THE HIDDEN STORIES
I remember, a few month after I first came to stay at my current apartment, that I was quite curious in knowing about everyone who live in my building.
Some might call me nosy but I prefer the word ‘interested in’ which sounds less intrusive and more-so inclusive.
Why no…. I am not nosy, perish the thought.
Anyway, as an aspiring writer, I have imagined mysteries, intrigues and dramas involving the people who share my building with me. I fairly vibrated at the prospect of a mystery right in my own building and writing about it, a ‘scoop’ a-la journalism style.
Of course, the reality is far from fiction and it is just my own wishful thinking. What drama there is, is personal in nature and I feet I have no right to stick my busy nose in them, much less write about them.
But naturally, any writer worth her salt know to let real events inspire her work, with respect to the person or persons in real-life. And so even if there are no mystery or intrigues of the Agatha Christie level, there are still plenty of events which tickle the mind and draw the eye.
I would say that the people who live in my building are a very interesting group of people.
Susana and her family are the first neighbors I am introduced to. Or rather, they are the first to introduce themselves to me.
Beatrice is just a baby then.
The young family has already lived there for a few years, beginning with when Su and Brennan are newlyweds just getting their own brand new place and wanting to raise a family.
I am immediately charmed by the little family, and they become my family away from family.
Susana especially, is the open and friendly type, and she quickly become my best friend and my sister away from home. She has an easy-going personality which make everyone she comes into contact with immediately wanting to be her friend. Brennan is more solemn but just as open and friendly, while Baby Bea is simply delightful.
Anyway, it is my thought that Susana would know everyone there.
So I ask Su about all the other tenants, citing the reason as wanting to get to know everyone so I can be a good neighbor without coming across as nosy or meddling.
I figure it is an acceptable enough reason, which is the truth anyway.
Su certainly feels rightly justified with my reasoning, and has no problem telling me about all the people and families living there.
I am right though, Su knows everyone.
Well except for Peter, but he hasn’t moved into our building yet.
I have the greatest of pleasure in meeting Peter before Susana, I smugly think.
…..hey, I never said that I am perfect.
On my floor, there is me, a lone tenant, which suit me just fine in every way. After all, I am not ready for a roommate. I come from a rather big family, and so the novelty of living alone is still brand new to me. I quite like it.
The apartment next to mine is rented by Susana and her family.
The other apartment on our floor is empty.
The apartments on the floor above us are rented respectively by the Tang family; a couple of single, working adults a few years older than me; and Mrs. Potts, another loner.
The whole top floor is home to the owner of the building, Mr. Bollen – or Ben as he insists we call him – and his family.
The ground-floor is rented by a local diner, which is very convenient for me since I hate to cook most days.
And so that is how I first get my basic knowledge about my fellow-tenants, Susana having quite generously shared the information.
No mystery or drama, I am somewhat disappointed to learn.
These are just regular people and families with regular day jobs.
I supposed I have to find my muse elsewhere, I silently lament.
I get further acquainted with my other neighbors within a few months.
Mrs. Tang has a job as an assistant-cook in the diner below us, quite a good deal for her since she only has to walk down the two-floor stairs to reach work. Mr. Tang is a mechanic, under employment with a large auto-shop just a few blocks away. Their two children are teenagers, both in high-school, thus not needing much supervision except for the occasional crisis which comes with having teenagers in the family.
But as a whole, they are a nice family, respectful and open. Mrs. Tang is an excellent cook too, she is always inviting me, and everyone else, for a meal at their place.
I don’t mind admitting that I will always gladly accept Mrs. Tang’s invitation for a free meal. I am a lazy cook at the best of days.
Besides, their two teens, the younger girl Tina and the older brother Daniel, are sweet kids, like the siblings I can adopt. I miss my own siblings. I suspect fifteen year old Daniel has a little crush on me, but I pretend not to notice. He is a sweet kid, still prone to blushes and stammering adorably.
Then, there are my favorite twosome.
….to be continued…