The Week Before Christmas

Marie Mayer
2 min readDec 20, 2023

An ode to the neighbor upstairs

David Schultz on Unsplash

It was the week before Christmas and all through the flat, the AC unit was busted, and central air was scant. The shot glasses sat sticky on the shelf with care, so that the cat couldn’t knock them onto the rug with hair. I was scrubbing out an egg pan when there arose a loud foot patter, from outside the door, I had to go see the matter. I answered the door and there she stood, in yoga pants and a hood. Her Ugg boots were muddied with sludge and ice.

“May I have some flour?” She asked in a voice so nice.

I said not a problem, it is Christmas after all. Perhaps it was cookies she wanted to bake. I lead her inside and searched in the cupboard, finding the bag sitting beside the sugar.

“Be sure to return by tomorrow.” I handed her the bag. And as she turned on her heel, she stopped. I heard her say, in a voice, something almost unreal.

“Not this flour for heaven’s sake. It is not cookies I’m trying to make.”

“Is it a cake?” I asked.

“No!” She stomped her foot. There was something about this girl I could not shake. Was it her reddened eyes? Or perhaps her nervous twitch? Or perhaps, maybe, it was the way she bitched.