Venice lives alone in the corner apartment. Her antics have worried me lately. Whenever I’m heading for school in the morning I can hear her drawing something on the wall and sometimes trying to kill an insect. The loud thuds are audible. It is probably a roach. There are no visitors and our dog goes crazy if she’s around. I can hear her talking to someone at night but she is always alone.
You see, my father owns the entire building so I and my friends play till late at night. The entire building is our playground except for the resident apartments and the basement. That’s father’s office and we are never allowed there. Some rules just cannot be broken. Father is very particular. But we still have a lot of room and we don’t complain.
One day we were playing hide and seek and I saw Venice stepping out in the cold night. It was a really strange sight because nobody is allowed to leave the building. As excited as I was to tell this to father I first decided to check her apartment. I’d never been inside a resident’s apartment before and my own apartment was pretty boring. As I stepped in I saw the walls were painted all black with white nail marks all over, including the ceiling. There was a bed that was drenched in red and a cell phone attached to a discharged power bank. There was an old shotgun hanging on the wall. On the other end of the room, I saw a wallet. It was all empty but for a photograph and that I found inside. Everything was alien to me in that room except for the photograph. I knew that face. It was Venice. It was my mother.