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     The last couple of weeks have been a bit trying for me. This is due, in no small part, to my neighbor moving out of the apartment next door. You see, he’s already moved out since the last day of last month. However, because he didn’t turn over the keys by the first of this month, he was charged rent. In fact, he was just over there a few hours ago, hammering away at the walls and I would assume, generally making a mess after his wife had worked so hard to clean the place.

     Something else seems to be happening now. Something that took me by surprise, but now seems to make sense. He has begun showing the apartment to prospective renters. I think he is trying to get his deposit back. I can only think this is so in light of what I witnessed the other day.

     Overhearing the conversation, I had first assumed that he was just talking to his wife. However, it got very loud, which is odd, for in an empty room all sound is amplified. Even as he spoke, I could also hear her voice. In that instant, I realized that she was not the wife. Here is a bit of the conversation as I heard it:


Neighbor: “Here it is. We spent the last few days making everything right.”

I hear the door squeaking a bit as it is being pushed open.

Prospective Renter (let’s call her Customer): “It’s nice.”

No sound for a few moments, but then her voice becomes very loud.

Customer: (Loudly) “I thought you said there was power!?!”

Neighbor: “I didn’t know you wanted to turn on the lights.”

I hear some kind of scraping noise and realize that he’s opening the blinds.

Customer: (Apparently not pleased with his actions, demands) “Where are they?!?”

Neighbor: “What? Oh, the bulbs. I got some in the car. I’ll get one. That is, if you think you’ll need it.”

There is no sound for several minutes. Then the door shuts and then they are past my door, all the while, he is asking her what she thinks and when she can move in. She doesn’t reply. Maybe it’s just me, but from within my living room, I got the impression that she won’t be back.