Missing rings

Missing rings

A pregnant doctor is awoken by the bell every night at a particular time.

Ringing bell

I was expecting my first child and putting up with my parents. My pregnancy was progressing peacefully, until the night when the door bell rang. It rang once and I ignored it. I changed sides and behaved as I  if I did not hear it. But a sharp cry of the bell once more and I sat upright and fumbled for my phone in pitch darkness.

It was 2 am. I wondered who might be ringing the bell at such an ungodly hour. I went outside and found no one at the main gate. 

The next day, when I told my parents about the incident, they were surprised for they did not hear anything. That night, the bell rang again and I was wide awake. I switched on the light and the time was precisely 2 am. I went to the gate and there was not a soul. I was sure that someone was playing a prank. I stood, rather sat, by the side of the gate for a few minutes to catch the culprit red-handed. But the calm along with the darkness was so profound that I gave up and went back to my room. 

I brought up the curious case of the ringing bell before my parents. They were clueless and decided to ask the watchman on duty in our street. He wondered at the strange scenario as he was adamant about not seeing anyone at that hour. 

The next day, I woke up at 1.30 am with the help of an alarm and went to the living room, from where I would have the perfect view of our gate and the bell. The bell did not ring. 

By now, my peculiar condition had turned into a family joke and my husband made fun of me. It was embarrassing, but I was sure the bell rang and it wasn’t something I hallucinated. My dad, fed up with my complaints, called the electrician and installed a switch for the bell inside the house.

After a demo, he showed me that if switched off from inside, the bell would not work. I thanked my dad.

That night, however, the bell rang again, and after checking the main gate, I looked inside the switch, which, to my horror, was off. I realised that I was hearing sounds that no one else did.

I never talked about the bell again, assuming that my family might question the status of my mental health. 

The bell continued to ring.

Years after my daughter was born, I read about tinnitus in pregnant women. The article stated that the increased pregnancy hormone, progesterone, was one of the causes for pregnant women to perceive ringing sounds. I felt a sense of relief as I showed the article to my husband, who chuckled.

I had just suffered from tinnitus.