Friday, 19 April 2013

The Downstairs Neighbour by Helena Ryan


It’s started again.  Four o’clock in the bloody morning.  I need my sleep.  I have small kids to look after but he’s up again screaming and bashing seven bells out of the radiator.  He’s shouting something, exactly what is not clear, get them out, or perhaps, get out of here, it’s a bit too muffled to make out. He looks normal enough, tall, slim, dark haired. He doesn't look ex-services or even ex-fireman or policeman, so god only knows what trauma he’s lived through. We say hello when we bump into each other on the stairs, but I don’t mention the nightmares.  I don’t mention that he wakes us up three or four times a week.

It’s a relief when he meets someone and brings her back late at night. At least then the nightmares stop.  Instead of he, it’s now she who wakes us up.  On the plus side the moaning is quieter, less violent.  Sadly it doesn't last.  Six weeks of appreciative groans and it’s over.  It doesn't take him long to revert.  I'm surprised the radiator can take it.

1 comment:

  1. 'Six weeks of appreciative groans and it's over' is such a great summary of a relationship. An unsettling story though.

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