Thin walls

In the late 80s I lived in a small apartment in a bad part of Pretoria, in South Africa. The walls were thin. On Tuesdays and Fridays the man next-door returned home late and his wife cried and he called her a whore. I always tried to hear how this could be, given that it was he who had gone out and not she, but it wasn’t clear. His voice was deep and I never caught his reasoning. Sometimes he hit her and then it was quiet. The next morning I would see them and their ten-year-old son in the elevator. The boy took after his father, looked like him, but looked tired, like his mother.

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