend?” My colleague looks at me.
“Yup, I will be spending the weekend in a hotel. Spending time in the sauna, exploring the city, relaxing and do some writing. Looking forward to it. You?”
“Nothing special.”
He moves his eyes browns up and down at a fast pace.
“So you are planning a romantic weekend with your boyfriend?”
“I do not have a boyfriend you already know that.”
“Okay okay, perhaps I should say your fuck buddy.”
I smile and walk past him. I know that he will be wondering who will be joining me during the weekend.

I park the car in front of the hotel and check in.
“Will your partner be arriving later?”
“No, it will be only me during the weekend.”
I get the card for my room. I have a room with a view over a small park and the shopping mall across the road. I decide to change, check out the shopping mall and have dinner.

At first it feels a bit strange to have dinner by myself, but I enjoy the fact that I have the luxury to be able to do this. I watch the people at the tables next to me. After dinner I wander through the stores in the shopping mall. Suddenly I panic, get a feeling that I have to leave this huge mall as soon as possible. I really do not get where this feeling is coming from. I try to ignore this ridiculous feeling and force myself to stay. Then I get dizzy and feel like I need some fresh air. I get an instant stomach ache and decide to get back to the hotel as soon as possible. 

As soon as I enter my hotel room, I feel perfectly fine again. I am about to get mad at myself when I hear the sirens. I walk up to the window and see ambulances, police on motorcycles racing to the mall and I see police cars. Two stretchers with people on it are being carried to the ambulances. The police is guarding the entrances and I see them communicating with each other. Realizing that I was there less than ten minutes ago, makes me feel a bit shaky. I am so relieved that I am up in my hotel room! Thanks to my gut feeling. Luckily I can tell you that it all ended okay that day. But from that day on I pay more attention to my gut feeling.

Tell me: when did your gut feeling saved you?


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