I came back from Italy with a bag full of Christmas presents,an atrocious cold and sore throat and two very cranky girls.
The day we came back they both were in bad mood and kept teasing each other.I was totally knocked out by the cold and also had some temperature.The only thing I wanted was unpacking and go to bed.The only thing I asked for,it was if not silence,at least not screaming.After asking the girls to stay quite multiple times I lost it.I barged in their bedrooms screaming like a lunatic.Painfully screaming like a lunatic because my throat was sore and my voice weak. I couldn’t control myself. Nothing could have calmed me down.Mama fairy was transformed in Mama fury.I was Maleficent.For months I have been telling them to keep their rooms tidy and threatening to throw away everything out of place.To be honest,now that it is them dusting their rooms I don’t really care that much: It is not me anymore wasting hours cleaning around all that staff. Considering that Maleficent is not famous to be honest, I had my pretext to pay them back for the insensitivity showed towards me being unwell.I grabbed what I could and throw it in black bin bags.
They were crying and they were shocked.Shocked and astonished.They probably thought a demon or some supernatural evil power possessed me.I felt possessed myself actually.Ashamed too, for my reaction but, too sick to indulge in guilt.
This was Monday afternoon,by dinner time the same day we were friends again. Tuesday went smoothly. I was in bad form and stayed in bed nearly all day.They were quite and conveniently grounded from the previous day.Conveniently grounded for me that I didn’t have to drive at seven at night to chess club and wait for an hour.Conveniently grounded because I didn’t have to smell sweaty feet for two hours at the gymnastic show to “enjoy” a 5 minutes performance of my daughter. By Wednesday their courage is back.They know I didn’t really throw everything away and so they are asking were ‘‘this and that” is.
I throw away only what I thought it was junk .Junk for me and essential objects for them!So here I am,standing on my toes,absolutely unstable on the three step ladder,half body into the big black bin.Still hostage of a heavy cold and a general unwellness I am ravaging in the bin trying to reach a specific piece of lego or thatMcDonald’s gadget that became the most favorite toy ever?I am nearly done and ready to go in when I hear voices.Voices coming from the garden of the house down the hill.The house down the hill from us has been vacant for nearly two years now.It is a huge house with a huge garden bordering with ours.The house used to be a home for people with learning difficulties. After being on the market for a while
it has been rented again.Rumor has it that it should be a home for elderly people. Considering its size it makes sense indeed,unless the Gilbreth family from “Cheaper By The Dozen “ moves in.
So it was rented,but nobody was seen or heard for months,until one Sunday afternoon I heard talking from my bathroom window.My bathroom window overlooks the very end of the house’s garden.There were three men drinking ,chatting and smoking outside.This went on for weeks.No signs of life during the week ,except some lights switched on at night,but lots of drinking and talking on the phone during the week end.At the beginning I supposed they were workers to get the house ready but it is now clear that nobody else is going to move in. A such big house for only three men:strange.And why they are always talking on the phone outside?.It looks more like they are patrolling the garden:Very suspicious.Something must going on in there. We could be ended up mixed up in spy story:exciting!May be is a safe house!Of course the travelling husband with his extreme ratio dismissed my hipotesis and reminds me that Ireland is a neutral country.Not only but last time soldier has been sent on a peace mission the government has been sued for hearing damage and since then during any official ceremony involving shooting or cannon the soldiers wear a kind of headphone to protect their ears.Ok,”I get it”.It is hardly a safe house. May be is an illegal brothel.”There are only men in there.Never seen a woman,not even a cleaner”,mister ratio goes again.”Well of course ,the working girls are kept locked inside,probably in the basement.”.I proudly respond thinking how naive he has been to believe to be able to silence someone who has years and years of “Criminal Minds” up her sleeve. He can think and say what he wants,to me there is still something very wrong in that house.If only I could see better. The wall dividing my garden from theirs is high and I can’t really pick.Except,today,I actually can.I am standing on a ladder.I move it close to the wall and discreetly take a look.Three men smoking and drinking. They are not Irish,their language is unmistakable foreign.May be east european by the musical sound .Two go in and one stayed out and pick up the phone.He is talking on his mobile with animosity.He starts walking up and down the gardene and then he starts coming toward the end. I am afraid to be seen.Just when I decide to climb down the little ladder,the giant dog comes out barking.I got a fright and loose balance.In the process to try to stay put I pushed the ladder down.My hands clinging to the wall and my legs dangling.A scream involuntary slipped out of my mouth.The man turn.Embarrassment cover my face.He look at me.I smile and wave forgetting I am suspended only by the grip of my hands on the wall.I fall and while trying to get up from the ground and regain some self dignity I hear :”Are you ok?”,I am fine thank you,just trimming the ivy plants on the wall”.
He might be the spy who came from the cold,but I am now the weird pipping Italian lady.