Last week, I moved into a new place. I absolutely, positively love fresh starts. The last few places I lived, I didn’t bother getting acquainted with the neighbors. Why, I’m not really sure. I mean, I chatted with one of the neighbors occasionally. She was a young lady, around the same age as my 27-year-old daughter. She had two sons and lived in the townhouse with her mother.
The last place, I can count on one hand how many times I talked to the neighbors on either sides of me. The energy was just…blah. We would speak to each other, but they weren’t the type of neighbors to cut my grass out the kindness of their hearts when they saw it was getting taller than a Globetrotter and being cited by the city. But I digress.
Fall is my favorite season. I love its perfect sweater weather. The tall boots and festive scarves. And let’s not forget scary movies. My youngest daughter and I were talking about how it’s better to watch scary movies during Halloween time than not; however, both of us nearly jumped out of our skin when the doorbell rang.
It was after 8 o’clock and dark outside. We had just gotten in from my daughter’s volleyball game. My neighbor to the right of me was sitting in her car when I pulled up, so I thought it was her. I’ve seen her several times since I moved in and we have yet to exchange pleasantries. She just looks like she’s got an attitude problem. I could be wrong…or right, considering I’ve only been living here a week and she’s already cussed this man out TWICE, who appears to be her boyfriend/husband/live-in. Not just a regular ole cussing out, but an I’m-outside-wit-it-and-want-everybody-in-the-complex-to-hear-me type of tongue lashing. And to add to that, it was at ungodly hours in the morning.
I was shocked when I realized that it wasn’t her but an unfamiliar, barefooted black woman instead. She asked if I had some tape. Her voice was low and I had to ask her to repeat herself a few times. I’ve seen too many movies and knew better than to crack my screen door to get a better listen.
She told me she was my next door neighbor and that she plans on moving soon, which is why she needed the tape. I told her that I didn’t have any. She didn’t leave. She just stood there. My daughter, who was standing on the steps peering from an aerial view, and I kept looking back and forth at each other like….
All I could think about was the movie The Strangers that came out in 2008. It’s about a couple who go on vacation and are terrorized by three hoodlums. I don’t remember much from the movie but there’s this one line that has stuck with me ever since. One of the terrorizers goes to the house where the couple is vacationing and says, “Hi, is Tamara home?”
It is the creepiest shit EVER because there’s no gat damn Tamara there and she knows it. So, the whole time I’m telling my neighbor that I ain’t got no tape, I’m thinking to myself I NEED A MAN!!! I’m too scary for this shit.
The lady left…only to return less than 5 minutes later. My daughter said DON’T OPEN IT! I peeked out the window and, sure nuff, it was indeed her —again!
An hour or so later, my daughter got out the shower, came into my room and said, “You need a gun.”
Until next time…