Falling for my Neighbor

By: Lila Younger


For some reason that I can’t remember, I decided to quit swimming lessons. My mom insisted that I do a sport, because even back then, she was thinking about business school for me, so on a whim I decided to try out tennis at the Y.

Macon was in college at the time, a second year who was trying to pay for tuition by teaching on the side.

Up until I saw him, I never thought that someone as hot as the Backstreet Boys could ever come to my boring town. But there was, and he became the star of every one of my teenage fantasies. I imagined dating him, marrying him, even having his kids. I wanted to give him my virginity.

I still do, if I had to be honest. It seems sort of like a cheesy thing to do, but there’s nobody else I want to share my first time with.

Anyways, I was immediately head over heels into a crush, one that I still have to this day. I would practice my swings for hours at home, hoping for a compliment from him, until I realized that he’d help me with my swings if I was terrible. The way he touched me left invisible marks on my skin, burning me up.

Sometimes I cringe at tween me, because there’s no way that he didn’t know that I liked him. I mean, I turned into a tomato every time I saw him, and I asked so many questions, trying to learn everything I could about him. I thought I was being sly, reading up on books he like, music he listened to, but I definitely wasn’t.

Macon never made me feel embarrassed about it though. He always treated me kindly, and never made me feel like the little kid that I was. And then there was the volunteering, the sunny smile he had for everyone, the sincerely good personality that he had. I mean, he’s the kind of person who would help a little old lady with her groceries even if there was nobody around to see him do it. It’s no wonder every woman in Summerdale with a pulse liked him.

And he liked someone back, or at least, for a while he did. A divorce sure is hard, especially when there’s a baby involved, but I’m pathetically happy it didn’t work out. That means there’s a chance for me.

When Macon left, I kept track of him through Facebook and the media. Because at the time, I didn’t know that he was the heir to Daniels Communications, a huge media company that extended from magazines to T.V. channels to radio. I was awed. He always seemed so down to earth to me.

The longer time passed, the more I further I felt from him. There’s no way that we could ever cross paths again, I thought with regret.

I was older now, more mature. My body finally got the message, and I actually had hips and breasts. I looked like a woman instead of a child. But to Macon I would probably forever be that awkward, quiet kid.

Until now. Now I had a chance to prove myself. Fate somehow threw us together again, and I just had to believe that it could happen. That he’d notice me. There was such a big age gap back, but now that we’re both adults, surely it couldn’t matter now?

No, I think shaking my head. It always will, and I should just forget about it. There’s no way that it could happen.





Macon


The doorbell rings for the tenth time and I have to put down the shirt I’m hanging up on the bed to get it. It’s likely one of the neighbors coming over with a plate of welcome cookies. I think we’ve already got enough to last us until Christmas, but I’m grateful for the warm welcome. I don’t think I ever even met my neighbors across the hall in my old apartment.

Moving Jamie and I to Summerdale was difficult on my own. On paper the move is a no brainer. My parents now live only forty-five minutes away instead of three hours, I’m able to afford a house in a good school district instead of our cramped two-bedroom in the city, and my work as a manager will provide a steady schedule, even if it’s boring.

At least I don’t have to worry about Jamie since she’s just under a year old. She’s probably forgotten all about the city and everything else too. And she’ll be too little to remember her absent mother.

As I walk down the hall, I peek down into Jamie’s room. She’s still napping soundly in her crib, so I quietly close the door. I have the baby monitor, but sometimes I still need to see her for myself. She’s the most precious thing in the world to me, and my gut clenches even at the idea of something happening to her. I won’t ever let it.

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