Helen delivered drama to the street from the moment she moved in dressed in the latest ASOS creation, driving a Mercedes Cabriolet – tops down. The jury of worthies was out about whether she would enhance our lives.
Twenty’s Plenty was meaningless to her, as was turning the noise down after eleven – her car thundered through the streets whenever she was returning home and she had a nasty habit of leaving her music on full blast for hours on end.
I. Hated. Her.
She was less Helen, more Hell.
She never had a sexual encounter that I didn’t hear – long, loud groaning and paroxysms of guttural pleasure permeated our adjoining walls until I used the piano trick put her off her stride.
My daughter had ditched her piano when she had moved into a fourth floor flat. So, whenever Helen started up clubland tunes or enjoying her latest paramour enough for me to hear, I lifted the piano lid and did my Les Dawson homage.
Over the course of a few weeks she became quieter and less obtrusive which meant my piano lid stayed closed a bit more often. Maybe she just hadn’t realised the impact she was having on everyone else around her until it was not-so-subtly pointed out.
It was around this time that she acquired a new bruiser boyfriend- you know the type, close-cropped hair, solitary earring, gold chain, tattoos and muscles that showed up through clothing.
They knocked about for a while then it became clear he was knocking her about. She took to dark glasses and long sleeves and I began saying “Good morning,” whether she answered or not in case she needed an out.
He didn’t take rejection well.
When she stopped seeing him he often pitched up at her door late at night, hammering and booting her front door. The police lifted him for affray a couple of times before the interdict came into force.
There was one final incident before she moved on. During the night there had been a horrible crashing noise and next morning when I put out the trash, I overheard her wailing that her Merc was a write off and that she’d had nothing but bad luck since she’d moved to this “Godforsaken hellhole”.
I don’t know where she moved to or how her life turned out because we were never close, despite our proximity.
Author Bio: Ellie Ness lives in Scotland and writes for fun. Find her on Twitter at @EleanorNess.
Photo by Philippe Gauthier on Unsplash.