My eyes were focused on the television screen but my ears were buzzing with the chatter of next door neighbour, Mrs Kamal and her 5-year-old son. They had presented themselves unannounced at our doorstep several minutes ago. Mrs Kamal held out a platter of muffins as though offering a peacekeeping gift. I tried to graciously thank her all the while eyeing the muffins suspiciously. I was certain they were stale and mentally reminded myself to empty them into the garbage.
Meanwhile, Mrs Kamal had proceeded to make herself comfortable on the sofa where I had been seated before she had made her entrance. I tried to hide my resentment while she elaborated the reason for her unexpected visit. She claimed that she had just had her house fumigated so she couldn’t possibly stay there for the next several hours. Her sister was supposed to collect her but called to say that she would be late. I wondered if Mrs Kamal was just as welcome at her sister’s home as she was at mine.
Having been all too familiar with Mrs Kamal’s vexatious habits I cursed myself for having opened the front door. I should’ve pretended I wasn’t home when I saw her face through the peephole. Now nothing could be done except to bear her till her sister arrived. As expected Mrs Kamal drowned the sound of the programme that I had been watching, with her commentary. She is one of those women who have an opinion about everything and feels the necessity to enlighten others about it. She eventually got bored with my programme and decided to take matters into her own hands.
Picking up the remote control she began flicking through various channels. The moment I’d get interested in one, she would change the channel again. Finally, I had had enough. I decided to go to my room but as I got up she asked if I could be kind enough to make a snack for her son. I could hardly refuse her request when she laid out another one; she would also like tea for herself. I headed towards the kitchen wondering how Mrs Kamal had so calmly managed to take over my house. As though fate had heard my silent whimpering, the doorbell rang. Mrs Kamal’s sister had finally arrived to pick up my unwelcome visitors.