The neighbor with the handheld lawn mower

Submitted into Contest #38 in response to: Write a story about two neighbors talking from their yards, windows, balconies, etc. ... view prompt



Abigail woke up to the sound of a machine whirring loudly. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, the sound getting louder and louder. The young adult looked at the clock on her nightstand, it was 8:00 am. Abigail groaned, covering her head with a pillow to try to block out the noise and fall back asleep. Who needs to mow their lawn so early? She thought, annoyed at being woken up.  

Giving up, Abigail slowly got out of bed and got dressed. Well, as dressed as one gets when they’re in quarantine, which is basically just changing out of your pajamas and into comfy clothes. 

Abigail was about to leave her room and make herself breakfast, when she decided to give whoever was mowing this early a piece of her mind. 

Abigail marched over to her balcony determinedly. She shoved her curtains to the side and slid her glass door open. She stepped out onto her balcony and leaned on the railing, looking for whoever woke her up. 

Abigail spotted a young male, who looked around her age. He was wearing a tank top and sweatpants, he had dark brown hair and a nice muscular body. Abigail could see his muscles moving as he moved the handheld lawn mower back and forth across his backyard. 

Right, the lawn mower, that’s what she came outside to do. 

“Hey.” She called out, but he didn’t seem to hear her. 

“Hey!” Abigail called louder. This time he heard her. He switched the machine in his hands off and looked towards her. His orange tank top accenting his electric blue eyes. There was a bit of sweat dripping down the side of his face. 

“Is there anything you need?” The man asked, leaning against the lawn mower. 

“Yes, actually, maybe you shouldn’t be mowing so early in the morning, people could still be asleep.” Abigail said. There was enough space between their houses so they could talk in a normal tone and hear the other clearly. 

“I’m guessing you were one of those people?” He asked, smiling slightly. 

“Maybe,” Abigail started, “but you could’ve woken other people up too.” 

“Sorry, I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and remembered just now.” The man paused, scrunching his eyebrows as if he was thinking about something. “How about I make it up to you by taking you out for dinner?”

Abigail scoffed, “In your dreams dumb ass.” 

“I hope I see you there tonight.” The man shot back, without missing a beat. 

It’s too early for this. I need coffee. Abigail thought and turned around to go back inside. 

“Wait,” he called, “I didn’t catch your name.” 

“That’s ‘cause I didn’t throw it.” Abigail turned back to the man. 

“I see, well my name is Shawn.” 

“It was nice talking to you Shawn, now if you don’t mind, I'm going to make myself some coffee.” Abigail started back towards her room. She looked over her shoulder and said “Oh, and my name’s Abigail.” 

Shawn grinned and said “Enjoy your coffee Abigail.” 

Abigail smiled and then closed the sliding glass door, pulling the curtains back over it. She was surprised with herself, she normally didn’t have conversations with strangers. I guess quarantine really is making me crazy. She thought as she walked down the stairs and into her kitchen. 

As Abigail was waiting for the coffee machine to make her hot drink, she thought about Shawn. She thought about how talking with him was so easy, she normally had a hard time talking and connected with people, she wasn’t an introvert or anything, she just found it hard to connect with people. She thought about his messy dark brown hair and blue eyes. She thought about his muscles and how they moved underneath his shirt, she also thought about his cute and dumb grin. 

Abigail heard the beeping of the coffee machine, signaling her coffee was done. Wait, was she just thinking about Shawn and how he looked? 

Abigail sighed, if she admitted it to herself, which pained her, she did find him a little bit attractive, but only a little, no more. 

Abigail sighed again, and decided she should just drink her coffee. 

The next day, Abigail woke up to the sound of something hitting her window. Abigail groaned and looked at the clock, it was 9:00 am. She heard the sound again, what’s making that noise? She thought and slowly got out of bed, curious. She slid the curtains to the side and saw Shawn throwing rocks at her window from his own balcony, across from hers. 

Shawn noticed she was there and waved enthusiastically and grinned, excited to see her. Abigail smiled slightly and gave a small wave back. Shawn beckoned her to come outside. Abigail laughed at his eagerness and held up a hand and mouthed in a second. Shawn nodded excitedly and sat down in the chair on his balcony. He must’ve brought one up, Abigail hadn’t seen one there the day before.

Abigail quickly got dressed, surprised that she was excited to talk to a person she barely knew. She also made herself some coffee, she had a feeling she’d need it. 

After she was done, she grabbed a spare chair in the corner of her room and brought it outside.

“Finally.” Shawn said as Abigail set the chair down, went back inside, grabbed her coffee, and sat down in her chair. 

“Why are you so eager to talk to me?” Abigail asked and took a sip of her coffee. 

“I’m lonely here, and I really enjoyed our conversation yesterday. And judging by your smile, you enjoyed it too.” Shawn grinned. 

Abigail smiled. “So, what do you want to talk about?” 

The two ended up talking for around five hours. Just asking each other questions about each other. That was the longest Abigail had ever talked to someone at one time, even Emma, her best friend. 

Abigail learned a lot of things about Shawn, like how he was new to the neighborhood and how he wanted to meet his neighbors, but because of the quarantine he couldn't. She also learned how he was also 26, like her, and that his birthday was on June 29th. She learned that his favorite food was hamburgers and how one time when he was younger he electrocuted himself and acted a bit… weird after that. She laughed when he told her that he was an electrician and electrocuted himself quite often, but he still got the job done. 

He also learned things about her, like how she found it hard to connect with people and how she literally cannot survive a day if she doesn’t have her couple morning coffee cups. She told him how she had always loved music and became a musician, she also told him that her birthday was August 1st. She told him that she was also going a bit crazy being alone in quarantine and that she was eating far too many snacks. To which he’d laughed and agreed with her. 

She had met someone new, someone annoying and charming at the same time, someone who was dumb and cute, someone who was a complete moron and an idiot, someone who was the complete opposite of her, someone who understood her. She was glad that she had met Shawn and that she had decided to tell him off about how it was too early to be mowing the lawn, though, now that she thought about it, it wasn’t actually too early, she was just grumpy from being woken up. 

Abigail was glad that she found a new friend and was excited to talk to him again. She smiled as she remembered how they agreed to meet at the same time the next day. Abigail was glad that she met the neighbor with the handheld lawn mower.


April 23, 2020 07:44

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