My neighbors go quiet every so often. And on occasions, they’re as loud as a Saturday market. I can tell they’re a couple (unless their idea of a casual relationship also means living together). Their instability is loud. I can’t quite make out their day-long arguments, but the yelling, the sobbing, and the door slamming break through my thin walls with ease.
It got me thinking, if that’s love, then I don’t want it.
But of course, it is not. Though I never have and never could stay in that sort of relationship, I know toxic when I see it. I’d say theirs is way past toxicity; it’s lethal.
I grew up in a peaceful environment, so I can’t handle chaos too well. But, this being a periodical “encounter,” I guess I can deal with. Or am I just like them, unable to escape this abusive relationship? I don’t know what any of them gets out of it, but at least it gives me something to write about — after the anxious state they put me in, that is.
Sometimes, they go completely quiet. I’d hear nothing for weeks to months. It makes me wonder if they finally got out of that cycle. Good for them, I’d say to myself. That can be difficult. But then, I worry. What if he killed her? Or she killed him? I’m not exaggerating — with them, it’s that intense.
They eventually resurface, though. It never ends.
Every time I hear laughter or more than their voices, I feel relieved for them…and for me. But I have yet to find the final piece to this dramatic puzzle: what exactly are they fighting about? Why does the girl always end up crying? Why do they keep repeating the pattern?
I might never know the answers, but I’ll always wonder.
As for me, will I be the first one to leave this abusive relationship for good? I think I know the answer to this one. But for now, it’s just a story that keeps unraveling.
Originally published at https://marciacapellan.com on July 6, 2022.