*just wanted to thank you all for so many people liking and favouriting. and for those who wanted an update - here it is!
I’d didn’t exactly regret staying an extra hour at school, just to print past papers and finish coursework, so it was the best it could be. But I did regret leaving my friends, telling them not to wait for me and not bringing a coat. It was surprisingly cold, seeing as it hadn’t been long since August.
As I walked out of school, with my heavy bag and portfolio for photography, I noticed how small the school looked, and remembered how big I once thought it was as an eleven-year-old girl, coming to this school.
Since I didn’t have the car, and the bus I needed to take to get home wasn’t running, I decided to walk home. Even if it was a pretty miserable day, I had my earphones and music, which always made things better.
What I wasn’t expecting was about ten minutes before I got home, I saw my next door neighbour waiting by a broken fence and a rundown house, for something, or someone.
I wanted to carry on walking, as it was started to get a bit later than I would have liked it to be. However, curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know why he was waiting out here, when it wasn’t particularly near to where we lived and was in the middle of nowhere.
“Are you waiting for someone…something?” I asked him, expecting an immediate reply.
He frowned at me and then decided, after staring intensely at me for half a minute, to ignore me.
“Hey!” I yelled at him. “Don’t ignore me.”
Even I knew myself that I was being pretty bratty and selfish, but someone I didn’t care. I really didn’t like people ignoring me. It was one of those things that irritated me to the max.
He raised an eyebrow and sighed, as if I was extremely lucky he had even bothered considering talking to me.
“Does it matter?” He frowned and turned back the other way, facing away from me.
It wasn’t often that I found myself feeling defeated, as I was a pretty proud person in general. But now was the exception. I felt utterly pathetic.
“It probably doesn’t matter to most people…” I said, shrugging, but then paused. “Still, I’m curious, neighbour. So, do tell!”
By this point, the guy next to me (both in reality and in terms of where we currently lived) was practically fuming, but someone managed to keep his cool and told me “I’m waiting for a girl.”
This only made me more curious. When I first met my next door neighbour I simply though he was a strange guy who seemed to want to know a lot about people instantly. However, now, it was like he was the opposite of that. I felt like I wanted to know about him instantly. There was more to him that met the eye.
I responded with “You’re waiting for a girl? Why? Your girlfriend maybe?”
“Not yet” he said, confusing the hell out of me.
“Oh, so you like her?”
I wished I wasn’t so curious and I could have just walked away, but somehow, I seemed to always get myself in some sort of accidental madness.
He rightly replied with “Why the questions? If you must know, I need someone so it will sort things out with a certain family member.”
I made an agreeing sort of sound, as if I knew what he was talking about (although I didn’t have a clue). “So…like a fake girlfriend?”
“In a way.” My neighbour gave a heavy sigh.
I decided to be a little risky with what I said next, which I had a feeling he wouldn’t exactly appreciate. “So you’ll just be faking it forever?”
“No. I have a plan and I’ll- anyway…Why do you care? Isn’t it getting a little late? You should go home; your parents will be worried.”
I frowned. Like that would even need be considered as a problem. “I don’t think so, ‘cause my Mum has a late shift today and…Yeah,” I said, fiddling with a few strands of my hair. “Tell me your plan, neighbour. I may be able to help.”
He looked rather displeased with my response and refused to tell me anything. “Look, I don’t need, nor want to tell you, ‘neighbour’,” he spat. “Just, please, leave me alone.
“No,” I said, standing my ground. “I won’t leave. You’re right, you don’t have to tell me. But I can sense your troubled and it may help to tell someone.”
He scoffed but shortly after cleared his throat and told me “Right, the plan is that she’ll supposedly ‘change ‘me so I’m really strong, then we’ll both agree to part and my Dad will think I’m fine.”
I pulled a confused expression. His plan didn’t really make any sense. “Why not just show your Dad you’re working hard? Get a tutor, get your school grades (if you haven’t already), get a job, build a life. Do it the proper way.”
Something flashed in his eyes and he actually looked a little intrigued, but I might have been reading it wrong. “Say I do do that, the ‘proper’ way. How? I’m too young to get a proper job, I’m underage to do most things.”
I thought for a second. “How old are you?”
He looked away from me for quite some time, as if everything else was more interesting than my face (I mean, I know I’m a little boring, but he was acting like he couldn’t stand me).
“S- seventeen” he stammered.
That really wasn’t what I was expecting. How could he possibly be the same age as me and look at least three years older? I supposed I did have a baby face, but somehow it still seemed entirely unfair.
My reply was simply “Oh”, as if words couldn’t express how shocked I was.
He frowned at me, angrily, clearly not happy with my short reply.
“Well? Got any bright ideas about this ‘proper way’?” I tried to speak, but somehow couldn’t think of anything to say at the right moment. “Didn’t think so.” He got up and pointed in the direction I had just came from. “She lives up here. There’s no harm in walking up a little further.” This really wasn’t how I had wanted this to go. “…I’ll be going.”
He had already started walking up and was pretty far away, but part of me really didn’t care,.
“Wait!” I cried out to him, standing like an idiot.
Luckily he stopped.
“What?” He said, both sighing and frowning.
I gave him a very desperate and hopeful look. “Enrol in a college, a six form or at least get an apprenticeship. Get your Dad to help you, or if he doesn’t…I- I will help you.”
He looked very taken aback, as if he really wasn’t expecting me to offer something.
“You’ll…You’ll what?” He asked me, rubbing his forehead, and walking back to where he was originally waiting.
I sighed, leaning against the fence. “I’m not going to repeat myself. You heard what I said or you wouldn’t have replied with that.”
“Oh?” He said, raising an eyebrow. “Well…I don’t like to feel as if I owe people something, so take my gratitude and be gone.” He frowned when I didn’t move. “Please.”
“Seriously?!” I cried. “I’ve just offered to help you and telling me to move-?”
“That’s exactly, right, smart girl,” he smugly smiled. Then his expression shifted to something a little darker. His expressions were always so mixed. “I’m really not in the mood today. When you first barged into my door-”
“I came baring gifts!” I gasped, pretending to be offended.
He rolled his eyes. “-I thought that you would be interesting and maybe learn to give people space, but you’re not special at all. You’re just like everyone else.”
I scoffed. “Cheers a bunch.”
“You don’t seem fazed, nor are you moving…?” He said to me, pulling a rather disgusted expression. “Why is that, may I ask?”
I sighed. “I’m stubborn. And- well, yeah.” I glanced away quickly – I really didn’t want to get into why I was so damn determined. “Anyway, I will be going now. But, honestly, I will help you, if necessary.”
“I don’t get you,” was the reply. “By the way, what’s should I call you?”
I rolled my eyes, shaking my head. “You mean what’s my name?” I sighed. “You can call me Nas.”
I was worried he would question it, but he simply nodded and replied with “It’s Blake.”
I paused time for a second and took in the moment. So my next door neighbour, who may look a little better than the average guy when topless, is actually a total asshole and is really rude. But why am I not turned off? Why do I want to find out more? I wouldn’t usually be bothered about this sort of thing. I guessed I was just curious. But you know what they say. ‘Curiosity killed the cat’.