The Next-door Neighbor Pt. 1

Submitted into Contest #102 in response to: Write about a mysterious figure in one’s neighborhood.... view prompt

15 comments

Mystery Drama

Brooke's POV:


It all started when a new family moved into the creepy house next to mine. I'd lived there my entire life and couldn't remember a time when it had ever been occupied. It had always been a mystery to me. It was at least four stories tall, most of it was covered in dark ivy, the grass in the front lawn looked like it hadn't been cut since the dawn of time. There were hedges that were more like huge walls of greenery, a black iron fence and gate that surrounded and blocked the mansion from the rest of the neighborhood, and occasionally, you could see something white fluttering in the windows. My parents always said that it was probably just some sheets that had flown off some furniture and my older-by-two-years brother Nathan, always claimed that it was a ghost. But I always thought that it was something romantic. A wedding veil, an ancient ball gown, the tails on a coat, some bit of ribbon or lace.


I had told Nathan my fancies upon occasion but he would always roll his eyes and make some sort of sarcastic remark, he never understood that side me. I thought that it was because he wasn't a writer, though to be fair I used that excuse regularly. For when I stared into space and thought about plot points and villains and magic during dinner and couldn't hear anything that anyone said to me, for when I got bad grades in math, for always being a hopeless romantic. The house next door was always a source of inspiration for my writing and I filled many notebooks with stories of events that I imagined happed behind the towering hedges and black iron fence and gate.


I wrote about balls and parties, murders and romances, anything that came to mind. I kept all my notebooks of stories in a large box in the farthest corner of my closet and added to it over time. The day that the new family moved in was a gorgeous October Saturday. The air was crisp with the slightest nip to it, golden sunlight filtered down through the orange, yellow, and red leaves of the trees that lined the quiet street. It was absolutely beautiful and so I threw on my favorite sweater, and went outside for a walk. My parents were both at work, Nathan was off at college, and my younger brother Zach was at a friends for a Mario Kart tournament so it was lonely in our house. I took a deep breath of the cool air, shoving my hands in my pockets as I started walking.


That's when I noticed the long line of U-Haul trucks that were filing down the driveway of the mysterious house next door. I stopped and stared with wide eyes and a mouth that was slightly open. A woman in a business suit and a tight, almost severe bun was directing several men with boxes and couches and paintings with a pen, motioning for them all to go inside. The only other person who wasn't one of the men, was a guy who looked to be about my age (sixteen). He was tall, with shaggy blonde hair, brown eyes, and dressed in a red band t-shirt, denim jeans, white converse, and a black motorcycle jacket. He was leaning against one of the marble pillars by the large front doors, looking out somewhere over my head, a distant expression on his face.


Then he noticed me. I will admit, I am a rather pretty girl. I had waist length, dark brown hair, electric blue eyes, and tan skin from years of going to my grandparent's 'villa' at the beach. But I also have nails that are super ragged for years of biting, freckles, and a couple scars from stupid stunts that I had done. Everyone told me I was beautiful, but no guys had ever noticed me. But that guy looked at me with his jaw dropped. It only lasted a few seconds before he looked away, shaggy hair falling into his eyes. I cocked my head to the side, pondering the mystery that was the teenage guy before walking away, my eyes lingering on the house and the boy. But that was only the beginning


***


A few days later on Monday, I saw him at school. Mr. Polson, our overweight homeroom teacher (or dungeon master as the D&D kids called him) tiredly introduced him to the room as "Conner Williams". After seeing him I immediately hid behind my hair where I was sitting in the back of the class with the other emo artists (because yes, writing is an art and I will duel anyone who says otherwise) and hoped that he wouldn't notice me. Which was unlikely because all the tall people were in front of me but you never know, he could had ex-ray vision like in that short story I wrote when I was little upon request of one of my brothers. Despite my efforts to remain clandestine, Mr. Polson made Conner sit with us artists. . . directly next to me. To my surprise (and alright I'll admit it, a bit of disappointment) he didn't even look my way at all during that first day. And the full week after that.


Over the next few months Conner Williams became a man of mystery in the neighborhood and at school. After a few weeks, I decided that it was time to put on my Sherlock Holmes hat (the one I had used for my 5th grade Halloween costume) and do some Nancy Drew type sleuthing with a bit of James Bond spying mixed in. If you can't tell, I may or may not be obsessed with mysteries. This mostly consisted of watching his house every spare second I could, and sort of stalking him at school. I quickly found out that he excelled in English and Music (apparently he was fantastic at the guitar), we had almost all our classes together, and the house next-door didn't change at all.


The ivy wasn't cleared away though thankfully the lawn was mown, no new coat of paint appeared, and the white whatever-it-was in the window still fluttered in the window. Conner Williams didn't make any friends, was the first and last in and out of class, didn't have any siblings, and spoke to almost no one unless he had to. And I was determined to change that. Okay well, when I literally bumped into him while walking into history in early December and our eyes met, I was determined. Which wasn't easy: he didn't have a car, didn't go to any of the regular hangouts, and never ate lunch in the cafeteria with everyone else. So when I walked into the library on the Wednesday after my resolution and saw him studying at a table the the back corner by the romance novels, it felt like fate. Or maybe just something related to the fact that I was hungry or that I was rather lonely. So, taking a leap of faith, I walked forward and reached out to tap his shoulder.

July 13, 2021 01:15

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15 comments

00:44 Jul 14, 2021

Hola again Everett, I can't wait for Part 2! Some feedback I have for you: [But that guy looked at me with jaw dropped.] Add a "his" after with to make the sentence complete. I love that Brooke is fascinated with mysteries and do I sense some romance coming....? Great job :)

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Everett Silvers
14:40 Jul 15, 2021

Hola Jasey! Ah shoot, I knew I would miss something *facepalm* XD I will make sure to fix that! Thanks for pointing that out. Maybe *mysterious writers smile/smirk* Thanks :)

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23:03 Jul 15, 2021

HmMmM well, if there is some romance involved consider me already very excited XD

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Everett Silvers
00:47 Jul 16, 2021

Eeee yaaaaayyyyyy! XD

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03:50 Jul 16, 2021

:) Hru?

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Everett Silvers
13:42 Jul 16, 2021

I am doing good, thanks for asking, how are you?

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Everett Silvers
01:20 Jul 13, 2021

Yo people! So I know that this didn't really fit the prompt and that it's kind of short but I had fun writing it and I'm excited for you all to read the upcoming parts to this story- MUAHAHAHAHAH! Heheh, sorry, I like to enjoy a little evil writer's laugh every now and then, but then again, who doesn't? :D Oh also, I'd like to say that the way that my MC thinks about her writing is the same way that I do. Staring into space and getting into trouble for it and all XD Hope you enjoyed this!

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