Well, here we go. A new town. A new start. Goodbye old house, old stores, old friends, family. Old job, old schools, country. And as I drive further and further, I'm welcomed by the suburban, my new job. It feels more and more like everything is changing. Here we go, on a whole new part of my life. Here we go to this whole new, strange place, that I will soon know.
I stopped. I arrived at my next destination. A few hours away from where I was before. I start to get a few boxes and put them in the house. My dad's van won't be here at my new house for another day or two. So, I brought my important belongings and whatever could get me through as many days as possible. I put most of my belongings in my dad's van, and my mom would come in her car with the very last of them.
Meanwhile, I started to go out. I was to have food at a restaurant until I was able to get to the grocery store. When I found the grocery store. I chose Chinese food, as that was always easy. I had dumplings and rice, it was tolerable. I was bedding down when all of a sudden I heard a knock at my door. I wondered who could be out this late. What was their business?
Then I opened the door to find that there was my neighbor, standing at the door with a pie. "Hello new neighbor!" she said cheerily. I said hello back. I'm not good in these situations. I plaster a smile on my face. "I'm your new next-door neighbor, on that side. I baked a pie as soon as I realized that you were moving in. I welcome you to the neighborhood." I say thanks for the pie. She gave it to me, but she looked mad almost. I closed the door and put the pie down.
I wondered why she looked mad. There was another knock on the door. Still my neighbor. "On second thoughts, the pie is mine. Hand it over." I gave it over with a shrug. I thought that she was trying to get a rise out of me. Not gonna happen. She marched her and her pie back to her house. I was unphased by her. She could keep her pie. To be honest, it looked gross and watery. She probably could have used a baking lesson.
The next day, I got everything working. My mom came with the first round of my clothes, shoes, soap, pictures, and a few other minor things. As we were doing my closet, I was telling her about my weird encounter with my neighbor. I was then looking out my window to see her talking to who looked like a friend and pointing up at my window. As soon as they saw me looking back it was like nothing happened. But I and they knew the truth.
And weeks later, I found there were rumors about me spread all across town. Some people wouldn't even talk to me, and some businesses wouldn't; let me go into their stores. I had to wear a wig to go out! I was going crazy when I remembered her talking to her little friend the day after I moved in. And then I stormed over to her house. I'd had enough of her shenanigans.
It takes a lot to get an introvert to talk, or stand up for themselves. But she'd crossed a line, and I needed to put her in her place. I walked over with a basket of sweets. I knew she was having a party. Embarrassing her in front of everyone was childish. But I was going to retaliate. Give her good-looking muffins, take them back, and see how she reacts.
I knocked on her door, gave her the muffins. But when I turned back and she shut the door I thought. What if I let her keep the muffins. Be the better person. So there I was, going home. And I watched her enjoy the muffins. So the next day I went to ask her if she liked them. I gave her more sweets, for weeks.
One day, she started inviting me in. I was allowed in the stores I wasn't before, without the wig. I found that there were lots of gossip, and I was starting to become one of them. Until a big rumor was shared. "I saw her! I swear!" My neighbor says. This is the last straw. I'm not letting this poor soul, who probably did nothing wrong, have the same thing that happened to me happen.
"NO! I happen to know this person. She would never steal gum. she doesn't even chew gum. I'm tired of you guys gossiping! If you guys continue, who knows what will happen to them. They might do terrible things to themselves to make themselves feel better. I nearly did, when you were gossiping about me. Please stop, before anyone gets hurt!" Everyone sits in silence. They are stunned. Then they all nodded and agreed with me.
Truthfully, that was not the case. I was mad, and starting to reconsider moving away, but I chose not to. I decided that would give my neighbor what she wanted. I had to be the bigger person and allow my neighbor to act childishly. Then, I showed her that I was actually a really nice, good person on the inside. I don't know why she spread rumors, but I know she stopped.
There hasn't been a single rumor since. Sometimes it's better to be the better person. If I went through with my original plan, then the rumors would have gotten worse and worse. They would still be gossip and I would be driven right out of town. Sometimes, doing the right thing first is the best thing to do. If you retaliate, it's probably never going to get better. I was the better person. Be the better person, even when no one's looking.