The nondescript neighbor across the street moved today.  Sam saw the moving truck leaving the house as he came home.  He never remembered her name.  In fact he had barely had a conversation with her, other than the cursory “Good morning” if they happened to leave their respective houses at the same time.  It was awkward.  There was something about her that he just couldn’t put his finger on.  She was very attractive but was haughty and aloof.

The first time he met her was when Tom, his neighbor next door, had introduced her the day she moved in to number 2024.  Sam had attempted a friendly inquiring conversation with a “Welcome to Westbrook!  Where are you moving from?”

She had stared at him and he noticed her eyes were a deep cerulean blue. She seemed startled, but recovering quickly she became closed off, almost cold, and made almost no more  eye contact. She offered an excuse and said she was busy with the move and that was that.  Tom and Sam looked at each other and shrugged.  Since that day she had made no friends with anyone as far as he knew.  She kept herself private and non-communicative.

Sam used to joke with the other neighbors that she was likely in the Witness Protection Program or she was on the run from the police.  He couldn’t recall one time when she had attempted to make conversation.

She never attended any of the neighborhood social parties and always kept her porch light off on Halloween so the children never went near her house.  One year the kids tricked her instead and toilet papered her front yard.  No one knew whose kids were responsible and they pretty much left her to clean it up by herself.  Sam felt a little bad about driving off to work the following morning seeing it there but he had a meeting to attend.  When he returned home it was all gone and he assumed she had cleared it up herself or got someone to do it.  He never gave it another thought.

“So she moved out then.” Sam said to Tom who was out in his front yard. He continued, “I sure hope we get someone a lot nicer moving in.  She was a cold witch, don’t you think?”

Tom replied.  “I don’t know about being a witch.  She was never nasty to any of us.  She was just private, you know”

“I guess.” said Sam as he headed to his front door. “See you later Tom”

As Sam put his key in the lock, he looked down and saw a box with an envelope taped to it.  It had his name on it.

He took it into the house and placed it on the kitchen table wondering what it might be.  It was a handwritten envelope and no marking on the box so UPS hadn’t delivered it.

He opened the envelope, which held a card.  He read it.

Dear Sam,

I know you and I have never really had a conversation but I have watched you daily for the past year. 

When I was introduced to you on that day I moved in, you lit a fuse in my heart.  I cannot explain it.  It was incredible and the feeling was very strong, like I had met you before or I had known you in some other life.  I wanted desperately to get to know you but it would not have been fair

I had no close family, having divorced several years ago, and no children.  I was looking for a fresh start somewhere when I got the crushing news.  I was told I was dying and the doctors had given me one year at best. I had already chosen this house before I knew of my illness. I thought it would be a wonderful neighborhood to make new friends. I’m sure it was but I never wanted to be a burden on anyone so I kept my prognosis to myself.

I wish I had known you in this life.  I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

See you next time around. 

Lori Cooper

Sam felt quite shaken as he put the letter down.  She had died. He was overcome with sadness.  Why hadn’t he tried harder to get to know her? He opened the box and inside was a smaller box in which was a gold heart on a chain.

On a small card it said…

“You stole my tender heart on the day I met you but I had to take it back. I leave you this in its place…L”


Christine Bolton – Poetry for Healing ©

Word Prompts:






Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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  24 comments for “Neighbor

  1. August 27, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Wow, magnificent story. It’s a rare day when my attention doesn’t waver. I really want to know more about the characters. Wonderful job.

  2. August 21, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    OMW!! Ugh!…that was heartbreaking. I knew she wasn’t just some hermit. Ugh, so sad. So well written. Thank you for sharing. <3

    • Christine Bolton
      August 21, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Thank you Marie! I’m so happy you liked it 😊, even though it was a little sad 😢

      • August 21, 2018 at 6:31 pm

        So sad but so well done, I had no choice. You’re welcome, thank you for sharing! <3

  3. August 21, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Wow, unexpected…well done.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 21, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      Thank you so much! 😊
      I always value your feedback. 👍

      • August 21, 2018 at 6:20 pm

        Ah, shucks, lol.

  4. August 21, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    This was truly amazing. Loved it. ❤️

    • Christine Bolton
      August 21, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      Oh you are so kind my friend. Thank you 😊❤️

      • August 21, 2018 at 3:48 pm

        You are so welcome Christine. 💕

  5. August 21, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Compelling and amazing piece, Christine. Well done!

    • Christine Bolton
      August 21, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Thank you! That’s means a lot to me 😊

  6. August 20, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    Great writing, love it! We never know …

    • Christine Bolton
      August 20, 2018 at 11:49 pm

      Thank you so much Kate 😊

      • August 20, 2018 at 11:59 pm

        you’re most welcome!

  7. August 20, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    You gave me goose bumps and I got teary eyed. I loved it.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 20, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      Aww thanks Jay-lyn. I was hoping it wasn’t too Hallmark 😊

      • August 20, 2018 at 9:13 pm

        Not at all. It was so interesting to read. And pulled at the heart strings

      • Christine Bolton
        August 20, 2018 at 9:14 pm

        Thank you!!

      • August 20, 2018 at 9:14 pm

        You’re most welcome. 😘

  8. August 20, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I like your take on these prompts. Mine was kind of similar but with a happier ending.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 20, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      Yours was great! I felt like there wasn’t much i could put in a poem with all those prompts today.

  9. August 20, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Really enjoyed this story. As humans we are quick to assume why people are the way they when we know nothing of their story.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 20, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you! I couldn’t agree more. It’s easy to judge but unless we’ve walked in someone’s shoes ….
      Thanks for reading and commenting. 😊

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