Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Find Peace and Quiet at Rainbow Bluffs
Renting an apartment at Rainbow Bluffs may not have been as great an idea as Bob first thought it would be. The complex was nice enough with well-groomed landscapes, including some spectacularly tall palm trees. With the complex located on a hill, he could see all the way across the valley to where the mountains met the horizon once again. He figured that would be a great view to help inspire his writing.
Unfortunately, he didn’t consider the fact that he’d have neighbors, or that the walls between the apartments were very thin. His next-door neighbor, Abby, didn’t seem to understand this fact or know how to be quiet at all. She could make even the most mundane, quiet tasks loud and obnoxious. If it didn’t distract Bob so much from his writing, he might have been impressed by her obvious talent for noise making.
How could he be expected to write with all of that racket? It never failed, whenever he set aside some time to sit down and write, she’d start with some loud new task. That was the other thing, they were never the same. She loved to try new things, no matter how loud they may be.
She once picked up clogging, wooden shoes, and all. Who did that? Those shoes could not be comfortable. The wooden footwear clomped across her kitchen floor and reverberated through the walls. The music that she danced to didn’t make things any better. Thankfully that didn’t last long. Her downstairs neighbor let it go for a few hours before complaining.
One Saturday he heard an explosion. Okay, maybe not a real explosion, but it sounded pretty close to it coming through the thin walls. It worried him enough that he went over to check on her. Red matter covered her from head to toe and Bob began to pull out his cellphone to dial nine-one-one, but she quickly reassured him that she’d been attempting to make a beet smoothie and the lid of the blender flew off. She showed him her kitchen for proof. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
“You want a sample?” She asked, hitching a thumb over her shoulder at the mess.
Bob shook his head. “No, thanks. If you could please try to keep it down, I’m trying to write next door.”
“Oh, sorry!” She apologized, and the two returned to their original tasks.
At first, Bob would do his best to ignore the noise. When that failed, he’d try playing music to drown her out, but this just distracted him more. Eventually, he just took to going over and asking for peace and quiet. This began to happen more and more as she seemed to pick up noisier and noisier habits but was always willing to tone things down if he asked her. Sometimes, the quick talks would grow into long conversations at Abby’s door about all sorts of topics from how terrible dentists were as kids to the origins of Halloween. In time, the two became friends.
One day, as bob sat at his desk writing, a shriek rose up from next door. “You okay, Abby?” he sat up straighter as he shouted through the wall.
“Yes,” came her muffled and shocked reply. “Spiny stabbed me. Were you writing?”
“Yeah,” Bob relaxed, chuckling to himself. Spiny was her cactus, one of the only plants she could own without killing. Why she named it he didn’t know. “Need a Band-Aid?”
“No, yours are boring. Mine have Pokémon on them!”
Silence fell and Bob put his hands on the keyboard again, but they didn’t move. He couldn’t concentrate. It was too quiet. He realized that somewhere over the months that he’d been living at Rainbow Bluffs, he’d gotten used to the noisy chaos coming from Abby. Hearing her be silent felt odd.
With a sigh, he rose from his desk and headed next door. He knocked and Abby answered, a Pikachu bandage on her thumb. Her head tilted as she looked at him. “I thought you were writing.”
Bob shrugged. “Eh, I can’t concentrate. Want to go get a latte?”
“Sure!” she grabbed her purse and the two headed for the coffee shop down the street, falling into an animated discussion about nothing in particular.