Tuesday 28 May 2013

First Freedom

My friend and I looked for the perfect place to move. This was the first time away from home for us both. We must have looked at twenty suites, most were over our budget or were dumps.  Beth phoned me excited. She had found the perfect place for us and had talked the property owner to come down to a reasonable rent. The bus route was just outside our door. She urged me to see it right away so he would not rent it to anyone else. 

Borrowing my mom’s car, I picked Beth up and off we went. It was small but clean, and had a large soaker tub. We both love to have candle-light bubble baths. And with the furniture we had scrounged from our parents we could make it look like our own. The owner had met us at the door. He was a large heavy man with horn-rimmed glasses, and beady eyes which looked us both over from top to bottom. 
I felt shivers run down my spine as he leered at Beth’s breasts, she was well endowed, me not so much. Beth was jubilant, signing the first months rent and the damage deposit, not even noticing this Machiavellian looking individual. He told us his rules; no noisy parties, rent on time, gave us two sets of keys, telling us he would keep a set in case of any emergencies.

We were settled in a couple of weeks, had our parents over to see the place, my dad being a policeman said he would bring over a better lock and install a chain on the door. Beth told him the owner would not like that, he had a key to our place. Relenting he said he would install a strong chain. 

The laundry room was beside the owner’s door and he always seemed to be around every time we went past to do our laundry. I noticed it first that some of my panties had gone missing. Asking Beth if she had them in her drawer by mistake, she said one of her bras had gone missing too. We both went and looked to see if we had mixed up our clean clothes. None had been misplaced.

Arriving home early from work one day I could smell a different odor as I opened the door. Someone had been in here, it was the owner’s cologne as he always wore it heavily. I knocked on his door and asked why he had been in our suite, taking him by surprise, he hesitated for a minute trying to figure out how I could know? He told me the toilet needed a new ball and he replaced it. I told him the next time he needed to enter our apartment to do it when one of us was home. His beady eyes showed annoyance, telling me as the owner he could check our place out when he deemed it necessary. 

Going upstairs I went on my computer to the residency act, he was supposed to give us twenty-four hours notice unless in an emergency. Frustrated I went to have a bath to unwind, taking a glass of wine with me. I sunk slowly into the tub. A quiver vibrated through my body, sensing something was not right. I just could not relax. I heard Beth arrive home. Telling her of my experience with the owner, she asked if maybe I was over reacting. I let it go and started to make a salad for dinner. 
Talking to my dad that night I told him what had happened. He said he would be over later to talk to that asshole. I pleaded saying maybe I had over reacted, to let it be for now.

Beth was not feeling well the next day so stayed home. When I came home, she lay curled up on the couch shaking. Thinking she was still not feeling well, she started to cry telling me that Harold the owner had come in while she was having a bath and came into the bathroom stared at her then left saying he was there to check if the toilet was working. She said he had a grin on his face as she told him to get out. 

I was ready to go confront Harold, but phoned my dad, he was there within ten minutes. He went downstairs and told Harold if he ever did this again, he would arrest him for aggravation or worse. Dad wanted us to move but we wanted our own place and knew we would not be able to find a place with the rent we were paying. Other than Harold, we loved the location and loved living here. We were sure that after my dad had warned him he would leave us alone. The next few weeks flew by without any problems. 
Or so we thought.

Beth had a date, she was excited and must have changed umpteen times as we waited for her date to arrive. I ran a bath, lighting all the candles, turning off the overhead lights. I chained the door after they left heading for my waiting bath.

Then I saw a small ray of light shinning above the shower, going closer, I spotted a hole had been bored into the plaster. He had been watching us, probably since we moved in, I was sure he was the one who had taken our underwear. I slowly left the bathroom as if I had forgotten something, heading to my drawer where my dad on his last visit had put a small caliber gun for our protection.
I slowly crawled into the bathroom. No light coming through the hole. He was watching right now, waiting for me to return and take off my bathrobe. I came to the hole from the side so he would not see me, inserting the gun at the hole, I pulled the trigger.
l heard a scream and a few seconds later a key being inserted in my door. Calling dad from the bathroom all I had time for was to say 911 at my place. 
The chain was holding, but the old door was splintering, Harold would be inside sooner than my dad would get here. He was raving like a lunatic, swearing calling me a bitch saying he would rape and kill me. I could hear his weight pushing against the door, his tone getting wilder, him yelling more despicable dialog as the wood started to creak under his weight. A large bang as the door exploded open, blood was streaming down his face, I could not see one of his ears. He started to lunge at me grabbing a lamp as he charged towards me. 

He stopped midstream, not knowing what to do when he saw me pull the gun from my bathrobe pocket and aim right at him.

He was not aware that my dad had taught me to shoot. Dad arrived telling me he would look after this, it was definitely a case of self-defense. We had moved out by the time Harold was released from hospital. No charges were ever laid.

I do not think he will be looking through peepholes or hearing that well from now on. 

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