Story Jots # 6 – Peephole Under the Stairs
Honey, have you met our neighbour?
Our neighbour. The guy across from us in the adjoining apartment. Have you met him?
Ah…no, I don’t think so. Why?
Oh, nothing. I was just thinking today about how strange it is that we’ve been in our new place for three months now, and the both of us have yet to lay a single eye on him. Don’t you think that’s a little strange?
No, not really. Maybe this guy likes keeping to himself. He could work awkward hours or something.
Yeah, I guess. But you would think we would have seen him coming or going at some point. His door closing here or there.
Baby, you are being weird. Who cares? Look, I am completely cool with not getting to know our neighbours. I hate those annoying stop and talks. Besides, shit’s tangly when people get too all up in your business. That’s the whole reason we moved. We hate people remember.
All I am saying is that I find it odd. I haven’t seen him in the laundry room, I am there pretty much every day. Both of us check the communal mailboxes, no sign of him there either and his mailbox is right next to ours. Plus, it is not only his door, but I also never hear anything coming from his apartment. Nothing. It is always so quiet over there. And, I am not weird. There was no need to call me that. You are being mean.
I’m sorry, babe. You are right, I should not have called you weird. I am being an idiot. Look, tomorrow I will make a point to keep a closer ear and a closer eye out for our mystery neighbour. I might see him come back from work or somewhere. If I do, we can both run to catch him before he heads inside and go say hello. Now, stop brushing your hair and come to bed and allow me to make up for being mean.
What do think he is like anyway?
The neighbour, Bradley.
Oh my God, Jess. Come on. It’s late. Why are we still talking about this? Why are you so obsessed with knowing this guy?
Stop it, I am that’s all.
No, I don’t believe you. There must be a reason. This is not like you. What is wrong? Spill it.
OK, I’ll tell you.
Good. Now, what’s the matter?
Alright, well, do you remember today when you went to the grocery store?
Yeah, what about it?
Do you remember telling me to go relax, take a hot bath while you were gone, and when you returned we would watch a movie?
Well, I listened to what you said and took that bath.
OK, so far, I’m not seeing a problem. Honey, please, I’m your fiancé. What is it?
Bradley, I think someone was watching me. I had a feeling come over me the whole time I was in the bath. Even after when I was reading my book on the couch.
Ahhh, I see what is going on here. You think the neighbour is some creepy pervert and he is held up in his apartment spying on you? On us?
See, I knew you wouldn’t understand. Never mind. I shouldn’t have said anything.
Babe…honey, all right, OK. Sorry. But I feel you might be overacting. I knew we shouldn’t have watched that horror movie when I got back. You are all paranoid from it. I told you would be.
I am not paranoid, Bradley. I was alone today, and I could feel eyes on me. I am serious about this. Jesus, you are making me feel crazy.
Jess, sweetie…take off your clothes and come over here and get into bed. Let me take your mind off it. I am here now, and no one is going to hurt you. Let me protect you. Please…come lay down.
(Jess switches off the remaining lights all except her bedside lamp and slowly takes off her clothes one item at a time until she is completely nude standing in front of her fiancé)
Listen, babe. If it makes you feel better. Tomorrow we will make up an excuse and go meet our neighbour. How about that? I will buy some donuts, or a cake, and we can say it is a welcoming present or something. Then, we will have our chance to figure this guy out and see if he is indeed a freak. Now, get that beautiful naked body in this bed. It’s cold under these sheets.
Yes, my sexy Goddess.
I have that feeling again.