Nightmare Flat 2 – By @Antonio_line_
By Antonio Castellano
Nightmare Flat 2
I’ve never thought I would have written a second part of the Nightmare Flat SCAB and I really wish, with all of my heart, I won’t need to write a third because, hopefully, by the first week of January I’ll have changed flat.
So where were we last time?
Ah, yeah, the 90-year-old landlord (OL) saying to me: “fuck off”. What an unforgettable moment…
The day after, during the evening, I stayed in my room practicing my favorite hobby: looking for new flats. I heard someone knocking at my door but I didn’t open it. Whoever it was I wasn’t in the right mood to talk at all. I supposed it was Luca, the 40-year-old gay guy who lives downstairs. Surely he would have listened to me having an argument with the OL the day before and maybe he wanted to have a chat about that. The person outside the door kept knocking. Then he went away and came back to knock after 30 minutes. He returned 4 times in total, knocking several times. Clearly, he could see the light on in my room so he knew I was there. But really, I didn’t have the energy to face anyone. I just ignored him and I went to sleep under my 4 light bedsheets in a cold night in London.
The day after, when I left my room, I was on a phone call with my mother. Once I opened the door I found the OL, just came out of her flat.
“Good morning” I said, faking as much as I could and trying to be polite.
“Yesterday I tried several times to talk to you. You were in the room”.
“Oh really (bitch)? I didn’t hear you. Sorry (it’s not me here the one who should say sorry…), I was probably listening to some music with the headphones”.
“You told me I said to you “fuck off” but I don’t remember. Anyway, I am so sorry. I thought about it all today…I had a party that evening, I drunk a glass too many”. She was almost crying. So I could just say: “Ok, I got it, I accept your apology”
She has never called a plumber. The water from the bathroom tap is still orange.
As you know, I have been paying for a room with a private bathroom but OL let her friends use it. Also, I was scared she went into my room so I started putting ‘traps’ to understand if someone used the bathroom and/or go inside my room. Once back from Rome I found that the trap was activated… the OL had already told me that none will have used it. So I wrote her a letter saying something more or less like “that’s not correct from you”. She said you can put a lock on the bathroom door. So I did.
It was October, it was my birthday. I spent one of the most amazing days ever with my friends at school. I also took a flight for Rome to celebrate with my family as well. I could have had, finally, a break from the nightmare flat for a couple of days to dive deeply into the comfort zone again. Just before leaving the N.flat I heard a sound inside the wall. I try to understand what it was. Again. But not explanations came into my mind. I just left and flew back home.
The time in Rome was unforgettable. But soon I will have had other unforgettable times in London, but not good ones. Once I came back I met Luca while I was doing the laundry. I told him about the argument with the OL and he told me her background. He said that she gets drunk every single evening, she is an alcoholic. So is her daughter. The OL’s husband has bronchitis that he never healed because they don’t trust meds. That’s great… Actually, I hear him coughing often, every day. I open my eyes, I stand up from my bed and I hear him cough up phlegm e v e r y m o r n i n g .
The days pass. I kept searching for the perfect flat. A part of me said that I could go through all of that, I could have been able to adapt to that. But even if I could adapt to that situation, as you could read soon, every week something weird happens and makes me lose my balance. I’ve been losing a lot of energy and my focus on the school.
You may now ask: why are you still living there? There are 2 reasons: it’s very cheap for London prices (maybe there’s a reason why…) and also I just need 1 week’s notice to leave this place. All the other places I viewed were more expensive and most of the time they were worse in terms of what they offered. So I’ve been staying here looking for the perfect flat. It has been a long search BUT maybe this morning I’ve found the ONE! On Monday I SHOULD have the viewing, my heart is already ready to be broken once again so I hope it won’t hurt more than usual when they will tell me “Sorry but the flat has already been taken”…… Anyway if it will not be this one, it will be another one but I need to change before term 2 will start.
If my first love was Dishwasher, that time was a flat close to Elephant and Castle of a young man called Tom. Basically, his flat was perfect. The ultimate flat I wanted to live in. Super modern, very beautiful. When I wrote him the first time he replied to me, and that’s already a big thing! Also, it was quick. He told me that a person was going to see the flat during the afternoon and he asked me if I could. But I couldn’t. We had important staff in the school that I couldn’t miss. In the evening he wrote to me that I wouldn’t have had more viewings. I mean…. come on Tom! I thought you were different! You called me “buddy” in the messages… I thought and dreamt of this flat a lot. It was really good. When I showed proudly to my classmates the pictures of his flat saying “Look what I’ve just lost”, they were amazed! During the next weeks, I texted him a couple of times, asking if there was something I can do to have the flat and he always replied to me saying no kindly. I also wrote to him to wish him happy thanksgiving day (understand me guys, it has been a tough time).
He’s never replied to that wishes.
Even all this series of unfortunate events I said to myself that I could be able to stay, to get through that. When I really thought I was finally ok there I met my new friend.
The sounds that I heard in the wall before leaving for Rome was still there. Sometimes I was louder, sometimes softer. I found out it actually came out from the kitchen hood. I thought it was the wind. I stroked it, hoping it was a fixable problem. But that day the noise was so loud that I opened the kitchen hood, as deeply as I would. There was mouse poo. Wow. Amazing. I was so upset. I called my father asking him to help me deal with that rage because if it was for me I would have put the mouse poo in the glass that the OL use for her denture. He calmed me successfully. “Play it” I said to myself. “Fuck off” I said to myself. I moved a couple pieces of furniture to see there was other mouse poo. It was. The day after I went to talk to the landlord.
“Hi, I’ve got a bad news, there’s a mouse in the house.”
“Oh… that mouse! It again! Damn it”. And I was like “what??”
Luca told me later that the mouse had been living there for 2 years. The OL had seen it in her garden for 2 months and she had done nothing. It had made the tana behind Luca’s fridge last year. She told me “buy some traps”
I had already laid traps for the humans in my bathroom, now also for the mouse?!
One day, the OL, out of nowhere came to me and said “I need the key off of the lock of the bathroom”. “Fuck you” I wish I said. “Why?”. “I need to have it, if something wrong happens in the bathroom I need to be able to get it”. And that’s no wrong, I know. I said “Maria, I don’t trust you anymore, if I give you the key, putting a lock has been useless because you will let your friends use it”. “No please trust me, I will put it in a safe place and I won’t let anyone have it”. “I’m sorry but I can’t trust you”. “I cross my heart and I hope to die. You have my word”. I just had to give it to her.
I am now putting back traps in the bathroom.
I had a very bad time with the guy who lives downstairs. In the last SCAB, I told you when he asked me (with just his underwear on) to have “exercise” together. Now I tell you when one day, out of the blue, he texted me “Linea Trans”. Still today, I have no fucking idea what he meant. He also wrote me “come down” with some nasty emojis. Scared, I lock the door of my room. I asked him about those words and he didn’t say anything. He ignored that and he said “when you go to do your laundry DON’T pass through that door!” “But you tell me to do so last week…” “Actually you can as long as you don’t scream if you see two men having sex” “I use the other door”…
The washing machine is the only thing we share, and I want it to stay like this…
Last week I was drying my clothes and he went into his bathroom, close to the washing machine, with the door completely open. I am studying at a communications school but my communication with him seems to be failing. I mean, he has also a boyfriend! Leave me alone, with the old man’s expectorating and an annoying mouse.
The last episode with him what one of the things that upset me the most. Basically, he told me one month ago more or less that every time he brought his boyfriend to the house he puts music on so the OL doesn’t hear sounds of them having sex. Basically 4 or 5 times per week I hear this horrible cheap music that makes me feel creepy and I know he’s with his boyfriend. I mean at least he tries to hide in some way but one day, even if the music was loud, I heard sounds of his final moment… Then, the day after the music was on for a very long time, then I received a text from an unknown number. It said “Hi, here a couple looking for fun”. The profile picture was a guy. In the reflection of his sunglasses there was another man. Luca.
I blocked the number and I left the house.
So that was the last nightmare thing happened so far. Recalling all these experience makes me realize how much time and energy I wasted because of the flat. I wanted to save money keeping staying there when actually I have wasted so much of myself. I also feel that I’ve been always too naive and nice and London keeps saying me that I need to change. And all these experiences are doing it. At least the nightmare flat has done something good.