Deirdre Jones had enough. This was the third set of neighbours moving in beside her home, in the duplex. The third set in as many years. They came and went. Always noisy. Carousing, if the truth be told.
The rumbling engine on the massive moving van parked on the road, too close to her downstairs front window, was noisy and polluting the air. Big men, with thundering voices kept hauling in the bulky furniture. For hours. The falling snow was causing the sidewalk to be slippery. The blundering men swore streams of obscenities as they nearly dropped the dining room table. She could tell they were swearing by their red, strained faces. She needed to do something. Anything. “STOP!” She decided to wait.
On good days, she hoped the new neighbours would turn out to be alright.
It was late afternoon when the people arrived in their fancy black car. Slamming the front door. Yelling something at each other. Their words were a jumbled roar. Echoing in her brain. Reverberating. They were just like all the others…
The morning sun broke through her bedroom window, casting its light on her surroundings. Yes, this was her place. Her haven. The enlarged framed wedding photo on her soft green painted wall lifted her spirit. His wing back chair in the corner, with the embroidered cushion Daughter had given her, was a calming comfort in her life. It was seven o’clock. Time to get on with her day.
First there was the coffee to put on. Then the toast. The mug and matching plate were already set on the plaid place mat at her kitchen table. The timed radio blared, announcing the morning news:
“Twenty-five million cases of COVID 19 virus in the world. Second wave. Keep indoors whenever possible. Wear masks. Wash your hands.”
She always washed her hands. All the time. How was that news? She took her second cup of coffee out to her heated back porch. Voices mumbled through the wall. Right there. Beside her porch. Too early to complain…
What day was it? On Fridays, the woman came with her groceries for the week. That was when? Yesterday? Something else about yesterday. Time was strange: twenty-five was a number she remembered. Living here that long? Another number she knew. Ten. That number made her sad. Never mind…
Time to clean the kitchen counter. Vacuum. Dust. Then television. Her programs started at 1:00. She always knew when it was 1:00. And that time was always when Daughter called.
“Hello Mum. How are you today? Did you get your groceries? What’s new? Call you tomorrow. Love you.”
Always interrupting her program. Always the same questions. What’s new? How could she have anything new, shut up as she was. Back to her programs… Time to make supper. Turn on the stove…
A door slammed in the hallway, mirroring her own duplex. Different voices. Louder. More of them. Stomping around. Her ready broom handle slammed against the wall. Over and over. She finished with some profane words she learned on one of her programs. There! That should stop them.
But the muffled sounds didn’t stop. She put on her long fur coat and made her way down her outdoor steps and then up the other set of steps. She banged on the door. A man with a mask answered. “May I help you?
“Yes! You most certainly may. Stop all that rioting. I’m a lawyer. I know my rights. Or I will report you to the police.” Her tone was firm. She stepped down to the snow-covered walkway in her slippers and cautiously found her way back to her door…
It was morning. The sun broke through her bedroom window, casting its light on her surroundings. Yes, this was her place. Her haven. It was seven o’clock. Time to get on with her day…
The doorbell rang during her television program. It was the woman. Why today? Monday? Maybe.
“Good Afternoon Mrs. Jones. How are you today?” She had a mask on. Was this another woman? “May I come in?”
She could hardly stop her, already heading for her living room. “Shall we sit down for a chat.” The woman sat on her sofa. As though it was her house. She was looking around. Inspecting her?
“I’m afraid that you called the police. Again. About the people next door.” She heard the woman methodically tell her. “You told the police officer that the neighbours had your husband kidnapped in their basement. This officer was new. He searched their premises.”
“Oh? Don’t remember doing that. I don’t like the noises I hear in the hallway.” She admitted.
“I know it’s a little difficult for you, when new tenants move in. Hopefully, you will get used to these neighbours. I’ll call your daughter and let her know. Is there anything I can do for you? No. Alright then. Please don’t go outside. It’s cold and icy.” She was gone. Like the other ones…
At sundown, Deidre Jones was extremely agitated. Why didn’t people understand? She was a very important lawyer. And the neighbours had kidnapped her husband, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. She needed to call the police.
Katalin Kennedy (copyright, https://katalinkennedy.com)