The Neighbor

Everyday, I get up, and look out the window. I grew up doing it, and I still do. Every day for the rest of my life I will probably do it too. Outside my window, it looks into my neighbors front yard. The houses where I live are positioned kind of awkwardly, but i'm used to it.

I've lived in this house for six years. We moved in when I was eight because of my father switching jobs. Albany, New York has been wonderful to me. It really has, but sometimes I wish there was something different around here. The most out there thing in Albany is the vampire loving cult that calls Albany it's home base. Go ahead, eye roll with me. Thank you.

I noticed something very much different when I looked out my window this morning. Usually when I look outside I see the nice light brick colored front of the neighbors house, with their the cute little Mini Cooper in the drive way, maybe a few toys in the yard from their little six year old boy. But, this early Saturday morning Mr. and Mrs. Vinny we're unloading what seemed like a whole person's life from their Mini Cooper. Mr. Vinny was holding a cup of coffee in one hand, and lugging a large suitcase into the garage with the other. Then their son, Brian came running out of the garage with a Canadian flag. He waved it around his head as he ran around the yard. I chuckled, Brian was the funniest six year old in the whole state of New York.

Then, he appeared out of the garage. He had a large duffel over one shoulder, and he was wearing a Gretzky jersey. If that didn't give it away, you have to be quite stupid. Canadian. My only question is why do the Vinny's have a Canadian at their house? I didn't find out the answer till Monday, on the way to my first day of school as a Freshmen. In high school.

I'd woke up early, looked outside, and the attic light was on, which isn't normal. Nothing had been normal since Saturday. I got dressed, and walked the dreaded early morning stroll down stairs. "Oh, Mia! You look so grown up!" I swear my mother had said the same thing since I'd started school nine years ago.

"Thanks Mom." I said pouring myself a bowl of cereal, and drowning it with milk. I sat down at the table, and crossed one leg over the other like I did every morning. Everyone knows that for your first day of school your outfit has to be PERFECT. No exception here. I don't usually get all like freak out attack on it, but this year I put a lot more thought into it. So, here I was eating Captain Crunch in a maroon skirt with a grey vee neck. My hair up in a loose bun, with my bangs swooping across my forehead just how it was suppose too.

"I was talking to Charlotte this morning, and apparently Devin won't stop talking about America." I looked at her and lifted an eyebrow and through Captain Crunch I asked "Cho's Debin?"

"Their exchange student! Didn't you hear us talking about it?" I thought back on the past few conversations I'd had with my parents. I shook my head as I swallowed. I looked at the front of my phone and looked up at mom and said "I have to go if I'm going to make the bus." I gave my mom a half hearted hug, and walked toward the door.

"Nice try, shoes!" My mom called. I hate shoes. They are just are horrible, why suffocate your feet like that? I pulled the flip flops out of my bag and threw them to the ground slipped my feet into them, and double checked to make sure I had everything. The poster I'd bought for my locker, my jacket to leave in my locker in case the building was cold, pencils, and all the other school supplies you have to have.

I walked out the door shutting it behind me, and started away toward the bus stop at the end of the street where about seven kids got on because it couldn't turn around anywhere but this small loop in the middle of my subdivision.

As I waited for the bus, I heard Brian's voice as he said over excited, "When I start drinking coffee, I'm going to say it like that!" Then he started pretending he was ordering a coffee "I'd like a Double-Double please." I turned to see who he was talking to. The same boy I'd seen in a Gretzky jersey except he was wasn't in a Gretzky jersey anymore. He must of been Devin.

Over the summer I'd done a lot of baby sitting for the Vinny's, which meant Brian thought of me as his best friend now. He scurried up the street as he noticed I was already here. "Mia! Mia! How do you like your coffee!" I looked down at Brian with a smile. He was so funny.

"Umm, let's see. Well, I like it with milk, and three sugars." I said ruffling his hair.

He pointed at Devin and said "He likes his Double-Double! It's Canadian Slang!" he said excitedly before running off to see one of his little friends leaving me, with Devin.

It was the most awkward thirty seconds of my life, before I got up the courage to ask. "Where in Canada are you from?"

"Novia Scotia." He said almost shyly. He then took a drink of the coffee thermos in his hand. I gave a grin realizing that was what had Brian on his coffee gabble.

"So, how are you liking America?" I asked. Hoping the bus would come sooner, and by sooner I mean NOW. PLEASE.

"Uh, America... I like America a lot. There is lots to do, and much to see compared to Canada. Where it's all water or snow. Much warmer too."

I couldn't help but smile. Canada must be really cold, considering that Winter is horrible here. I heard the slapping of running feet coming our way. I knew who was coming. I turned with a smile toward the brunette running down the street in skinny jeans, and a band tee shirt with about twenty bracelets on. She stopped and tackled me practically. She then began to rabble.

"I missed you! SOO much!" This was my best friend. Halley. She'd been away at camp for the whole summer and just gotten back. I chuckled as she began to realize she was in fact standing in front of a boy. Halley was really shy around guys. She looked at him, and then looked at me, lifted an eyebrow, then said "I'll talk to you on the bus, i'm being flagged down by Brian." She walked away. Everyone on the block knew Brian, it wasn't hard.

"Your Friend?" He asked. I nodded and scuffed my flip flop on the ground.

"Very much so." Then I noticed something. Something I was so very jealous about. When I'd scuffed my shoe on the ground, I'd looked down. He wasn't wearing shoes. How he'd managed to get out of the house like that, I had no clue. Then I started to intake Devin's looks. He wore a pair of skinny jeans, and a mid-sleeved plaid shirt. I don't think it was flannel. His hair was brown and shaggy, he also had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen. He was really, really. Pretty.

I was suddenly self-conscious. I ran a hand through my dirty blonde hair. Hoping I didn't look too ridiculous. Then, gracefully ending the awkward silence was the yellow school bus driving down the road.

As I was starting toward the line of people getting on the bus, I heard his feet walking across the concrete after me. "Umm, I never got your name." He said in his adorable accent.

"Mia, Mia Bennett. We're neighbors." I said holding out my hand.

"Devin, Devin Garrett." He said slightly impersonating me. We shook hands, and for a moment I didn't let go.
`
"He is sooo hootttt." Halley cooed next to me, after Devin had awkwardly passed by us as I sat down next to Halley. He sat down a few seats back. I just hoped he wouldn't hear us.

"I know. Did you see? His feet. Shoeless." I hunched down in the seat next to her. School hadn't even started yet, and I had the most hopeless crush on a guy. Halley was the only person who knew why I didn't wear shoes. It sounds corny, but I don't wear shoes because if kids in Africa don't have shoes I shouldn't have any either, seeing as this is OUR world. I'd already taken my shoes off when we'd gotten on.

I continued to speak. "He's Canadian, and apparently he speaks in a lot of Canadian slang. Brian was rambling about some type of coffee slang earlier."

Halley smiled and said "Well, you saw him first, so he's yours. Plus, he's too Indie for me. He's way more your style." I laughed. How me and Halley we're best friends, no clue. Halley's the more Scene rainbow who likes Pete Wentz, and his look alike who's a grade older than us.

I personally go for, well. Indie guys. Guys like the lead singer of Cold Play, but with hair. I also love singers. Since I was never blessed with the singing talent, if a guy can sing, or even play an instrument, I'm instantly in love with them.

I was about to say something about Devin's eyes when the little kids in the seat across from us, got off at their day care stop. Devin sat down across from us, he looked really nervous.

"How does high school work?" He asked, he looked seriously scared now that I think about it. I looked at Halley and then thought for a moment of how to explain it.

"Well, American high school can't be that different. We get lockers, eight periods a day, lunch, study hall, the five mandatory classes, and then a class you get to pick. Like this year i'm doing Drama club as mine."

"I've never been to school before. I've always been taught from home." He said. Now I understood why he was so scared.

"Mia can show you around, and to the office." Halley said with a smile toward Devin. I looked at her, and gave her my 'Sometimes I just know weather I want to slap you or hug you.' look. I looked back at Devin and nodded.

"Yeah, if you need the help that is."
`
By fifth period, Freshmen lunch period I had already had two periods with Devin. It was sooo awkward, but he'd made a few jokes, and had to explain what Yank meant. For those like me who had no clue, it's a derogatory term for Americans.

I'd noticed him talking to actual other people than me. Which I was glad for. Very much so seeing as I've never been good at finding things to talk about.

I was sitting with Halley when he walked by, talking to a few of the hockey players. I noticed several girls look his way too. "You know, no one has said anything about his feet, while I am the one who gets in trouble."

I shook my head. Then. SHE got up and walked across the room in the way she did to the Hockey table and sat down. Tiffany Myers. A whole lot of words I'll never share aloud. This is where reading lips comes in handy.


"Hey, what's your name."

"Devin..."

"I'm Tiffany. We should go out sometime."
She seemed to push her boobs up with her shoulders by squeezing her arms together. I almost barfed.

"I'm good. I don't like Buskers." I had no clue what it meant, and neither did anyone sitting around him, but apparently it meant something along the lines of things a girl wouldn't like to called. The people around him high fived, as she walked off.

Hmm, I'd have to ask about that one later.
`
Once the first day was done with, I walked outside to the normal spot that the bus would be at. On the way there, Devin, of course stopped me. "Where's the bus?" He asked frantically. I couldn't help but laugh.

"Not here yet. After last bell the buses don't leave until 3:20." I gave a smile. He nodded, and seemed to relax.

We stood there waiting for the bus awkwardly. Both of us barefoot, and our arms crossed. "So, what are your reasons for being barefooted?" He asked me.

Should I have told him a lie? "Well, it's my way of standing up for kids in Africa who don't have shoes. I don't wear shoes unless they can."

He then quoted the exact reference that had made me start going barefoot. "Love is our weapon." I smiled at him and shook my head.

"Your adopted." He looked at me with a smile on his face, he didn't understand a word I'd just said about adopting him. He didn't have too, I'd always know what I'd meant.
`
It didn't stop there .I was getting kind of annoyed with seeing him everywhere. I had gone on a walk like I always did to take in the school day, and he was there. Right in front of me, strolling toward me. I stopped and lifted an eyebrow as he came only a few feet from me.

"Long time no see." I said with a smile.

"American Humor I guess?" He said with a chuckle.

"Very much so."

"I love you." He said shaking his head.

I didn't say anything obviously.

"Oh, not like that. Not that I couldn't. It's just used as a form of, your so witty or wow your awesome."
I looked up at him and said "I love you too."

A small smile crept across his face.

Then, he closed the gap between us, leaning in. I took a small step in too. Our bare toes touching each others toes. I then felt his soft lips on mine, then it was over like that.

"I love Canada." I said blushing.

"I love Canada too." He replied running a hand through his hair.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

TerraTAZz said...
Jul. 31, 2010 at 9:41 am
loveddd every bit of it. Greaat writing and hey dont be so hard on her when you get to writing its hard not to make a quick mistake. I do it all the time, then realize i did it after rereading it.
 
aussie65 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm
i liked the shoeless thing. it built the character. i used to have a phobia of socks, but whatever. oh, and also "sometimes i just know weather i want to slap you or hug you" you used the wrong form of "weather" and there prolly shoulda been dashes between the words, but thats personal preference, and "just" should prolly be "dont". anyway, great job, and i know how editing your own work can be tragic, especially when you post something and then realize the typo :P
 
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