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Neighbors This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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My whole childhood was spent in a small out-of-the-way town in Wyoming. As a kid, I noticed things that most didn’t. One thing I remember from this early life was my neighbors. Across the street from our house lived the Wigglesworths. They were an older couple and had no children of their own, but they loved “adopting” children from the village. I remember the Wigglesworths trying to adopt me when I was too young to know about so-called white lies. Yeah, that’s another thing, I never could figure out how a lie could be white but not green. Anyway, I remember looking the kind old man in the eye and saying, “No way, you’re like two-hundred and five thousand!”

The neighbors to the left of our house were a grumpy couple with a single kid, the most stuck-up, bratty, annoying girl who ever walked the earth. To the right lived the Smiths. They were regarded as the most typical, normal family by everyone in the village. The mother was young and beautiful, the father was tall and handsome, and they had three perfect kids.

But I knew the truth. They were more cracked than the lot of us. Their normal outer appearance fooled everyone except me. Their secret? The mother washed her umbrella. Pretty scary, don’t you think? I saw her one night, in the backyard. I was out weeding the garden that I had neglected to do earlier, so Father made me go out and weed, even though it was past dark. Well, there I was, weeding away, when I saw something move in their yard. Thinking it was a robber, like the one who had tried to steal our sheep last summer, I went over to investigate and maybe warn them. When I saw that it was just Mrs. Smith, I almost turned back. Then I noticed the umbrella she was carrying. It was an expensive, metallic pink umbrella with intricate embroidery around the edges. It wasn’t even raining, so this in itself was a little odd.

Then, from out of nowhere, she drew a bucket of sudsy water and a sponge. Before I knew it, she had dipped the umbrella into the water and was scrubbing away with her sponge. Trying not to scream, I raced back to the house, forgetting the garden. I never told anyone and my family went on believing that the Smiths were a typical family, perfect marriage, perfect kids, and perfect house. But I knew better. I still know better. Never, never, never trust normal people. They may wash their umbrellas.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

lizzi98 said...
Dec. 29, 2008 at 9:43 pm
woww. is that even the real definition of normal anyways??
 
lizzie13 said...
Oct. 22, 2008 at 1:01 pm
I loved it! That's hilarious and puts "normal" in a new perspective. :)
 
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