Delilah Walsh has lived in the same house for the last fifteen years. However, the house next door has never been one so lucky. Majority seem to be encompassed by the idea of living there, though no one ever stays. All Delilah ever wanted was a neighborhood friend to ride bikes with or play in the yard, but after many years of children coming and going, she decided it wasn’t worth worrying about. The end has come to her first year of high school, and almost routinely, moving trucks have gathered outside the house next door. The thought of new neighbors no longer sparks her interest. Although, this family has something the others didn’t: a teenage boy.


1. Moving Day

Delilah’s POV

            Summer was finally here, and yet again moving-trucks encircled the neighborhood. In the past, I would have been glued to the window, scanning the area for some sort of hope. However, disappointment always seemed to find me. All I wanted was a friend. I mean, sure, I had friends, but when you’re young, your first friends are right in your neighborhood—especially when you’re not active in anything outside of the neighborhood, like I was. My babysitter always came to my house, so I never went to daycare, and my parents never bothered with putting me through preschool. In fact, I didn’t even go to kindergarten until I was six. I would sit at home, playing by myself, or if I was lucky, with the babysitter. Half the time, I’d sit in the living room, watching TV shows like “The Backyardigans,” about kids and their friends on little adventures in their neighborhood, or in that case, their own backyard.

            I had a couple of potential friends move into the neighborhood, but they all moved away too soon for me to get to know them. The first one was Marcy. She moved into the house next door when I was six. We had our first official ‘play date’ a week after she moved in, and a week after that she was gone. Next was Corey. Corey moved in when I was nine. He seemed promising, but moved away after only one month of living next door. Third and finally, were Samuel and Joseph, or ‘Sam and Joe.” Sam and Joe were identical twin brothers and were more fun than you can imagine. They moved in almost immediately after Corey left. However, Sam and Joe’s parents were really religious, so after they tried lighting Ms. Pearson’s cat on fire, their parents moved them out of the state, let alone our neighborhood.  Since Sam and Joe left, not a single person under twenty-one has moved in next door. I didn’t give up hope until about 3 years ago, when I turned twelve. I was finally out of elementary school, and decided waiting around for some kid to move in next door was useless. I had plenty of friends at school whom I saw every day. Which brings me back to today, another family moving in next door, and I couldn’t care less.

As I walk downstairs, the smell of freshly baked goods fills my nose. I grab a seat at the bar right in front of the stove and smile.

“Whatcha making me?” I look at my mom, hopeful.

“Not for you.” She mumbles, not looking up, continuing to bake.

“Not again...” I groan, frowning.

She doesn’t respond.

“Mooom, you always do this. You cook for our ‘new neighbors’ every time and they’re out within a week. It’s really not worth your time.”

“There’s nothing wrong with a good impression, Delilah,” she sings as I roll my eyes.

“Whatever,” I say, and walk my way over to the living room. I plop down on the couch but the commotion outside keeps catching my eye. I jump up and walk over to the window, peeking out curiously. All I can really make out is four little girls running around the yard. I look closer and see what looks to be their mom talking to someone in the car.

“Looks like a full house!” I yell back at my mom, still working in the kitchen.

“Good thing I love to bake!” she responds still singing away.

Just as I’m about to walk away, I see the mom step out from the car followed by a dark-haired boy. I raise my eyebrows, looking him over curiously. I linger at the window for a moment as he stretches his long legs and moves to get some boxes. When he finally enters the house, and is completely out of my view, I come to realization with what I’m doing. “No.” I tell myself. “Don’t even think about it.”


Louis's POV

I sit silently in the passenger seat of the car, twisting my fingers around in my lap. My mom sits next to me pestering me about helping unpack. 

"Louis William Tomlinson. I know you're upset with me, but the least you could do is help us unpack. We're staying, whether you like it or not." Her tone is harsh, demanding even. She's right, though. I am upset with her. Who wouldn't be? She's taken me away from my home, and brought me to some unknown land. Okay, so maybe the land isn't all that 'unknown.' It's just the U.S. Nevertheless, it's still pretty foreign to me, and there's no doubt I'm going to stick out. 

"Louis are you even listening?" She persists.

"Yes, mum. Chill. I'm coming." I groan, stepping out of the car and following her to the open trunk to retrieve some boxes. My sisters run around the yard, screaming at each other. 

"Daisy! Come back here!" Felicite shouts, chasing the twins.

"Phoebe run!" Daisy half screams, half giggles, warning her twin sister. I roll my eyes, glancing up to the oldest of my four little sister's, sitting on the porch, buried in her phone. 

"Mum, why doesn't Lottie have to help unpack? She's just as capable." I whine, grinning at her. She scowls at me.

"Charlotte, grab some boxes and help your brother!" Mum yells, her head still half way in the trunk. 

She stands up, unwillingly, swiftly walking past me, bumping into me at full force as she walks by. Before I'm able to regain my balance, all the boxes in my hands go tumbling to the ground.

Suddenly my mother's head is no longer in the trunk. "Louis! Be careful! There could very easily be breakables in those boxes!" 

"Sorry, mum..." I sigh, glaring at Lottie. She smiles back, devilishly. I should know by now not to mess with her. It never ends well for me.

As I pick the boxes back up and head for the house, Phoebe comes sprinting by me, unaffected by my presence. I manage to step out of the way just as she runs passed, but am almost knocked over as Felicite barrels through, chasing after her. Luckily, I catch the boxes and maintain my stance, without anything or anyone getting hurt. I sigh. It's going to be a long day.


After two more attempts of walking through the front door, I finally make it inside safely. The front room is large, displaying dark hardwood floors and pale white walls. Chills run down my spine, as the emptiness fills in around me. This is not my home. I set the boxes down carefully on the floor, wandering off, around the house. I make my way up the stairs, hoping to get first choice of the bedrooms. Sadly, but not surprisingly, I see both Felicite and Lottie have claimed their rooms with items of their own. Where was I? I look around a moment longer and find a medium sized bedroom toward the back of the house. I step inside, glancing around, taking in my surroundings. This will have to do. Looking around, I notice a fairly good sized window on the south wall of the room. I walk over and pull up the shade, revealing my view. To my dismay, I'm facing the neighbors house. I sigh, but stop midway noticing a window directly across from mine. I squint my eyes, peering inside and catch a glimpse of a young girl. From what I can see, she looks to be around my age. I watch for a moment, before I see her look up and meet my gaze. Shit! I look away, hoping she doesn't think I'm staring. When I look up next she's looking back down, carrying on with whatever she had previously been doing. Phew. That was a close one.


Delilah's POV

I walk upstairs, shaking the image of the boy from my mind. "No, Delilah." I tell myself. "They will be out of there in no time. Don't even think about it. It's not worth it." It's true. It's not worth it. The boy will be gone in a couple of weeks, and I will carry on with my very average life. As, I enter my room I retrieve my sketchbook from my desk drawer, and sit on my bed. I chew my pencil, staring at the blank page, racking my brain for some inspiration. I sit for many moments desperate for some idea. For some unknown reason, I look up momentarily, and almost immediately, I wish I hadn't. Staring straight at me is the boy next door. Quickly he turns his head, and equally as fast I drop my head to my sketchbook. What was that? I wait a few moments before cautiously raising my head again. To my relief, he's gone. I sigh, running a quick hand through my hair, and focusing on the blank page. Out of nowhere, my pencil drops to the paper and starts scribbling some unknown design across the paper. My hand works steadily, aware of what it's doing, though my mind remains clueless. I let my hand scribble freely until it begins to cramp. I set down my pencil staring questioningly at the page. I squint, and tilt my head in different directions observing the piece. From what I can tell it looks like a person. I look closely but the face is unrecognizable. I decide it's not important, and toss it to the side. Just then, I hear my mom call my name.

"Delilah, dear, it's time to meet the new neighbors!" 

Oh, joy....

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