Long before the hoarder house two doors down and the crop-circle house around the corner, a young couple lived next door to us. The man was an Arab, Muslim. His girlfriend, from Colombia, wore low-cut shirts freely displaying her bouncy double D’s. Hey, don’t ask me, I have no idea how that relationship worked with him being Muslim.
Aside from their Pitbull and Boxer who got loose frequently and rammed our fence when we let our dog out, we got along with them okay. Sometimes we’d chat with them out in our yards. On one of those occasions, the Arab man, WL, told us he had a dream about a black man with dread locks living in his house. Then, a couple of days later, he thought he saw that same man sitting at his kitchen table, but only for a second. He blinked and the image disappeared. Probably just a leftover memory of his dream.
A black family did live there before him. I knew them. The young wife was from the islands. They had two children ages three and one. The father was a broad-built, handsome Jamaican man with dread locks.
You might think WL had some kind of a premonition about who lived there before, or perhaps it was just a coincidence.
WL, and his Columbian, lived next door for about four or five years. When they moved out, the house remained empty for close to a year. The silence next door was nice. I secretly hoped it would remain empty forever … or, so I thought it was empty.
On a Saturday evening, my husband and I dressed up to go out for dinner. As we drove by the empty house beside ours, I saw someone standing in the driveway out of the corner of my eye. I turned and saw a quick flash of the handsome Jamaican man with dread locks, wearing orange Bermuda shorts, sandals and a beige t-shirt. A flash. Just a flash. He was gone.
Okay, I’ll let you in on the secret about the family who lived there before WL. The Jamaican man’s wife, MC, and her two little children moved to Illinois. She had said she needed to get away, because the tragedy of the past was weighing her down in that house. You see, her husband had gone on a trip to Jamaica for a weekend to visit his family. While there, he was gunned down and killed by a thief who robbed him. I remember MC coming over to my house to tell me the news. It was a nightmare.
We have new neighbors who live next door now. A young, handsome African-American father with dreadlocks. Pretty young wife. Two little children the same ages as the Jamaican’s children. They are not apparitions or the brain recreating something from memory, but flesh and blood real people. Who’s to say how such a similar family found their way to that house. But, perhaps our Jamaican friend can rest in peace.