In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Call Me Ishmael.
‘I have just returned from a visit to my landlord – the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.’ Wuthering Heights.’
The baby was laughing all the while , and trying so hard to say mama and my heart was lifted with the simple pleasure of her voice and her loud sounds of m m as the sun sparkled between the trees such a lovely day. to go for a long walk in the park this afternoon with her and hear her baby talk as I pushed her in her little buggy and pointed out all the melia of events that I was sure we would discover.
The land lord was very sullen and didnt even notice the baby or invite us in but rather kept us on the doorstep as I asked in the gentlest way possible if he could organise for the chimney to be repaired as soon as possible. This was a simple job that he had stated in many phone calls previously would be fixed before we decorated.
That was 2 months ago now and each day was getting closer to baby’s first birthday and the house was in desparate need of a new coat of paint but the chimney was causing a bad smell in the house and we did not want to decorate until that job was out of the way .
I cant put my finger on it but this morning the landlord looked almost aggressive as we stood in the door way and his eyes looked haunted and this saddened me for a moment making me feel almost guilty for being so happy with the day’s unfolding and my plans for the walk.
After explaining my plight all he said was , the work will be carried out on Friday , he gave no excuse and without one word of acknowledgement he closed the door almost in my face.
I could feel the heat rise in my cheeks as if I had been slapped sharply , baby was unaware of anything other than the sound of her voice and as I bent to release the brake on the buggy I buried my face in her soft embrace and heard those lovely words mama mama , I held her soft little hand to my cheek feeling the soothing effect on my skin as we both looked up at once to the landlord once again in the door way .
His look had not altered if anything he seemed quite annoyed that we were still there . but this time I did not speak so gently to him , I addressed with his complete title and announced that my solicitor would be in touch with him within 24 hours and that I would be making a claim for the health hazard that the chimney had created in our home for the last 2 months and also the cost of the telephone calls to his mobile every day trying to find out when the work would be done . I spoke clearly and concisely and never wavered once under his mean aggressive staring eyes , but unlike my usual lowering of my eyes under such circumstances I stared right into those eyes and was amazed not only by his reaction but also by my faerie child’s reaction as she stared up to at the man with tears flowing down his cheeks as he wept uncontrollably for at least a minute before hastily retreating back into the house. ….