Neighbors (March 2020, Week 3 Day 2)
Sasha glared at the wall as she adjusted the pillow behind her back. The noises from the next room were somehow more incessant and annoying now that she knew who was attached to them. For the first few weeks she only had the voices and her guesses as to what was making the scraping and banging sounds. Meeting her neighbors had changed everything.
She could see the smug look on the man’s face as he thrust his meaty hand at her in greeting. “Harris. Dr. Michael Harris.”
He’d put an extra emphasis on the “Dr.” as if he were mugging for a camera. Sasha’s nose crinkled as she replayed the encounter. He’d been so full of himself that it hadn’t felt like there was room left for her in the vestibule. Not shaking his hand hadn’t seemed like an option and she regretted it as soon as their hands connected. He’d wrapped his free hand around hers and got all together too close – close enough that she was pretty sure she knew what kind of soap he used – to ask her name, especially since it was clear he hadn’t listened. Sasha had lied about having left something in her car so she could escape back out into the courtyard while he headed up the stairs, only to run into his wife. They were proving to be inescapable.
With her hands balled into fists she pounded noiselessly on the bed and bared her teeth in a growl that only she could hear. It wasn’t fair. Moving into this apartment was supposed to have been the beginning of her dreams come true. Sasha shoved her laptop out of the way and, with one more glare at the wall, pushed herself off of the bed and left the room. They could have it for now, she’d get things done after they’d tired themselves out.
Sasha lived alone on purpose. She’d learned a lot from her first and second attempts at cohabitating and, as a result, had found an apartment she could afford on her own. The space was small – a galley kitchen that only just fit the necessary appliances, one two few closets, a bathroom small enough that you didn’t have to get up from the toilet to wash your hands, and a space that was doing double duty as both living and dining rooms. Her bedroom was the best – and biggest – room and, thanks to the neighbors, wasn’t as welcoming as it had been in the beginning.
It didn’t take her long to fill the tiny kitchen with deliciousness. She hummed as she babysat the eggs snapping away the cast iron pan and felt her shoulders sink away from her ears. Eggs had been her comfort food since she could remember. It didn’t matter what time of day or how recently she’d eaten – if she could find her way to a plate of eggs everything just seemed better. Sasha plated up her perfectly scrambled eggs, added a slice of toast, and prepared to wait out the neighbors.