Tales of neighborly conflict are as old as time. For as long as human beings have been speaking, we have been arguing with those who live near us. Many of these stories begin with animosity, people who know from the outset that this relationship will be one of conflict. But some begin with friendship and joy. These are the stories that take a dark turn.
Like all great tales, our story begins with a young couple in love. Kate and Andrew had just moved from their sleepy hometown to the big city, excited to start their new lives. Neither of them had much money yet, but they were determined to make the best of their situation.
Their first apartment was an old mansion that had been repurposed and converted into six smaller apartments. The young couple lived in the small apartment with their rescue dog, Butters, and generally enjoyed their lives. Until that is, they met their neighbors.
The relationship with their fellow apartment folk started out well. It turns out Andrew actually knew the couple on the floor below them (their names were Brittany and Tony). As many of you may know, relationships between upstairs and downstairs neighbors can be complicated to say the least, so this was a positive start all things considered. Andrew had graduated in the same college class as Brittany, who, at best, can be described as a blonde with a crunchy "buy me a Seagram's" '80s perm.
Brittany and Tony seemed really nice at first, but we all know looks can be deceiving. And boy, were they deceiving...
As Kate and Andrew were yet to make any new friends outside of the apartment building, the four neighbors began hanging out on occasion. They visited a few bars together, and generally had a good time exploring the city they now called home. Kate and Andrew quickly began to notice that Brittany and Tony were a little strange, but hey, who isn’t?
As the relationship progressed and the couples became closer, Kate was nice enough to vouch for Brittany so she could get a job at the call center where Kate worked. It wasn’t glamorous work by any means, but the pay was decent and Kate was a hard worker who enjoyed throwing her whole self into things. Once Brittany started working at the call center, she and Kate often had lunch together, and Kate always stood up for Brittany whenever the supervisors had questioned Brittany’s work ethic. Kate knew how to be a good friend and wanted to support Brittany whenever she had the opportunity, but Brittany's issues weren't reflecting well on Kate or the reputation she had built with her coworkers and supervisors.
Besides the issues at work, things seemed to be going ok with Brittany and Tony, but Kate had a growing feeling that something was a little off with this couple, and soon she realized why.
A couple of months into living in their apartment, Kate and Andrew noticed that the Brittany and Tony were getting increasingly strange. They did things and reacted in ways that regular people don’t. Kate’s spidey senses went into overdrive one day when she and Brittany were at work and Kate complained of a headache. Kate asked Brittany if she had any Tylenol. "Nope," said Brittany, "but take this." Kate looked in her hand to see that Brittany placed a hydrocodone in her hand, one of the strongest painkillers you can take. This was total overkill for the situation.
Suddenly, it all clicked and everything started to make sense.
From that day on, Kate noticed how often Brittany was trying to offer her a Hydro. Kate declined every time, but Brittany kept pushing them, even getting annoyed when Kate wouldn’t take a pill.
It turned out that Brittany and Tony’s life totally revolved around pills. Now, Kate wasn’t one to judge. She knows that addiction is scary and they were struggling. But once things started escalating, she knew she had to take action before things went too far. But was it too late?
It wasn’t long before Brittany lost the job at the call center. The supervisor had no choice, Brittany wouldn’t show up for shifts, and when she did show up, she didn’t seem to care.
Kate felt quite betrayed by this, she had stuck her out to vouch for her and Brittany had really let her down. She knew it wasn’t the greatest job in the world, but this uncaring attitude from someone she’d helped recruit didn’t reflect well on Kate. Despite this, Kate didn’t hold it against Brittany. However, this wouldn’t be the last time Brittany let Kate down.
A few weeks after Brittany was fired from the call center, Tony asked Kate if he could borrow $20.
"No problem," Kate said. She had always believed that if a friend asks for help, you help them. She lent it out and Tony paid it back a few days later. Later that week, Brittany and Tony came to their apartment and said they wanted to share a cable account.
"We can just run two wires and take turns paying," they said. Kate knew it was a bad idea, but she didn’t want to be rude, so she agreed. She regretted it immediately when Brittany turned up on their doorstep one night.
Late one night they heard a knock at the door. Brittany was outside with tears in her eyes. She explained that Tony was downstairs crying because his kids were in town and they didn’t have any food to eat. Kate hadn’t ever heard of the kids before but Brittany was insistent. Kate and Andrew didn’t have much food in the house at that moment either, (it was near shopping day), but they scraped together enough to lend them something for dinner, around $50 or so.
The next day it was revealed how bad of a decision this really was.
Early the next morning, Brittany was knocking at their door again, this time she wanted to have a chat. Not exactly what Kate felt like doing at 6 o'clock on a Saturday morning, but she wanted to try to keep this relationship amicable.
Brittany told them about Tony’s issues with pain pills, and how much it was affecting their lives. She never mentioned her addiction, only how bad Tony was off on the stuff. During the conversation she explained that Tony had "made her lie to her parents and say they needed food for the children" to get money for pills.
Brittany went on to say they didn’t even have children!
Kate and Andrew looked at each other knowingly, “She doesn't even know that she told spoke to us last night does she?” Kate was shaking with rage at this point. She had done so much for this pair, and now they were faking children? They just kept letting her down.
If only this had been the final step, but it wasn’t even close to over.
A few days later, Kate and Andrew were shocked when their cable was randomly was shut off. Kate called the company and was told they hadn't paid their cable bill in months. Months?!
As soon as she got off the phone, Kate walked downstairs to confront Brittany and Tony as they had been in charge of paying (Kate and Andrew would give them half the bill in cash). The couple tried to make up excuses, humming and hawing about all the reasons it might not be working, even saying that their next door neighbors must be responsible.
When they were nearly out of excuses, Brittany and Tony finally began claiming that they had been forced to spend the money on baby food, forgetting that Brittany had already revealed to them that they didn’t have any children.
Kate and Andrew decided to leave it alone and go set up their own account. Upon hearing this, Brittany and Tony immediately asked if they could share the account. That was going to be firm nope from Kate. She has had enough. Tony snapped. He started screaming at Kate and calling her ungrateful, which left Kate wondering what Tony has ever done for her.
Tony eventually left, and Kate thought was going to be the end. But she was wrong, very wrong.
Time went by and things went back to normal. Well, that's until Kate and Andrew were awoken late one night by a knock on the front door. It was the police.
Kate groggily walked to the door. "Ma’am, we got a noise complaint about this apartment," the officer said.
Kate just looked at him confused. "But we’re asleep?" she said.
The officer looked confused too, and after giving her a warning not to make noise at 3 o'clock in the morning when people are trying to sleep, he left. Kate found the whole interaction weird, but dismissed it as a mistake and went back to bed.
But then it happened again the very next night. And the night after that. Then Kate caught wind that Brittany and Tony had been going around the building badmouthing her and Andrew to other tenants. It didn't take long, but Kate put two and two together and figured out what was going on here.
If the late-night visits from the police weren't strange enough, Kate and Andrew woke up one morning to a smashed car window. Someone had been through and taken everything, even old mix CDs of god knows what music.
Then three nights later, it happened again.
Now, at this point, Kate had her suspicions, but she didn’t have any evidence to back them up. After the second time her car window was broken, she started leaving her doors unlocked, she would rather you just take the stuff rather than smash the window. Kate was convinced that this was Tony and Brittany's doing, she had seen them hanging around the cars.
It was time to put a stop to this, once and for all.
The plan started when Andrew and Kate were watching TV. Up popped an ad for Valtrex. For those who don’t know, Valtrex is a treatment used to stop the spread of herpes. Turns out that the first few doses of the ol’ anti-herpes medication are free.
This gave Kate a brilliant idea. She quickly called that number, and, giving them Tony’s name and address, signed him up. While Kate knew that signing your enemies up for junk mail is super cliché, this seemed like a perfect way to cause some drama in their lives, and at least some entertainment for Kate and Andrew.
Neither could have expected the incredible chain of events that happened next.
Two weeks after they had made the call, Kate and Andrew were greeted by an immaculate sight. Brittany was standing in their yard, screaming at Tony, calling him every name she could think of. She was throwing his clothes into the street. Throwing his shoes over the power lines. She was losing her mind.
Tony stood there with a dumb look on his face, apologizing, but he didn’t seem to be directing it at her. Suddenly, a TV came flying out of the apartment and shattered onto the sidewalk. A lamp quickly followed. Brittany was screaming like a banshee as she proceeded to throw everything she could get her hands.
Kate and Andrew knew there would be some drama, but hadn’t expected anything like this, or what came next.
Brittany suddenly got right into Tony’s face and asked him which of his ‘gutter rats’ he had gotten it from?! She was right up in his face screaming, when suddenly she decided to take a swing. She nailed Tony right in the ear and the whole thing turned into a brawl. Neither were large people, both were strung out and skinny, wearing clothes that were far too large.
It was an insane sight, two skeletons wearing circus tent sized clothes scuffling in the middle of a street. They started throwing things at each other, like some sort of snowball fight from the underworld. Neither seemed to be able to hit anything, it was pure chaos.
Finally, it reached a head.
The whole neighborhood came out to see the show. People were screaming at them to stop but didn’t dare go near them in case they drew the wrath of the brawling couple. Eventually, the police arrived. Both Tony and Brittany were taken to jail. The police found copious amounts of pills and other substances on each of them.
The couple never returned, and the apartment block went back to normal... the old normal and not the one involving junkies and all their drama.