Preview of “The Neighbor”
THE NEIGHBOR IS COMING…
When I bought the house, having a two-car garage seemed like a good thing. It gave me more storage space, and hey, one day I might own two vehicles. Or I might get married again, and of course she’d have her own ride. But having a two-car garage also meant having an extra wide driveway, and after the first half hour busting my back shoveling that snow I was wishing that I didn’t have a driveway or a garage at all.
After an hour I was almost finished but my back was really singing, so I took a break to let it quiet down. That’s when I noticed my neighbor across the street, shoveling her driveway too.
Her name is Gail. I met her on a Saturday morning this past September, a few days after I moved in. She came over to welcome me to the neighborhood, and gave me a nice homemade cheesecake as a housewarming gift.
I thought that was pretty cool; a very nice thing for her to do. People aren’t friendly like back in the day. These days, neighbors barely speak to each other. We can live next door to someone for years and not know their name unless we get their mail by accident. So I’d thought Gail might be an exception, that we might become friendly. I was wrong.
Since the day she brought the cheesecake over we hadn’t done more than wave at each other from across the street. So after three months in my new house I didn’t know her, or for that matter, anyone else on my street.
I figured that maybe Gail felt that I didn’t want to be bothered, because on our first meeting I’d just accepted her cheesecake, said thank you, and after a minute of chat standing at my front door, I’d let her go on her way. In retrospect I think the correct protocol would have been to invite her in for coffee to go with her cheesecake. But on that Saturday morning I’d been too busy looking at her cleavage while trying to pretend that I wasn’t to think straight.
Gail is a pretty brown-skinned sister. She looks like she’s in her mid-thirties, maybe forty. She wears her hair wavy and cut close to her scalp, a style I always took to mean that a woman had some confidence about herself. Long hair is a symbol of femininity. I don’t think most women would give it up unless they felt secure that they had other things going for them.
SHE’S COMING JANUARY 2013