What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Sarah's Bare Necessities

We lived next door to a couple and their teen kids. For their anniversary, husband gave wife a negligee shop. Sarah had the body of young twenties, the face of fifties. Great couple. The husband once ran out with a shotgun when we came home to find someone had broken in and was still there. I used to skip school with friends to go check out Sarah's store, dragging boys through the short aisles and trying on things I could never afford to buy. We were under eighteen, but the sales girls never minded. We were a great excuse to take a break. They would lock us in and go out for a cigarette while I tried things on. I guess they figured Sarah's Neighbor's Kid would never steal from them. I, for all my shocking behaviour, was too naiive to realize it was a possibility. When Sarah & Family moved away, I was caring for a small child with special needs. I never got a chance to thank them..
My experiences in Sarah's shop brought me to realizations and later affirmations of who and what I am. My experiences with Sarah's husband - so quick to protect and defend a single mother and her child - shaped who I would become. My "star crossed lovers" crush on their long-haired rocker son and heartbreak on seeing he had a girlfriend and no interest in the neighbor kid three years younger than him taught me the bitter sting of disappointment and the stunning realization that life continues.
I think about them occasionally, but for the most part they are as forgotten for me as I am for them. And yet, their mark is on me, like the mark of every other person whose lives and lines have crossed with mine.


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Have a Next-Door Neighbor Story?

As part of our new webcomic, Next-Door Neighbor, we thought it appropriate to have a little contest. Tell us your best true next-door neighbor story, and the winning tale will be matched with an artist and transformed into a webcomic and included as the final installment of Next-Door Neighbor.

About Next-Door Neighbor

No matter how close or how far, we all live next to someone, and we all have a Next-Door Neighbor story. With that in mind, editor Dean Haspiel asked some of his favorite storytellers and cartoonists to create their favorite NDN stories so we could share them with you.

The Fine Print & Contest Rules

By submitting an entry, you are granting SMITH the right to reprint or republish that entry online or in print, as well as make any necessary edits. See SMITH's terms of service for complete details.

This contest ends September 1, 2008. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as awarded. Winners are decided at the discretion of SMITH judges and all decisions are final. SMITH reserves the right to change the contest rules. Enter as often as you want. SMITH reserves the right to reprint or republish all entries.

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