The Troublesome Toddler Upstairs

When Marley and Noah moved into apartment 2B, they were eager to begin their new life together in the cozy complex. As a young couple just starting out, they relished the prospect of decorating their first home.

The previous tenants had left the place in pristine condition—the paint unchipped, counters gleaming. Marley pictured where they would place their handwoven throw pillows and Noah’s vintage record collection. This apartment would be a sanctuary for their budding romance.

On move-in day, jars clinked pleasantly as the lovebirds transported kitchenware upstairs.

At first, Marley assumed the previous tenant had left small pets behind. But the frequency and intensity of the scampering increased by the day. And was that occasional squealing she detected?

When the ruckus persisted past 9 PM that night, Marley had enough. She marched upstairs in her slippers to investigate.

A frazzled woman holding a wriggling toddler answered the door. Hayley introduced herself apologetically as the upstairs neighbor. Her 18-month old, Emma, was going through a particularly energetic developmental phase.

As Hayley spoke over the whines of her squirming daughter, Marley’s heart sank. She imagined sleepless nights spent listening to the troublesome toddler torturing the floorboards. Maybe Noah would agree to letting her adopt five cats instead…

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Over the next few days, Emma’s shenanigans continued unabated. It was a symphony of screeches, stomps, crashes and cries echoing from above at all hours. Dark circles formed under Marley’s eyes.

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Noah suggested they give it another week since toddlers couldn’t reasonably be expected to tiptoe. But Marley had already left three voicemails for the landlord by then.

On the 11th day, they received a polite but firm email stating that families were permitted in the building. The landlord assured them he would speak to Hayley about cooperating to muffle the noise.

That night, the ruckus raged louder than ever. Marley blasted her white noise machine and stuffed pillows over her ears. At dawn, Noah found her on the balcony searching rental listings. A cat mewed from inside.

Over the next year, a parade of tenants moved out of 2B, but the upbeat little girl who rattled their ceilings remained happily in place. Marley and Noah eventually found a cottage downtown willing to welcome both them and their growing feline family.


Kiara is a passionate writer studying Mass Communication. She loves everything about the entertainment industry, from movies and series to reading novels. You'll often find her with a book in hand or indulging in binge-watching sessions. Writing is her dream, and she's determined to make her mark in the world of literature.

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