Then things got weird. Really, really weird. As I came home from work on that fateful night, I could instantly feel that something was off. To be honest, I had been getting this feeling for the past few nights. A feeling that I just couldn’t shake off. The level of silence around here was something I had never experienced in all this time. I could even hear myself breathe. Not thinking much of it, I went straight for my bed and before I knew it I was out cold.
As I jolted up on my bed, it felt like my head was about to explode. Still trying to transition to wakefulness, the weird loud banging sound on the shared wall of my bedroom felt like someone was hammering a rusted metal nail into my head.
What the hell is that sound? I asked myself.
It felt as if someone was repeatedly throwing a heavy basketball on the bedroom wall that I shared with my next-door neighbours. Are those damn kids playing ball at this ungodly hour? Goddamnit, here we go again. And I thought I could finally sleep peacefully. Yeah, right! Sitting there trying to control my fuming rage, I looked at the clock.
Why can’t these damn people just sleep? Why would anyone with even an ounce of common sense make such a horrendous sound at this time? I reckoned the husband was probably back to abusing his family. But now he was harassing me as well. And I wasn’t going to take it lying down this time. I was going to call the cops if I had to. But I was going to give him a piece of my mind. The f**ck does he think of himself?
Still, I tried to calm myself down and told myself that it will probably stop in a few minutes. I should just go back to sleep. I had work in the morning. I didn’t have time to deal with other people’s shit. The thing is, I am not really that much confrontational anyways. Being an introvert, I try to avoid people as much as I can. So there was no point in getting myself pumped up only to be cussed by the husband one more time.
That’s it. No more Mr Nice Guy! I worked my ass off all day and I deserved a good night’s sleep. And I needed to make sure that he knew this. I was going to shut him up for good this time.
And perhaps, that’s exactly where I went wrong.
Walking out of my apartment and into the damp, dimly lit, desolate corridor, I felt a chill run down my spine. Something was not right. An eerie silence prevailed all around. I stood motionless outside my door staring blankly at their apartment. With the ceiling light above my head flickering constantly, I started having second thoughts about it.
What am I going to tell them?
Is there any point in getting into an argument at this hour?
Can’t I just do this tomorrow morning?
Should I just go back to sleep?
And the sound had also stopped by now.
Renting this apartment was a bad idea.
Moving out here was a bad idea.
Breaking up with Emma was a bad idea.
What am I even doing right now?
I thought to myself.
That’s when I heard a door slam shut from inside my neighbor’s apartment. It’s them. They are still awake. I need to stop being a pushover and start standing up for myself. This can’t go on every night. As I started walking towards my neighbour’s apartment, I felt each step become heavy and slow. As if something was trying to prevent me from going there. As if something was telling me to go back to my room. I should have listened. I don’t know what came over me but I just wanted to get out of there.