I got up late this morning. Around 7:15 which is a departure from the normal 5:30. I had this anxiousness because I knew they were resurfacing the parking lot and I needed to move my car before 8.
I rushed through my coffee and bagel and cigarette to make sure I left by 8 even though I knew it was more of a loose timeframe and I didn’t really have to worry all that much.
I put on my pants and shoes and closing the apartment door I hear the words, “I can’t believe they’re letting that murderer stay here.” It took me back a little and I saw my neighbor across the landing, the woman who, I was warned by my now deceased neighbor a few months ago, was nosey.
“What are you talking about?” I said. “Jody, that asshole abused her, she would come to me with bruises, there was even one time she came to me, blood everywhere, she had cut herself, she was trying to get attention, they’re letting that asshole stay here.”
This was the same woman who told me Jody had died a few weeks ago and in this case, as in the earlier news of her death, I didn’t know what words to push out of my mouth, I just stood there stunned. The information that I had been living next to dead body threw me off earlier and I couldn’t help feeling like I wanted to get out of this apartment complex where people are a little too friendly and the management is a little too nonchalant. This idea that I was living next to a potential murderer now would stay with me. I knew it would, even if it was information from an untrustworthy source that spews a little too much speculative word vomit every time I see her.
“I knew there was something wrong with the office, they said this was a no drug, no crime, no smoking community and then later they say, oh they’re allowed to smoke on their balconies,” she said.
I still hadn’t said anything. I was torn between trying to sympathize with this woman, a known notorious gossip queen and my deep misanthropy and desire to leave. Slowly, I started to move down the stairs, saying simply, “I want to move.” “Be careful Michael,” her voice trailed as I walked down the stairs.
When I got to the coffee shop I searched the local newspaper’s website for articles about a death in my complex and couldn’t find anything. Let alone any speculative news about a murder. They were both drunks though, Jody and her husband, I have no idea what happened. I had only met her a couple times, once when she came to my door at 6 am to ask if I had called the cops on her, and the other time, in passing when she had told me to be careful and that my other neighbor was nosey.
I just knew Jody wasn’t around anymore and that I have a neighbor that loves her gossip.
I shouldn’t ignore my gut feeling that this place is off somehow.