I woke up to someone shaking me. No, I promise I was being serious. I thought they would stop, so I softly told them to ‘get the hell out of my room’. Unfortunately, this person continued to shake me. I thought I was imagining something, until I opened my eyes.
“Nas!” A familiar girl screamed at me. I knew this girl all too well. It was El. Why did she have to be persistent and so damn annoying? “C’mon wake up!”
I sighed and groaned. “What is it, El? Am I late for school?”
El shook her head. “It’s half six in the morning! But…Well…There’s a new neighbour!”
This had to be some sort of joke. I checked my alarm clock. Unless El had somehow (finally) figured out how to change the time on it, it was honestly the time she said. Half six.
We hadn’t had a neighbour in the entire time we’d lived here. The house next door was a rundown place. Not unsafe, but it just looked so unhomely. It was a major deal if there was a new neighbour. Because maybe they would know why the hell no one had been living next door to us? Did we smell bad or something?
“Are you serious, Elsie?” I said, raising an eyebrow at my sister.
“I am telling the truth!” El replied, shoving me. “And don’t call me Elsie!”
She got up and left the room, but not before I sighed and told her ‘wait’. If what she was saying was true, I didn’t want to miss it.
Mum had already left half an hour ago for her head-of-office job. It was just me and El. Even so, El crept so quietly down the stairs, as if she didn’t want anyone to know that we were there. It wasn’t like it really bothered me though, as El had always behaved a little strangely.
We peered out of the big window in the living room. There were policemen and a guy who looked like he was in his mid-twenties. I wondered what on Earth was going on. If he was moving in next door, why would the police need to know?
But as my thoughts quietened down, I could just about hear the conversation on the other side of the glass.
“You’ll be safe, here, son” the policeman said to the guy.
“Don’t call me that. You haven’t earnt that right. At all” was the guy’s reply.
“Look, we better get going, Chief” another policeman said.
The first policeman who spoke then nodded and both the policeman got in their truck and drove off. It all felt a little…odd. But then I guessed the guy was quite a bit older than me. He didn’t need babying.
I sighed and turned away from the window, which gained me a poke in the face from El.
I frowned at her. “What was that for?”
El shrugged. “Why were the police there, do you think?”
I walked over in the kitchen and made myself a drink. I wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep after this. El followed me, telling me to make her a drink too. Even though I wanted to object, it felt nice to be wanted and needed.
“You heard,” I told her, through sips of my hot milk. “It was that guy’s father.”
“Yeah but two policemen? Seems dodgy to me…”
I ruffled El’s hair. “Yeah, well you would think that, wouldn’t you?” I finished off my drink and put the mug in the sink. “Finish off your drink and get back to bed, El. You don’t have to get up for a while.”
El shook her head. “No. It feels weird after just seeing all of that...”
I nodded. “Then take a shower. It’ll make you feel better, I promise.”
“’Kay. Won’t be long, Nas.”
Even though El can really get on my nerves sometimes, she is one of the most caring people I know. I liked to be the big, loving older sister and baby her quite a bit. I guess I just really loved the idea of being looked up to.
It seemed a little crazy that we finally had a neighbour though. I was just glad Mum wasn’t here, since she would make a totally crazy big deal out of this.
As I waited for El to finish, I decided to text Logan and Kasey to tell them the crazy news. Me and Logan have lived in this town all our lives. I knew for a fact he would understand. And I was looking forward to telling her about the mysterious case of our missing neighbour. Well the mysterious case of our missing neighbour until now.
I got instant replies from both of them on our group chat.
KASEY: That is crazy! Why have I not heard about this before?
LOGAN: Because you never asked. And WHY DO YOU HAVE A NEIGHBOUR?? Like seriously what is this guy doing here?
I sighed, but was glad my friends could turn even the weirdest of situations into a sassy remark.
NAS: Guys chill! I’m sorry Kase, I just guess it never came up before. And I don’t know, Logan! Anyway, got to go get in the shower. See you guys at school!
I didn’t know if they responded, because I turned off my phone to save battery and stepped in the shower, hearing that there was no loud noise of water splashing. Plus, it helped that El shouted out that she was done.
I was just hoping that I wouldn’t be late for school now. I had to be there at half eight and it was already half seven and it seemed to take me years to get ready. Oh well. I just need to speed wash and hurry up as much as I could.
El seemed to take even longer than me to get ready. I had called her about five times now to get downstairs so we could leave and all I got in reply was ‘calm down, silly’. But finally, finally, she came down, looking unbelievably and unfairly beautiful. It wasn’t like she was wearing that much make-up even. Even with her school uniform, she just had that sort-of amazing…aura.
“Why are you dressed like a homeless?” El hissed at me, shaking her head at me. “Come on, now. We’ve got to go!”
She was acting as if she was the one who had been waiting for half an hour.
It was now ten past eight and I feared that I would be late. Six formers had to be in ten minutes earlier than the rest of the school.
“Whatever,” I sighed. “Just get in the car.”
That’s right, I could drive! I was the legal age and I had passed my driving test and everything. The car was actually Mum’s, but I tried to forget that part.
As I was getting in the car, I looked over to my left, noticing that the new neighbour was washing their car. It was a little alarming though, because he was shirtless and he looked a little younger than I first thought. Now, I always tried not to make people feel uncomfortable, but for some reason, I was staring at the guy who was shirtless. And El noticed.
“See something you like?” She said, smirking at me.
I knew I was blushing. “No! Of course not, you silly girl. I was just…just-”
“Just checking him out” she finished off for me.
I sighed and put on my sunglasses, even though it was it was the end of September and was hardly sunny. “Drop it, El.”
It was a rather silent journey, besides the music on the radio blaring out at top volume. Not that I really minded, to best honest. It suited me, as I often found heavy or long conversations too much.
We then got out, bided an insulting goodbye to one another and then went our separate ways, with me going towards the Six Form common room and El going towards her preppy, bubbly friends. They always looked so happy.
As I walked in the common room, I noticed Logan trying to chat up Missy and Kasey reading one of her band magazines. She didn’t look very happy. Like, she’s usually looks pretty irritated, but it was like something was really bothering her.
“Yo...Everything alright?” I asked her, wavering awkwardly and making weird gestures.
Kasey sighed, looking increasingly angrier by the minute. “Why wouldn’t it be OK? It’s not like I care about- about anything, like I’m chill…so chill.”
“Calm down, Kasey!” I said, shaking her. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“It’s nothing,” she replied, but shifted in a strange manner. “Anyway, what’s all this about your new neighbour?”
I kind-of wanted to pursue her about what just happened, but decided to drop it. It was obvious she didn’t want to talk about it. I would just have to wait for her to tell me what was up herself.
“Well he moved in this morning. There were two policemen. One of them was his Dad and…I saw him shirtless this morning,” I explained simply, only to find a smirking Kasey. “Why are you smirking?”
Kasey started to laugh. “It’s just that out of all the things you could have said, you mentioned about him being shirtless. Was he that hot?”
“Maybe…I mean no. No! I just- it’s just there wasn’t a lot to say really,” I told her. “It’s the truth!”
But Kasey looked as if she hardly believed me. “OK…whatever you say, Nas.”
Logan finally came over, looking very disappointed. Kasey went all stiff and I felt like I was in a very awkward position now.
“Everything alright?” Logan asked, cheerily.
“Y-” I tried to say ‘yeah’, but was cut off.
“No!” Kasey said, furiously. “What is wrong with you? Why do you have to waste your time with an idiot like Missy?”
Of course this outraged Logan. “She’s not an idiot, Kasey. What’s gotten into you? Do you have a problem with me hanging around with Missy?”
Kasey scoffed. “Of course not! I just think you should be careful.”
Logan was practically fuming and people were starting to turn around and watch the ‘heated’ argument. “What the hell is your problem? Missy has never done anything to you!”
Kasey looked down. I never understood what had gone on between Missy and Kasey. But I knew that it wasn’t pretty. All I knew now was that I had to help my friend. I would need to really, properly talk to Kasey about this and hope that she’d realise just how much me and Logan could help her.