My Downstairs Neighbor Asked Me to Be Quieter at Night, but I Have Not Been Home for the past Week

When Piper returns from a trip with her friends, she cannot wait to get home to her husband. But as she unpacks her car, a neighbor approaches her, complaining about the noise from her apartment. If Piper wasn’t home, who was Matthew entertaining in her absence?

I had just returned from a blissful week-long camping trip with my friends. It was all about us taking time away from our lives and enjoying being away from the city.

My husband, Matthew, had stayed behind, claiming that he needed to stay at home.

“I have to be home, Piper,” he said, when I was packing my bags. “It’s just work responsibilities. There are meetings and presentations coming up.”

Có thể là hình ảnh về 1 người và nhà chọc trời

“Are you sure?” I asked him. “Why don’t you come along, and then we can find you a place to work in between it all?”

Matthew smiled at me and sat down on the bed.

“It’s okay, sweetheart,” he said. “You go and join the others and have fun. You need some time away from this place.”

He continued to persuade me to go on the trip, and eventually, I gave in.

“If you’re sure, then it’s settled. I’ll go,” I said. “But I’ll meal prep your food for you before I go.”

Two weeks later, I was back home, feeling rejuvenated and happy to be back with my husband.

“I missed you,” I said when I walked into the house.

Matthew was cooking for us, music was playing in the background, and I felt grateful that I could come home to him.

“I’m just going to unpack the car,” I said. “But dinner smells great!”

I went outside and began to unpack my things when our downstairs neighbor, Mrs. Peterson, approached me by the car. Her stern expression made me pause everything.

“Is everything okay?” I asked her, ready to jump at whatever she needed.

“No, Piper,” she said, crossing her arms. “I know that you and your husband are a young couple and stay up until the late hours. But could you try and keep it quiet at night? At least from about nine-thirty. For the past week, I could barely sleep.”

I blinked, taken aback.

“What? Mrs. Peterson, I haven’t been home all week. Are you sure that it was coming from our place?”

The old woman frowned, and I could tell that she was trying to see if I was joking or not.

“Well, someone was making a lot of noise, Piper,” she said. “It sounded like a party every single night.”

I wasn’t sure what I was listening to. I knew that Matthew was a good guy, but we were on the top floor, and there wasn’t anyone living above us.

Was there a possibility that I didn’t know my husband as well as I thought?

I apologized profusely, my mind racing. As soon as she walked away, I rushed upstairs to confront Matthew. I needed to know what Mrs. Peterson was talking about.

If he had been entertaining people, then that was one thing, and it was okay.

But what if he was having an affair?

“Stop it,” I muttered to myself as I stood in the elevator.

I found my husband lounging on the couch, watching TV.

“Matt, we need to talk,” I said, my voice giving me away.

He looked at me, picked up the remote, and switched the TV off.

“What’s wrong, Piper?”

“Mrs. Peterson just complained about noise coming from our apartment every night last week. I wasn’t here, Matthew. What the hell is going on, and who were you making so much noise with?”

My husband’s face paled, and he buried his face in his hands. My heart sank.

There was something about the resignation of his body that made me think that he was guilty. But guilty of what?

Was he simply guilty of having friends over? Or an affair?

“Please, just tell me the truth,” I pleaded, sitting down on the couch across from him.

“I’m not having an affair,” he muttered, barely audible. “And I know that’s what you’re thinking. But I was just ashamed to tell you the truth.”

“What truth? What do you mean? What’s going on?” I asked, the questions hurling themselves at Matthew.

My husband took a deep breath and looked up, his eyes filled with something that I couldn’t understand.

“I lost my job a few months ago, Piper. I didn’t know how to tell you. But I’ve been desperate to make money so that you wouldn’t notice the shortfall. While you were gone, I rented out our apartment to make some money. I stayed at Trent’s place while the apartment was rented out.”

I sighed, the relief and confusion dissipating from my body.

“So, the noise was from the people who rented out the place?” I asked, needing to hear it from him.

He nodded.

“I’m sorry, love,” Matthew said. “I just didn’t know how to tell you. I didn’t want you to worry. And I didn’t want you to miss the trip just because of me. I also had an interview during the first week, and I wasn’t about to reschedule it.”

“Why didn’t you just tell me, Matt?” I asked. “We could have figured something out together.”

“I know,” he said, his voice breaking. “But I was just scared about letting you down.”

I took a deep breath, trying to process everything. I looked at the clock on the wall.

“We’re a team, Matthew,” I said. “You don’t have to face things like this alone. We can deal with this together. That’s what marriage is about.”

My husband smiled and pulled me toward him.

“I understand that now,” he said.

We sat in silence for a while, both trying to figure out the next move. I knew that he would have been trying to find another job, and I didn’t want to ask him a million questions about it.

He would tell me when something came up.

“Come,” he said. “Let’s eat.”

We sat down at the table, and Matthew asked me about the trip.

“Tell me everything,” he said. “Did Liam get drunk and do something stupid?”

“Of course he did!” I laughed as Matthew poured me a glass of wine. “He tried moonshine from some other campers and ended up streaking, running through tents.”

“I bet Sasha wasn’t impressed,” Matthew laughed. “That couple is always disagreeing.”

As we did the dishes together that evening, Matthew sighed and leaned against the counter.

“Thank you for understanding,” he said. “Thank you for not thinking that I was covering up an affair.”

I smiled at my husband, ashamed that I entertained the thought of him having another woman in our home.

“But did you make sure to change the bedding?” I asked him. “I’m not about to sleep in a bed that other people have been in.”

Matthew laughed loudly.

“Our bedroom was locked, darling,” he said. “They only used the guest room.”

Over the next few days, we talked about everything. We spoke about the loss of his job, the financial strain, and our plan moving forward.

“I’m actively looking, Piper,” he said over coffee and toast the next morning. “I’ve set up alerts for job positions that I would fit into. And I’ve cut down any other unnecessary expenses. This isn’t going to be for long. I can promise you that.”

As for Mrs. Peterson, I went downstairs to her apartment, ready to explain everything.

“I’m so sorry,” I said. “I didn’t know about everything Matthew was going through. And he ended up letting our apartment out as an Airbnb for the week, just to make some money off it.”

“Oh, honey,” she said, her eyes softening as she put the kettle on. “It’s okay! I understand it now. I just thought that you two were taking advantage of the situation. But I get it now.”

“Thank you for understanding,” I said. “We just need a minute to get back on our feet.”

Mrs. Peterson faffed around the kitchen, making us some tea.

“Look, Piper,” she said, giving me a plate of biscuits. “I’m here and willing to help you out if you ever need the help.”

It turned out that in her youth, Mrs. Peterson had been through tough times herself and knew how hard it could be to ask for help.

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