This story in particular is one of my favorites. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of the experience as I did. It happened several years ago and it still makes me laugh when I think about it…
A long time ago I used to live in a large apartment complex with roughly a hundred apartments. My building was three stories with eighteen apartments within it. I myself lived on the ground floor at the end of the building. The front door was located in a sort of corridor. It faced the door to my next door neighbor’s apartment.
One night I was relaxing in my apartment with my oldest daughter who was about two at the time. We were watching a movie cuddled up on the couch. I remember it was Toy Story. It was one of her obsessions back then we probably watched it a gazillion times a week.
About half way into it we were interrupted by a knock at the door. I pushed pause on the movie and listened carefully. I thought maybe it could have been on the neighbor’s door. It was fairly late and I wasn’t expecting anyone. It’s worth mentioning I hate when this happens. One of my irrational fears is that I’m going to open the door and get attacked since I can’t see it coming. I’m too short to reach a peep hole let alone be able to see out of one. Therefore, if I ask who it is and someone doesn’t answer, they don’t get in.
The knock sounded at the door again and I jumped. Slowly I made my way down the long hallway. Again, I know totally ridiculous but I used to always think if I didn’t walk cautiously the scary boogie man would get me for sure.
Once at the door I called, “Who is it?”
“Who is it?” This time I listened intently for any sign of who my visitor was.
Nothing. There wasn’t even so much as the sound of a shoe scuffing on the ground outside. The only noise was from the wind blowing through the corridor. Can I just say that totally added to the creep me out factor while I stood there.
I put my ear closer to the door. “Who is…”
Suddenly I was interrupted by another insistent knock at the door. I jumped back so fast as my heart violently thudding in my chest now. Why wasn’t who ever it was answering me? I wasn’t going to answer. It could have been a vicious serial killer waiting to bludgeon me to death. All though, you would think they would have been more stealthy. Pounding on my door would get the attention of the neighbors. At least you would think anyway. Not one door opened to see what the commotion was about.
My thoughts were interrupted by another knock more hurried this time. Now I was just getting irritated. Even if it was a psychopath they were just being rude.
In my most annoyed tone I said, “Seriously who is it? If you want me to open the door you gotta tell me who you are.”
This was getting ridiculous. But as I was thinking that another stinkin knock sounded.
“Look a**hole! This isn’t funny! I’m not opening the door unless you tell me who you are!” As I roared out the response I held the phone up poised to dial. I may have sounded tough but it was all vibrato. I was shaking with both fear and irritation at this point. I had heard once that at these apartments someone had kicked in a door to break in. I of course was envisioning this while I stood there which help oh so much.
In the distance I heard a car door close. Finally, someone was going to observe what ever was going on here. Scuffling foot steps were walking into the corridor. Then there were mumbled voices behind my door. Ah hell, what was it my killers accomplice? Was that a laugh I just heard?
After a few seconds that stretched on like hours another knock came on my door. This time though it was much gentler and was followed by a voice.
“Excuse me?” The voice was polite. “It’s your neighbor from upstairs,” the voice called through to me.
I recognized the voice but had no idea who it was. “Who else is out there with you?” I asked shakily.
The stranger laughed. Actually laughed before replying. “It’s my boyfriend. He’s been knocking at your door for a while I guess. I’m Mat and his name is Antonio. I’ve seen you around, you’re blind right?”
Says the cat sweetly to the unsuspecting little mouse before he eats it. “Um…did you guys need something cuz if not I’m gonna call the cops.” I couldn’t help the acid in my voice. Sure this guy was being polite sort of but still. Why does he care if I’m blind? Why didn’t his boyfriend talk or at least go away when I didn’t answer? I wasn’t about to answer the door no matter how nice he was. And what did it matter that I was blind?
“Well… it seems the two of you are kind of a double edged sword,” he replied easily.
Okay so not the right metaphor to use with someone who is already freaked out. I didn’t say anything to him. Instead, I called my next door neighbor and asked her to come out and help me because these people were not leaving. The one called Mat seemed nice enough but I wasn’t taking that chance.
Once she came out she apparently was immediately clued into something I didn’t get. “It’s alright Nick you can come out,” she said through laughter.
Tentatively I gave in and opened the door.
“Hi my name’s Mat.” The guy said in friendly tones. He took my hand and shook it.
“Hi? I’m Nikki?” I was so confused my words came out like a question. I wish someone would explain to me what the hell was going on.
As if hearing my thoughts Mat spoke in a soothing voice that barely masked the fact he was about to laugh. “I’m really sorry about this. I hope Antonio didn’t scare you. He wanted to know if you had some butter. He seen your light on and was sure you were home.”
“K…” I replied brilliantly.
Suddenly another hand was in mine shaking it. It felt smoother than Mat’s so I assumed it was Antonio’s. He didn’t speak though. He just made a noise that was between a grunt and a hum.
Then spoke Mat again, “This is Antonio. The reason he wasn’t answering you was because he’s deaf.”
Instantly my face floodd with red and I could feel it getting hotter by the second. “So he didn’t answer me because he’s… deaf?” My voice trailed off in bewilderment.
“Right,” said mat.
My next words came out slowly. I was still trying to figure it all out. “And I couldn’t see him so I wasn’t answering..?”
I asked the question more to myself then to Mat but he answered anyway. “It would appear so.”
After a brief awkward silence the corridor erupted with hysterical laughter. Everyone was in stitches over the irony of the situation. Even Antonio was laughing so either Mat was signing to him or my slow idiot take made for easy lip reading.
After that night any time Antonio wanted to come to my door he called first or got someone to knock with him. He obviously was not psycho serial killer intent on bludgeoning me to death. He actually turned out to be a very nice guy and a good friend. It was an interesting friendship I admit, but one I will never forget.