Monday, May 09, 2022

Suburban Sadness

The day I unexpectedly "moved in" to Highflyers semi-detached more than two years ago because of Lockdown I, I was introduced to the neighbour who was in the process of preparing the family pool for the season together with his teenage son. I later learnt that this was a family of five who also had a shy cat and two small dogs who were very protective of their garden and liked to defend it by barking loudly whenever someone approached the hedge. They seemed like your typical friendly neighbours (minus the annoying dog barking) and the wife also happens to be a colleague of Highflyer's. We used to hear them entertaining guests a lot during the summer in between lockdowns and the pool was apparently popular among friends of the daughter, the youngest of the family. 
In recent months we could barely hear anything from next door and the only time someone was in the garden was when the wife was out there, smoking and talking on the phone. All that was missing was ominous string music rising to a crescendo - you could feel that something was off and that life seemed to have been drained out of the garden. Before you assume that this is going to end with a murder and us being the neighbours who are quoted by tabloids as not having imagined that in a million years: no. They are "just" getting separated and have already put the house on the market, according to the husband who announced this at a recent proprietors meeting. There had been signs: her leaving alone for a yoga weekend and hime going on vacation the subsequent more eating outside as a family and now: a pool that is still in hibernation as the ultimate sign that all (family) life has been drained of house number 3. It makes me sad that right next door to our happy bubble this couple must have been very unhappy and realised that their relationship was beyond repair.


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